I started writing this epilogue in June 2018; somehow ten months passed by without me finishing or posting it. Much has happened since then.
The trip was wonderful; I felt that afterward and feel it still. Our experiences there linger as part of our lives even as we’ve acclimated back to regular life.
If You Go
Should you wish to make your own trip there, ours was the REI Lares Trek and we recommend it. There are many high-quality tours available; we chose this one because it offers different activity levels each day, an important consideration because of Ginger’s knees.
REI provided an excellent experience. My one gripe was that they were rather lax about food allergies. On the trips we’ve taken with Elderhostel, the level of care and attention has been exquisite: at sit-down meals, the servers are already aware of the allergy and make it a point to either have pre-prepared options or work with Ginger to identify the safe ones. Here, there was less care. Packed lunches were not adequately labeled, and hers even included one item with dairy. At the lodges they were always aware and always careful; at restaurant meals there was little help and it was often up to me, as the Spanish speaker, to work things out with the servers. We felt more than a little upset by this because Ginger’s condition is not a mere preference, it’s an allergy.
If you like to read ahead, I strongly recommend Turn Right at Machu Picchu, a delightfully quirky yet informative mix of travelogue, adventure, history and more.
If you want to spend a little more time, I even stronglier recommend the Teaching Company’s Lost Worlds of South America lectures. Cheesy title notwithstanding, this is a great course with up-to-date historical findings, useful context wherever you go in Peru, and an engaging speaker. (I own a copy and will gladly lend it to you).
I would’ve loved to spend a night at the Skylodge. We drove by them near Ollantaytambo and the setting is truly spectacular. Maybe you can include them as part of your trip.
If you’ve read any of this, thank you.