Three Wise Men to visit Peru
About this blog
3 Russell's, SR, JR, and III are heading to Peru. We have talked about doing this guy's trip for a few years, Sr turned 70 this year and it was time. This is a little slower pace than a normal roaming Russell trip but we are covering quite a bit of ground (both high and low) and air (both thick and thin).
Of the 32 climate zones on the earth Peru contains 24 and we will be passing though most of them during the next 12 days. We will be spending time in the desert, in the thin air at the top of the Andes, and down in the steamy tropical rainforest. It is summer in Peru. Since they are south of the equator, March would be like our September. It is the end of the rainy season, so we hope we have missed the rain and have some nice weather to see the sights.
Being so close to the equator, days are close to the same length all year and they do not bother with daylight savings. Coming from Texas, we will have to set our watches ahead one hour on arrival. The March 10 time change will put our clocks back in sync with home.
After an overnight flight, our trip begins in Lima, with a day of surfing and touring old town. Then we literally head up to Cusco (12,000+ feet above sea level). Next is Ollantaytambo in the sacred valley. A few days later we board the Vista Dome train to Machu Picchu, where we will stay for two days. Then go back to Cusco, to tour and river raft the Upper Urubamba River. For the last stop, we fly to Puerto Maldonado where we will go by boat down the Madre de Dios River into the Amazon Rain forest for 3 days.
Lima is known as the culinary capital of South America and food is taken very seriously in Peru. You need to find your commonalities with a new culture, so we plan to fully investigate, document, and report on the food this country is famous for. We have each come prepared with a z-Pac, ready to strike back at any food that might not agree with us.
As always, we will try to learn a few things while we are having fun. I will do my best to share a few interesting facts or humorous moments and take or borrow some photos of our adventures.
I am requiring Russell III to write and post a full blog page on any subject of his choosing during the trip. He will need to have something to show for the 3 days of missed school.
I thought I would start with a few Inca Definitions (actuallly they are Quechua, the language of the Inca) in no particular order. It is worth noting that you shoud rely on none of this information as it has been modified to suit my purposes.
The Sapa Inca ("The Great Inca"), also known as Sapa ("The Great One") was the ruler the Inca Empire Sounds a lot like my DAD, so for Purposes of the trip, SR shall be known as "SAPA STOUT".
Wawa- A baby. Russell III (Trey) will be known as the "Wandering Wawa". If he complains, this will be modified to the "Whining Wawa". When he completes his writing assignment and his blog writing proves worthy, we shall find a manly name for him but he has to earn it first.
Tocoyricoc-"He who sees all"- there were 4 in the Incan empire each in charge of running one of the 4 quarters of the Realm. Topoyricoc is my nickname for any of our tour guides (we'll have a minimum of 7 and they all get the same nickname). Hopefully, this will make it easier to keep up with them. Luckily for our local guides, none will be with us for an extended period.
Soroche- Altitude sickness. Very common is the 12,000+ altitude of Cusco and Machu Picchu
Coca leaves- Either chewed or brewed into tea by the locals. This is known as the cure for altitude sickness. They are used to make cocaine. It is said 60 cups of coco tea is the equivalent of 1 line of cocaine. They have been used for thousands of years, because in addition to helping with the Soroche, they are said to numb appetite and provide a boost of energy.
Cuy- Guinea Pig- Considered a delicacy here, back in the Incan empire only the nobles or religious leaders were allowed to eat. The cute furry pets are now available to the masses and I think their life expectancy is shorter in South America vs. North America. The Wandering Wawa has been entered into a Cuy eating contest.
Inkaterra canopy- A 100 foot high series of rope bridges, designed to give a better look at the rainforest at our hotel in the rainforest. Also the cause of many sleeepless nights for those afraid of heights. Research is being conducted for a cure for this disease with hopes a cure can be found by next week.
Bricheros/Bricheras-a local who seduces and feigns love for a tourist, traveling and mooching off them as long as it is allowed. Apparently, this is very common, so we will watch this cultural phenomenon from a distance.
Other words of interest
Tawantinsuyu- The Incan name for their empire, literally means whole of the 4 quarters of the empire. Most people in the empire would not be considered Incan just like not all Americans are Texans.
Quipus - sometimes called talking knots, were recording devices (the writing system) of the Andean culture. They were used by the Incas but there is archeological evidence of Qupia dating back to 5000BC. Quipus could be used for anything from record transactions or inventory, to passing military orders, or recording history, etc. Letters and words were represented by certain knots in the same way we use pen and paper.
Pacha- Time, Earth, Universe- Interesting because the Incas viewed these as all one thing. Cuti-change, movement, alteration. Pachaucuti- is the combination of the two words. A changing of the world, the moment when things change.
Huaca- is an object that represents something revered or holy, typically a monument of some kind.
Panaca- was a clan that honored a dead Sapa Inca. Upon his death, a Sapa Inca was mummified and the head of the clan (usually a woman) was said to be able to interpret the will of the dead Sapa Inca. This was more than spiritual because all the wealth and property of the Sapa Inca passed to the Pananca, not the heirs. This system caused each new Sapa Inca to create his own wealth, usually by expanding the empire to include more tax payers. I found this ineresting because it would be just like a modern day political or religious group forming around the mumified body of a dead president.