Peru wedding and honeymoon, 1999. Seattle reception, 2000.
After spending a couple wonderful days at Machu Picchu, we boarded the train for Ollantaytambo. We stayed at the Hostal Las Orquideas, our home until the day of our wedding, December 31, 1999. The lodging was close to the center of town, had very comfortable rooms, a garden full of picaflors (hummingbirds), a resident puppy in the yard, friendly management, and a not-so-friendly giant spider that took a chomp of Richard's shoulder (he can now hang from the ceiling). Fernando met us at our room and had our wedding attire for us to try on. Surprisingly, there were no problems anywhere. He left us on our own, and we set out to explore the village.
We decided to go white river rafting during our second day in Ollantaytambo. Pepe was our guide. Surprisingly, we did not meet many Peruanos with Latino sounding names. We played hackysack with Ludwig and Anderson. Darwin is writing a book on Machu Picchu. Percy works at Andean Adventures. Pepe, however, is an expert on the river and led the adventure with confidence. The stretch of Urumbamba River we were on had Class 3 and 4 rapids. At one point, we had to perform a river rescue in the midst of some of the rapids. A man who had fallen overboard from another raft. Such excitement!
We had a day to relax and prepare for the big day, which we spent reading and making pressed tin ornaments. We splurged on dinner and ate at a rather eclectic restaurant. The owner was born in Greece and spent a decade in New York. She made us a flavorful Mediterranean plate while we helped watch her son Ollantaye. We headed back to the hotel under an amazing show of stars in the sky above. We couldn't find anyone to help us locate the Southern Cross. We spent the rest of the evening talking travels with a former Microsoft employee who sang the praises of Puapa New Guinea - maybe that will be our destination for a future exotic anniversary celebration.
Late the next morning, we loaded our stuff into the bus bound to Willoc, the site of our wedding. We traveled the non-paved road 19 kilometers up along a narrow canyon lined with ancient agricultural terraces on the hillsides. Willoc was a wonderful, out-of-the-way place to have the ceremony. You can click on the pictures to read more about the wedding.
We would like to extend our appreciation to Paul and Dolly at Amazonia Expeditions located in Florida, Fernando, Percy and Raul at Andean Adventures in Peru, and our hosts in Willoc for setting up our wedding and other aspects of our trip. We both highly recommend the Sacred Valley region of Peru. We definitely want to go back and see the Amazon Basin region of Peru in the future.