Peru – 02/03/12 (Day 13) – 05:24pm

On the AB (Sky Ride) to Table Mesa where LuAnne will be coming to pick me up. She and Nathaniel started out this way but went back because the snow had picked up, Nathaniel was cranky, and LuAnne wasn’t feeling well.

Of course I was a little disappointed, but I was also glad that they weren’t driving in unsafe and unhappy conditions.

American ended up canceling the 7:20AM flight, so I’m REALLY glad I didn’t get on it. Downside is that my luggage apparently didn’t make it on the plane (probably because there were too many bags due to cancelled connections) so they’ll be delivering it to me later on.

Fortunately when I went out to the West side the AB was already there and I was able to get out of the cold quickly. My new alpaca hoodie is warm, but not THAT warm! 🙂 Mental note, though, if you’re early for the AB, go out to the West side – it may be there!

I’m guessing this will be my last journal entry for the trip. I certainly end it with mixed feelings. I would love to have stayed longer, but I’m so ready to see my family.

It’s going to take a few days to adjust back to the speed of things. I’m excited to see what happens with the Knowledge Cafe! Richard sent me an email asking when I would be back in town, but unfortunately the email I sent in response seemed to get rejected from his mail server.

Either way I’m sure we’ll be talking soon. I plan to send a letter to Sir Richard Branson about what I’m trying to do – I think he’ll get it and appreciate it, and any feedback or support I could get from him would be monumental!

I also plan to reach out to several folks who’ve been pioneering the education revolution – the more support and awareness we can build, the better!

The world needs a new education system – I believe I’m helping to create just that.

Now that I’m back, it’s time to truly begin the battle to better the world.

Invictus.

Peru – 02/03/12 (Day 13) – 08:30am

Had a great night’s sleep on Mary’s air mattress. It was pretty incredibly comfy and the
first night I’ve woken up feeling rested.

Now time for a quick shower, then breakfast w/Mary and Gen, then the airport! They
tried to put me on the 7:20AM flight but I asked them to put me on the 12:50PM flight
instead.

Peru – 02/02/12 (Day 12) ~ 05:00pm

I actually have no clue what time it is, but I wanted to write something after watching the Adjustment Bureau. I had no idea what it was about prior to watching it, really, other than something about a politician and dancer being kept apart by mysterious men, and being based on a story by Philip K. Dick.

It was definitely a perfectly timed movie. It reminds me of the Behaviorist debate of Walden 2 – is it free will if the deck is stacked?

More importantly, how do you know when to do what’s right and when to do the right thing? They may be different. It makes me think of Donnie Darko.

2 hours and 48 minutes left. I think its time to watch Invictus – even if it says “edited for content”.

Peru – 02/02/12 (Day 12) ~ 11:30am

I’ve passed through immigration in Lima quickly and w/o issue, and now I’m at the gate for my flight to LA.

I’m going to miss Peru. It was a wonderful experience and I’ve enjoyed being surrounded by Spanish. It’s a little faster than Mexican Spanish, I think, and the accent is tangibly different but not enough to describe. Also, the places I walked through on my hike were
incredible. Makes you want to live there. Honestly, I’d want to live in Machu Picchu if it weren’t for all the tourists. I wonder if there’s anywhere else we could find a mountain climate like that…

I was totally frisked by the police @Cuzco, btw. They said they do it for all passengers w/an international destination and I’m like “uh huh”.

They were good guys, though. Very nice, and seemed very honest and on the level. I actually felt like they were honestly doing their job because they believed it was important. If you’ve dealt w/police in Latin America, or even occasionally in the US, you know how rare that can be.

They asked me a few times about how long I’d been traveling, how long in Cuzco, etc. I get the impression they were testing my answers. I just answered openly and honestly – I am a chatty bitch 🙂

They questioned my Clif Bars, so I let them open one and try it. No big loss as I can’t imagine needing them much now! They’re good snack food, though.

They checked the big bag, passport, etc. It’s funny because I had to sign my name in a book on the way out and it only had, like, four names. Four names? Really? And you’re checking everyone?

Ah well, I could see how I would look suspicious. Remind me to never try running drugs! 🙂 But yeah…nice, honest-looking guys.

I bought Nathaniel some of my favorite chocolate while I was here: Nestle “Sublime”. It was a double-size bar, but $4 (11 soles)!! Oh well, I wanted to bring him some. So, that brings my “gifts for N” tally up to: one small, locally made guitar; two locally-made finger puppets; one bar of chocolate. Yes, I resisted a hell of a lot. I have no clue how I’ll manage w/two kids, especially an adorable little girl that will likely OWN me! 🙂

I really want to travel with them. This world isn’t changing any time soon (drastically) and the more exposure they get to all the cultures and languages of the world, the better. Maybe in that way they’ll also realize that everything is one expression of the same thing – just…what was that expression – smoky mirrors. Windows with different qualities looking out onto the same melting landscapes.

Or as I like to think of it, streams of the same river. The Apumayu.

I’d like to do some more hiking. I’ve heard of a trail in Australia and one in Spain. There’s also the John Muir trail. I feel like it slows you down in a good way – helps you appreciate  nature, life, breath, etc.

Maybe I could take N. It might be hard to adjust at first, but at his age he learns so quickly! We could bring a few things from home and just go for a weekend – but I like the idea of hiking between campsites. Even if they’re just a short distance apart! I’ll have to run it by LuAnne.

So much that I want to do. Will there be enough time? Start a business, raise a family, hike the world…We make our time.

Peru – 02/02/12 (Day 12) ~ 09:45am

I was reading Branson’s book again after a fairly long hiatus. There’s a part now about education that’s really great, but scary. Reading about how others are approaching the issue of empowerment through education make my vision seem inadequate or even trivial.

But the silver lining is that there is so much I can learn, and so many resources to tap into. After all, what matters is the end result: a better world. I can only do my best to make that happen.

Peru – 02/02/12 (Day 12) ~ 08:40am

I’m sitting in the waiting/boarding area for my flight to Lima. I should arrive by 11:10,
which would give me 45 minutes to get to the plane for boarding. Not a lot of time.

Ugh – peeling skin. Makes me feel hideous. I wouldn’t mind the whole thing if it weren’t
for the white withered skin that’s trying to come off and failing miserably. THis has to be
the worst/ugliest it’s been since I was a kid.

I’m sitting across from a man that looks very familiar, but I can’t place it. I’ll have to ask
if they’ve been through Boulder or AZ. Odd.

What are my top ten memories?

In no order:
The top of Machu Picchu.
Crossing the White River.
The view from Yanama.
Making it to Choquequira from Rosalinda.
Cresting the top of the trail from Rosalinda to Choquequira.
Having a snack at the top of the first pass after Cachora.
Dinner with the girls on Tuesday night.
Beating the horses to the pass from Maizal to Yanama.
Sitting in front of the Sacred Stone.
Horseback riding and spelunking w/Tom + Phoebe.

<SPOILER – ADDED AT END OF TRIP>

Sushi and drinks w/my sister + Gen.

Peru – 02/02/12 (Day 12) ~ 06:45am

I made it to Samay Wasi just fine and got to sleep around
11:30. I ended up waking up starting around 5, but that’s OK – might make it easier to
sleep on the plane.

I’m peeling like mad crazy – have been for a few days.

If all goes well, in around 24 hours I’ll be home and asleep in our awesome bed, with my
beautiful wife next to me, and my incredible son just a room away.

Peru – 02/01/12 (Day 11) ~ 06:30pm

I’m on the train to Ollantaytambo, then I’ll taxi it to Cuzco and pack my bags once I’m at Samay Wasi.

I hope I didn’t book my flights too close together. I failed to think about all the other “memorable experiences” I’ve had trying to get from an arriving international flight to a departing national flight.

Either way I guess we’ll see what happens – no sense in worrying now!

One change is that I’ve decided to take a taxi from the airport. Since I forgot my ecopass the Sky Ride would cost me about $13, which combined w/the hotel is $65. Taxi should be $89 or so, so for 24 bucks I sleep in my own bed. I had thought that I would prefer to sleep a full night with no interruptions, but it turns out I really just want to see my little boy. And wife, obviously, but I really want to give Nathaniel a big hug and kiss.

Climbed to the top of MP mountain today. It was really amazing up there, and of course the beautiful weather helped :). Fortunately there’s been really great weather this whole trip. I think of that as another sign of me doing the right thing.

I took several panoramic shots, and did a video of Daddasaurus for Nathaniel. I was assisted by my expert videographer, Cesar, who I met at the peak. He works for the park and we had a really great conversation. He explained a lot about Machu Picchu and I taught him how to say some things he wanted to know in English.

Riding the train I can’t help but think about the girls. They’re probably already in Cuzco, so that’s good, but I miss their smiles and conversation. Sometimes I just sat and listened as they spoke to each other – it’s very melodic, that Spanish from Spain.

After a decent amount of time on the peak I said goodbye and headed back down. The trail was very steep and almost entirely steps. Small steps. Especially for someone with feet like mine.

I headed off to the Sun Gate (Intipunku) but I don’t think I ever intended to get there. I stopped about a quarter of the way there at a large piece of bedrock that was pretty clearly a sacred place of some sort. I can’t tell you much other than that it made me feel safe, quiet, and – full? Solid? It’s hard to describe.

I sat in front of it and meditated for a while. I felt as if something around my head (maybe I still felt my hat) was pulling it back. I kept letting my head tilt back until it was all it would go, then I opened my eyes and saw a face I had been certain would be there.

I took a picture (though I had left all my things outside out of respect) and, though I’m a little ashamed to admit it, I broke off a piece of the rock.

I can’t decide why, but I think it was the right thing to do.

Peru – 02/01/12 (Day 11) – 07:30am

Today is my final full day in Peru. I have one final trek to make – the peak of Machu Picchu. I’ll be leaving some stuff at the hostel, including this notebook, to keep my pack a little lighter.

The weather has been pretty great so hopefully it will keep up. Yesterday my socks dried pretty well, so I finally have a new pair on. I also noticed that they all smell like cat pee, which makes me think that in either Yanama or Colpapampa my boots made a new friend when they stayed out. There was a friendly black cat @Colpapampa, so I guess that’s likely the answer.

White vinegar boot bath time!

Ok well, I guess this is “so long” until I get back!

…Maybe I’ll spot a wild Daddasaurus at the peak…