We’re at Santiago International airport waiting to board our Qantas flight back to Sydney! (We don’t think anyone has ever been as excited as us to see the flying kangaroo!!) All bags have been checked in and we’re all doing last minute duty free shopping!!! hehe.. It has been an amazing 3 weeks but we’re all ready to go home!!
The pilgrims awoke on their first day in Rio feeling refreshed and ready to take on a new city, people and language. I’m kidding, we were still exhausted. But, as the ever determined pilgrims we are we waddled on to meet Brazil.
We’ve got WiFi!!! hehe.. Over the next day or so we’ll try and do a back log of posts from WYD week!! Here we go….
Today was spent flying from Cusco to Lima then onto Rio!! As we were flying over Rio we were all amazed at how beautiful the city was!
This is just a quick update to let you know that all is well in Rio!! They’ve moved the Vigil and Papal Mass to Copacabana Beach!! We’ve just arrived at the beach after a 10.5km walk from Aussie Central!!
There are no words to describe how beautiful and breathtaking Machu Picchu is! No wonder why its one of the 7 wonders of the world!!
Despite the 5.30am departure, a 2 hour bus ride to Ollantaytambo train station, a 2 hour train ride to Machu Picchu then another 30minute bus ride to the actual ruins… it was definitely worth it!!
We arrived to the ruins all super excited as we got to stamp our passports with the Machu Picchu logo!! We got abit carried away as we could stamp it ourselves and a few of us stamped it more then once!!
Our first stop was to the top of Machu Picchu (after a steep zig zag staircase which felt like death to Miss Bautista) where we got the see the ruins in all its breathtaking glory! We took several photos and some group shots which hopefully we will be able to load onto the blog very soon. But to give you an idea, it’s the same place where you see all the famous pictures of Machu Picchu amongst the clouds.
Our tour guide then continued us on and and gave us a history lesson on Machu Picchu. We found it funny how Machu Picchu was never found by the Spanish but was later discovered by American Hiram Bingham after paying a local 1 soles (the equivalent of AUD 39c) to help him get there. Mind you, 1 soles back during that time was 5 times what the average person would earn.
We then continued further around the site and explored the ruins even more. One side of Machu Picchu was warm whereas the other side was cold.. guess its the Incan equivalent of natural air conditioning!! The funniest moment would have to be when Father Peter lent forward to pat a Llama and it ended up spitting on him! (however if you ask Father Pete he said it didn’t hehe)
After 2 hours of exploring the site we made our way back down to the local town to grab a bite to eat and do some more shopping before catching our train back.
The train ride was interesting as the staff put on a fashion show for us, showcasing the latest Alpaca made designs and there was even some dancing by a man dressed up as one of the Inca leaders. Jade was too shy to dance with him so Laura took one for the team and started dancing with him. Kudos must be given to Peru Rail as the service was impeccable and both breakfast (strawberries, piklets and a spinach quiche to die for) and a snack on the way back (pizza and brownies) was so yummy!!
We finally returned back to our hotel at 7.30pm… Approximately 14 hours since we left that morning and went straight to dinner, then off to bed it was.
Everyone was super happy as Mr Corcoran told us we could all have a sleep in as breakfast was at 7.30am.
We leave Cusco tomorrow for Lima then bid farewell to Peru as we make our way to Rio de Janiero. We are set to arrive Rio at 9.45pm (Sunday 22nd). On Monday we will have the day to explore the city and its famous landmarks such as the statue of Christ the Redeemer, Sugar Loaf Mountain and Copacabana beach before WYD week officially begins on Tuesday.
As we are staying at Aussie Central at Pier Maua we don’t do expect to have much if any internet access. So if you don’t hear from us until next Monday (29th) when we arrive in Iguazu Falls please don’t worry!!
All we can say is that we are truly blessed to be part of this amazing journey. We are only a week in and we’ve seen and experienced things only in our wildest dreams. We hope and pray that our next 2 weeks are just as good, if not better. Thank you for always checking in on us, and please don’t forget that every time we walk into a church or see something breathtaking.. we’re thinking of everyone back home!!
Until our next post…. adios mi amigos y amigas!! xox
ps: we’ve finally started to pick up on the Spanish only to have to start all over again and speak Portuguese for the next week! Hehe
We are all very sorry for the late updates!!! It’s been a very busy 2 days!
We arrived in Cusco early Friday morning and straight away we could feel the altitude kick in. At 11,152ft above sea level, it was definitely the highest point anyone had ever been too!! Considering Mt Kosciuszko is Australia’s highest point and it’s only 7,310ft!!
We arrived at our hotel and somewhat felt a feeling of guilt as the hotel was amazing!!! Comfy beds, hot water, Internet access in all rooms (not just the lobby), a fireplace and super friendly staff (Luke made a new friend named Jesus who sewed his pants up for him for the bargain price of 15 soles = around $5.80). We definitely felt like tourists here and not pilgrims but I guess we couldn’t complain!! We had 2 hours to rest and settle in before going to lunch.
We had another taste of amazing Peruvian cuisine and everyone was so full after it. Following that we went to the Plaza de Armas and took many lovely photos. Some of us even bought some beautiful paintings by the local street vendor.
We then made our way to some old Inca ruins before heading to the local craft market to go shopping. We all become bargain hunters as everyone was asking for discounts and our new favourite words became “muy caro” meaning too expensive and once they finally gave in “muchas gracias señor/ señorita” hehe 🙂
After the markets we had mass in the Church Belen with Bishop Peter Comensoli and our WYD chaplains. The Church was beautiful and mass was very solemn. We have a few stories to tell about mass but we’ll save them for when we get home!
We ended the night with a late dinner then off to bed it was as we had a 5.30am pick up for Machu Picchu. It was a relaxing first day in Cusco!!!
So sorry for the late update!!
Sorry there are still technical difficulties with the photos!!!
Sorry there are still technical difficulties with the photos!!!
We miss you all!!
Due to technical difficulties we wont be able to upload any photos tonight, however we will endeavour to do so ASAP.