Tarala family’s Outside Suburbia adventure in Peru
By Rithi Tarala
When my family visited Peru, I thought I was going to be over loaded by history that I’d never even heard of before. That did happen, but I saw many interesting things as well. For the history part, we went to Machu Picchu, where the Inca’s lived in the 1400’s. In our tour group, we had the choice of walking the Inca trail the long way (all the way to the Inca bridge), or the short way(not all the way to the Inca bridge).
We imagined the Inca bridge as some large, magnificent rope bridge that we would get to stand on and pose for pictures above the city. What the guide forgot to tell us, is that the Inca bridge is actually a plank of wood placed across two stones (that we were not allowed to touch or step on). It was a huge let-down especially after we walked two miles up the side of a mountain (with no railings) in the hot sun, just to realize the “bridge” is a plank of wood that the Inca’s once touched.
We also saw a lot of churches including the Cusco Cathedral, home to the famous Black Jesus. In the Black Jesus painting, Jesus and his disciples eat guinea pig, which happens to be a Peruvian delicacy. Another staple food is potatoes. There are over 50 varieties of potatoes in Peru. The potatoes there contain more starch than American potatoes so they can form more shapes and can be eaten in different forms.
In Peru there is also much unexpected “wildlife.” Woman walk the streets with full-grown and baby Alpacas which you can pet and take pictures with then give them money. There are also many stray dogs there. People don’t pay much attention to them so they don’t pay much attention to people. On our family vacation I even saw a lamb chained to a tree (not allowed to touch it of course).
So in conclusion, Peru is much more than history. I would suggest not to do a lot of mountain climbing on family vacations because trails don’t have any railings or stairs so you’re basically just walking up the side of a mountain. And before considering a Peruvian vacation, consider the factor of altitude sickness. Lots of people are affected and there are always oxygen tanks available I the hotels there. On our trip you could usually see people using them in the lobby.
Have you been to Peru and Machu Picchu? Did you get to hold a baby Alpacas? Did you have trouble with breathing due to the altitude? Tell us about your experiences…