Today we are heading to South America to visit a country on the Pacific Coast starting with the letter ‘P’.
We are going to Peru.
This was my first visit to South America. Ruth had a position with the Canadian Foreign Affairs department and this was her first international posting.
She was heading to Lima, Peru and was excited that I was coming for a visit during my summer holidays.
Here is a picture of the Canadian Embassy in Miraflores, Lima, Peru.
I usually spent my summers at Alberta Camp Cherith as a Counselor or Divisional Director or an Activities Specialist. The idea of visiting Ruth on her postings was exciting but I also had to fit it in my schedule around camp. My first year at Camp, they wanted us to pick a Nickname for the campers to use and so I picked ‘Lucy’ from Charlie Brown. I decorated our cabin with pictures of Lucy and the campers did not know that Lucy was my real name. The other adults at the camp thought that was lame to use my real name so when I went to Peru, I discovered my new Camp Name – Quechua.
While I visited with Ruth we drove from the city to Cuzco and along the way we had the opportunity to stop and visit some the Quechua people who are the indigenous peoples of South America. Quechua people may refer to any or all speakers of the Quechua languages, which originated among the indigenous peoples of South America. Most Quechua speakers live in Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia and Argentina.
Quechua peoples live primarily in the Andes and highlands of South America. It is thought by some scholars that Quechua originated on the central coast of Peru around 2,600 BC. The Inca kings of Cuzco made Quechua their official language.
With the Inca conquest of Peru in the 14th century, Quechua became Peru’s lingua franca, a language that is adopted as a common language between speakers whose native languages are different.
Native people dressed in colorful clothing. Textiles and traditional dress are an important part of the culture of Cuzco, Peru. Much of Andean fashion is made of alpaca to protect against the cold Cuzco nights.
In Cuzco we stayed overnight and then took a train to Machu Picchu.
At the base of the mountain we were met by tour buses that took us to the top to we could explore Machu Picchu.
In this picture you can see the switch back roads which the buses had to navigate in order to bring tourists up and down. We were all fascinated by the young boys who raced straight down the hill waving to us as the bus passed each level and meeting us at the bottom so they could receive a tip as their payment for entertaining us on the way down.
From Cuzco we traveled by train to Lake Titicaca.
I had heard of this lake as a child growing up in Sunday School and Explorers because CBM (Canadian Baptist Ministries) had missionaries working in Bolivia. At Lake Titicaca we saw the reed boats and actually went by boat across to La Paz.
Another weekend that summer, we drove south of Lima to see the Nazca Lines. We booked a ride in a tiny 4 seater plane and the pilot showed us the ancient geoglyphs located in the Nazca Desert in southern Peru. The Nazca Lines were designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994. Scholars believe the Nazca Lines were created by the Nazca culture between 400 and 650 AD.
The designs are shallow lines made in the ground by removing the reddish pebbles and uncovering the whitish/grayish ground beneath.
Hundreds are simple lines or geometric shapes, while others are designs of animals including this monkey or llamas. Still other designs include trees and flowers.
So much to see and explore in this South American country. A definite addition to anyone’s bucket list!
Be sure and catch the edition of Traveling Tuesdays when we will be visiting a country starting with the letter ‘Q’.