Friday, June 7, 2013


We spent a few days in Miami, Florida while waiting for our flight to Peru.  We had a lot of fun there and there was plenty to see and do.
 Beautiful weather the whole time.  Lots of sun.

 This is the famous South Beach part of Miami Beach.

We would take a bus from our hotel to the transit station where we could catch the commuter metrorail straight to downtown Miami.  In downtown was an automated tram called the Metromover to get around downtown.  There we signed up 48 hours on the Big Bus of Miami where you could get on and off stops as you wished.  We saw downtown Miami, Miami Beach, Coral Gables, Coconut Grove, and Little Havanna.

 Skyline of Miami.

Art deco buildings.

 Holocast memorial.

 Biltmore hotel in Coral Gables.

 Inside the Biltmore.

Statue to Christopher Columbus.

 Miami Heat Coliseum.  They were right in the middle of the NBA playoff when we were there.

My favorite place at Bayfront Park where we spent extra time in public lounge chairs enjoying the weather in nice shady breezy spots.

 We took a tour out to the Everglades to ride the airboats.

 This was our airboat to travel through the grassy everglades.

 Alligators at the park.

 Alligators in the wild.  I love alligators.

 Jacquelyn by a mango tree.

Me taking a stroll under the mangos.  I really like Florida.

Thursday, June 6, 2013


While we were on vacation we got to see several places in Peru in addition to Macchu Picchu.

 We got to see lots of llamas.

 Jacquelyn was always wanting to see and get close to the llamas.

 I think the llamas were her favorite thing on the vacation.

 We saw lots of local Peruvians in colorful dress.  They had different hats for different regions.  This was in Cusco, the ancient capital of the Incas.  We also went to Lima, Puno, Lake Titicaca, and the Sacred Valley.

 We saw a parade there one day in the streets of Cusco.

 Lots of very ornate and beautiful costumes.

 It was a big festival day.

 We saw pigs walking down the roads.  We also saw dogs running loose in all the cities we visited, even in downtown Lima.  The dogs were not wild, they were all pets.

 Two little boys in Puno, which was at the highest altitude.  I found it hard to breath when we first got there.

 A woman walking her llama in the Sacred Valley.

 We visited lots of grand cathedrals.  The Spanish built these when they came and they are still in service today and most of the people in Peru are Catholic.  We did see one Mormon church as our bus drove by a medium sized town.

 Inside the cathedrals we saw magnificent furnishing.

 A lot of the alters and statues in the churches were covered in gold leaf, which they got from melting down all the Inca statues, the gold they didn't send back to Spain.

 This is the virgin Mary.

 I think this is Michael defeating a devil.

 We also went to the floating islands on Lake Titicaca.  The natives built them out of reeds and lived on these floating islands, about 5 families to an island and a large group of islands forming a village.

 They gather and build the islands out of reeds and these are some of their boats.

 They still live on these islands today and lead a very simple life.  They have extremely long life expectancies.

 I tried one of the reeds.  Not much flavor and kind of watery.

 Me with one of the boats.

Jacquelyn by a fountain with the last Inca King overlayed with real gold.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Machu Picchu

We went to Machu Picchu in Peru for vacation.

 I'm going to show pictures of the Inca ruins in this blogs and in the next one will show pictures of some other sights we saw like llamas and cathedrals.  Here we are on top of Machu Picchu with the Inca buildings behind us on the tops of these mountains.

 In this shot you can see how perfectly the stones fit together and they were polished smooth and the corners jointed.  They didn't use any motor or cement.  This one temple was found under a monastery after an earthquake unearthed part of it untouched.  The Spanish tore down anything they found and built Catholic churches on top of the Inca sites using the Inca's stones.

 This was a temple/fortress overlooking Cusco, the Inca capital.  The Incas had an empire that spread out from that one city and was the largest all the Americas.  It extending all up and down the Pacific coast and up to the Amazon jungle.

Behind me is one of the larger stones in the front wall, which would weigh tons.  They had no machinery or iron or even horses to help haul and lift the stones.

 They built tons of terraces in the hills for farming and to preserve the land from erosion.

 Part of a temple terraces in the Sacred Valley.  They built structures every 5 hours apart (by walking) along their roads.

 This is Machu Picchu again, which was far away from Cusco in the tops of some mountains and the Spanish never did find it so it wasn't destroyed by them, just from time as it was abandoned.

 They had quite elaborate buildings here.  It was probably a citadel for learning for the noble classes.

 Looking down at some of the ruins from above.  It's quite amazing to think they built this on top of a mountain.

 Climbing some of the stairs as we explored the ruins.

 They had grass thatched roofs which are mostly gone but this one was reconstructed so you could see what it was like.

 Lots of buildings and homes and rooms.

 It was fun to wander around in the ruins.

 Here's Jacquelyn coming up a trail with Nancy.  Nancy and Jeff were from Colorado and we got to be friends with them.  They were the only other two Americans in our tour group.

 They carved two faces into the mountains across from Machu Picchu.  They looked close to as big as the ones we have at Mt. Rushmore.

 You can see some of the fields and how green it was there, even though we were way up in the mountain tops.

We had a good time together seeing the sights at Machu Picchu.