Adventures in Peru 2014 Part 4: The Make-and-Mend Day

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Since our Inca Trail plans changed, we elected to catch up on some much needed rest and have what the Gordons like to call a “make and mend day.” We spent it on the grounds of our hotel, eating, sleeping, reading, walking in the gardens, and playing games. The hotel staff knew that Greg had been under the weather, and there was one particular waiter who was very kind to us at the breakfast and lunch buffets. He treated us like family and was so gracious and sweet.

Greg is improving steadily, and we definitely made the right call. There was no way for him to hit the trail in his current condition. He got out of breath climbing the stairs to our room, so climbing from 9,000 to 13,000 feet would have been completely out of the question.

We spent a good part of the morning in three easy chairs in the sunshine. Speaking of the sun, it is VERY bright and powerful here. One must put on sunscreen every morning before going outside and wear a big boonie hat. I am allergic to chemical sunscreens so I have to wear that awful white block. It makes me look like a greasy ghost.

Since there was not much action today, I will simply give you a quick tour of our hotel. Instead of roughing it on the Inca Trail, we are staying in beauty and luxury while we wait on our tour operator to settle our arrangements. We will be here for at least another day and then we will head back to Cusco and see some more city life before returning to our regular itinerary at Machu Picchu. I was a little sad to unpack our Inca Trail porter bags, but all in all, it was easy to change gears.

The hotel is set on the grounds of an 18th century monastery. I can’t help but think that my newlywed friends Jim and Gary would love it here. The place is charming.

Here’s a photo of our hotel grounds, taken from the vegetable gardens above:

The gardens provide herbs and vegetables for the restaurant:
A cistern collects water for irrigation:
The sky is an unbelievable shade of blue:
Even the Peruvian bees are beautiful:
We had lunch at the hotel, along with many other people who come through by bus. It looks like a popular meal stop for many American tours. The buffet was delicious and plentiful. Local women hawk their wares in the plaza out front. They were not too aggressive, which was good. One old lady would simply say to me each time I passed, “Christmas is coming, Madam.” Don’t I know it. Time is moving so fast now that it seems like Christmas comes every other month any more.
A few views from inside the chapel:
We could see this little structure up the mountainside and enjoyed wondering who lived there and what they did. It’s fun to use your imagination.
The glacier was visible between the mountains:
The gardens were filled with hydrangeas and buzzing bees:
Can you see the big easy chairs with the white cushions below? This is where we spent our morning lounging in comfort:
The hotel lobby was warm and inviting. In the evenings, a man and woman would entertain the guests. The man played one of those traditional flutes and a guitar, while the woman banged a drum and shook some kind of percussion instrument. They played a lot of Simon and Garfunkel songs, mixed in with what were probably more traditional Peruvian tunes. The music was haunting and pretty.
The lobby is safe in case of earthquakes!
I stalked this woman because I thought her attire was so striking and traditional.
One of many murals throughout the buildings:
This was our courtyard. Our room was above at the left:
A peek through the monastery gates at the “evil” noisy town outside:
This history was a little difficult to follow. I think something got lost in translation, but I am glad the place was lovingly restored.
The stairs up to our room that made Greg huff and puff every time. He was jealous at how Genene bounded up them without slowing:
The walkway to our room. The wood floors were beautiful, but they creaked like crazy and made a tremendous racket. Every morning in the wee hours, we would hear someone headed out, probably starting the Inca Trail. Genene loved to sit on the big sofa because wifi reception was great there. Kids and their electronics! (Yeah, I’m using my iPad now so I appreciate the irony.)
The view from our front door:

In the middle of the afternoon, we discovered the game room and had some quality family time playing ping pong. I used to be good at that but am not any more. Genene begrudingly accepted some instruction from me. Why are kids like that? She is a terrific student at school and in all her extracurricular activities. All her teachers tell us that she loves to learn and tries very hard and accepts instruction from them willingingly. When I try to teach her anything, I can always feel her resisting me. She has always been that way, and I suspect that will only get more pronounced in the teenage years. Does every kid hate to take instruction from his or her own parents? I don’t know, but it can sometimes be frustrating. Anyway, today, she listened….mostly. And we had a blast.

We had dinner in the hotel restaurant, the first time Greg had felt like going out since we arrived. His improvement is steady and sure.

It was a fine day in a beautiful relaxing place!


1 thought on “Adventures in Peru 2014 Part 4: The Make-and-Mend Day

  1. If you are having trouble in the Sacred Valley you will do much better to go straight to Machu Piccu. This is a much lower altitude than Cuzco which is your highest point of all- save Cuzco for last!!

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