7 Days in Peru

My husband surprised me on Valentines with a trip to Peru, date TBD for later in the year.  My Valentines card contained a paper airplane that unfolded to a collage with the words “7 Days in Peru” across the middle.  Yippee!


I had never thought of visiting Peru but the idea of a trip together is always exciting.  So, I started researching about Peru. Ancient civilizations of the Incas, Machu Picchu, the Andes Mountains, the mountain-side pod hotel, Amazon, Ayahuasca ceremonies, the busy capital of Lima, colourful cuisine, the colonial history, and more.  What a cool place to visit!

Also, Peru suffered from devastating floods in March so we felt that our tourist dollars would be of mutual benefit.

Off we went in May!

There is so much to explore and experience in Peru but we only had one week and had to allow a few days to acclimatize to the higher altitude.


We started off in Lima, staying in the district of Miraflores.  Since we love water, we headed straight to Larcomar plaza which overlooks the Pacific Ocean.  It’s a touristy place but we were happy to chill and admire the view of the sandy + rocky beach while we recovered from the late night 8-hour flight.

We wandered along Avenida Jose Larco, the main strip of Miraflores, and strolled through Parque Kennedy where we discovered kittens peaking down at us from the trees.  There was a booth in the middle of the park promoting awareness of the feral cat colony living there and asking for donations.  I was so touched that there is a group of people caring for these feral kittens and cats, just like back home in Toronto where we have dozens and possibly hundreds of hidden feral cat colonies!


After 2 days in Lima, we flew into Cusco city, near Machu Picchu.  This is where two things hit me:

  1. My cash was missing; and
  2. Altitude sickness was kicking in.
Cash went missing with my common sense.

I realized that most of my cash was missing from my wallet.  All the big bills I was going to exchange were gone.  I felt a little sick to my stomach. I retraced my steps and suspected that the money was taken when I went for breakfast at the hotel in Miraflores.  I left the wallet in the room and was too lazy (more like worried I’d forget the PIN) to put it in the hotel room safe. That was an expensive 2-day stay at a hotel and a $600 lesson to remember my common sense.

Always take your valuables with you or secure them in the hotel room safe.

It was too late to do anything because I already checked out and flew into another city.  Fortunato, my husband had some cash (friends & family get my pun?).  I was also spared my debit and credit cards so I still had plenty of options.

While this left me feeling distrustful, I also knew I was at fault for making it so easy for would-be thieves.  Hopefully my money went to someone who needed it.  We were also fortunate that it wasn’t an armed robbery or anything like that; we were safe and sound.  I decided that I would still have a good time in Peru.

Money goes and money comes.

By a stroke of good luck, I found a roll of 60 Peruvian Soles in Cusco (about $25 CAD).  Yes! Thank you Universe!

Altitude Sickness
We went from Toronto (altitude 76m / 250ft) to Lima (1,550m / 5,080ft) to Cusco (3,300m / 10,800ft).  Later on the trip we would travel to Machu Picchu (2,450m / 8,040ft) and Rainbow Mountain (starts 4,326m / 14,190ft and peaks at 5,200m / 17,060ft).

At higher altitudes (2,400m / 8,000ft and higher), the air feels thinner because there is less oxygen.  Since we need oxygen for our muscles and organs to work, our bodies have to adjust to less fuel to do normal functions like breathing and digesting.  Different people are affected differently and it doesn’t matter what your fitness level or age is.  Symptoms of altitude sickness include headache, loss of appetite, nausea, feeling weak and dizziness.

To acclimatize, limit physical activity, limit alcohol consumption, keep meals light and drink lots of water (a source of oxygen) for the first 1 to 4 days.

Coca tea was a lifesaver for me!

The native Peruvian coca plant, has leaves that can be chewed or steeped in tea to help with altitude sickness.  I found coca leaves and coca tea everywhere – free at athe Cusco airport, free at the hotel lobby, and it can be purchased everywhere in and around Cusco.

Machu Picchu

You can’t visit Peru without seeing its world wonder, Machu Picchu!

Machu Picchu Peru

We booked our guided tour through Grayline-Viajes Pacifico.  The tour started with a 3:15am hotel pick-up.  We were driven to the Ollantaytambo train station, where we boarded an Inca Rail train (one of 3 train companies) that took us to the bottom of Machu Picchu.  Then after a short bus ride up the mountain, we arrived at the entrance of Machu Picchu around 8:30am.  The +2 hour guided tour was very informative.

Machu Picchu is a newly minted Unesco Heritage Site (2010).  It is believed to have been built by the ancient Incan civilization and abandoned during the Spanish conquest.  It was “discovered” by an American archaeologist/ historian in 1911 and even today in 2017 parts of these ruins are still being restored.  It is up in the Andes Mountains and is comprised of carefully placed stone brick single-room houses, a central ceremonial/ recreational field, and tiered agricultural sections on the mountain-side.

Wow, people in the 1400s or earlier once thrived up here!  There are so many unanswered questions about this place and its people.

Rainbow Mountain

The place we nearly died.  (To be continued…)

What your blood says about you

I heard a whisper.  Test your blood.

Just for fun, I did a live blood cell analysis.  My hero, Tony Robbins, is a big proponent of this as one way to measure your health.  We talked about it briefly when I attended his Life and Wealth Mastery program and I’ve been curious ever since.

What exactly is live blood cell analysis?

It’s a look at your red blood cells under a microscope.  Your finger gets pricked then they look at the one drop immediately.  Your red blood cells can live for about 20 minutes out of your body.

The technician analyzes the shape, colour, opacity, groupings and other details of the cells, including other substances that appear.  Are they well formed in a perfect circle or misshapen?  Are they hollow?  Are they floating freely or clumped together?  Are their smudgy substances?

The technician looks for signs of toxicity/ free-radical damage, nutrient absorption/ utilization levels, protein or bacterial debris.

After reviewing the whole red blood cells, the technician took a paperclip and scraped up the sample on the slide to break open the cells.  We took a closer look at the contents.  I didn’ ttotaly understand this part but the technician was looking for something specific, that would be obvious if present, but she didn’t find it.

Freedom Whisper

My blood looked pretty good, mostly free floating, round.  Some cells had little blotches in the middle, indicating low oxygen carrying capacity (due to low iron, low folic acid, etc.).  Apparently most of the population has inherited a gene that doesn’t absorb folic acid well so many of us are deficient.

There were also some blotches outside of the blood cells that she called protoplasts – metabolic waste or bacterial overgrowth.  Their presence indicated a need to improve bowel health.

The technician recommended some vitamin supplements, a herbal tea cleanse and for me to alkalize my diet (reduce sugar, caffeine, other acidic foods, and increase dark leafy green vegetables).  I picked up some vitamins and Udo’s oil.

I decided not to do the herbal tea cleanse.  While I do those once in a while, I don’t enjoy them and I am researching different places to do a colon hydrotherapy session instead.  Also heard of colon cleanses at Life & Wealth Mastery; it was actually a big component but I opted out since it was that time of the month and I didn’t need any more discomfort.

Gotta cut down on potato chip meals and whole chocolate bars for snacks.  What can I say, this health nut is really a closet junk food junky.  Maybe not totally in the closet – I catch myself walking down the street eating a giant bag of chips!

I’d like to try the live blood cell analysis with a different company to see if they get similar or different readings.

Next fun health to-do’s: colon hydrotherapy, find out my blood type (funny story I’ll tell you about another time) and look at a visit to Med-Can for a baseline.

Some of us falsely believe that our doctors, medical systems, the government, our families, and companies selling food products are responsible for our health.  WRONG.

Your health is up to you.  It’s your body and you have to take care of it.



Getting on the Tech Train

I’m getting back on the tech train after a long hiatus!

I’m especially thankful to Camp Tech for refreshing and teaching me technical skills.  I can’t say enough about how awesome they are.  I recently took advantage of their 20% off promo and signed up for a bunch of classes.  One of them was taught by a former employee of mine!  Grooming assistant turned marketing manager and social media instructor!

The Camp Tech classes are very helpful for beginners, super affordable and (for me) held at a convenient location.  I love the in-person aspect.

Oh, and of course Google is amazing.  Google is my trouble-shooter!  Thank you!

That’s it for now.  You’ll be hearing more from me.  Thanks for stopping by!