I am a little slow in posting this, but Eric is now a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy. He got promoted the beginning of the month. We went into the office and had a little ceremony where I got to pin on his new rank. It was very nice, because Eric's grandparents ended up being here for the ceremony, so it was nice that they could take part. Way to go Lieutenant Nelson!!
This was probably the most amazing part of our trip. We decided to backpack into Machu Picchu on the Inca Trail. It was a four day hike very strenuous hike, but completely worth it. It was by far the hardest hike I had ever done and there were times that I thought we were crazy for hiking it, but I would go back in a heartbeat and do the whole thing again. The whole trail was just up and down, with a lot more up than down. Also, in our group of 15, we and one other guy were the only ones that carried our backpacks, weighing 20 lbs. Everyone else hired someone to carry their stuff. Like I said, we had a group of 15, 2 guides that were natives, and then about 20 porters. The porters carried our tents, the food, and other equipment for our campsite. We would stop for lunch and the porters would have our dining tent and table and chairs set up, bowls of hot water for us to wash up with, and then have a gourmet meal ready. We were amazed at the food that we were served. Lunch and dinner we always started off with soup and then after the soup they would bring out 5-6 plates piled high of authentic peruvian food that was SOOOOO good. After we would eat lunch, we would start hiking and the porters would break down camp and while we were hiking, they would run pass us to beat us to the next site so they could have it all ready. They were amazing, because most of them were running in sandals!
The day we entered Machu Picchu, we started hiking at 5:30 so we could watch the sun rise at Machu Picchu, however it was foggy that day. We arrived in Machu Picchu about 7:30 and the pictures that you see don't do it justice. I can see why it is one of the 7 wonders of the world. It is spectacular and it is amazing to me that they could build it so high up in the mountains. Apparently, the Inca's left before it was finished, because there are places you can see where they didn't finish building. If you ever have the opportunity to go to Peru, you have to. We had such a memorable time. I still have a hard time believing that we got to see all that we did!
The end of September, Eric and I left for a vacation in Peru. Eric's mom came and stayed with Ethan and they had a great time. Eric and I flew into Lima and then took another flight to Cusco, Peru where we spent most of our time. Cusco is considered "the Archaeological Capital of America"; it constitutes the biggest tourist attractiveness in Peru, and the most visited one. Cusco, was the biggest city and capital of the Inca Empire and then taken by the Spanish conquerors; today it has an architecture that fuses the Inca with the Spanish style. It was such an interesting place to explore and walk around. The following slide show are pictures from our time in Cusco and soon there will be another slide show of our trek to Machu Picchu.
On Halloween, some of us from the neighborhood, dressed our kids up in their costumes and then we went to the nursing home (ironically called the Odd Fellows Home) so the kids could parade around for the residents. Most of the residents loved seeing the kids, there were a couple slumped over in their wheelchairs and I wondered if they were still alive, but everyone seemed to enjoy themselves and it was great to see the old people get so excited to see the kids. We had such a fun time and Ethan of course looked so cute, as usual!