Peru: Road from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo via Santa Teresa

After we visited the incredible citadel of Machu Pichu, we took a very leisurely walk along the Hidroelectrica train tracks, leading to Santa Teresa. I was nervous about this part of the trip, because we didn’t really know what we were talking into, as there wasn’t much information on the internet about the trail. It turned out to be one of our FAVORITE parts of the entire trip!

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To access the trail from Aguas Calientes, you have to walk out of the town, following the river, towards the trail that will take you up to Machu Pichu. You will come to a bridge that the buses carrying passengers up to MP cross and instead of crossing the bridge, you go slightly to the right and keep following the trail down. You will see many people coming from that direction. After that, it’s pretty much a straight walk. There is a well established foot path alongside the tracks for walkers.

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Joseph and his pancho posing for the picture

 

We started the walk around 2 pm and we arrived at Hidroelectrica around 5 pm, with a 30 min stop for lunch. Total time : 3 hours 


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There are numerous places along the trail where you can stop to eat. Locals have set up stands where you can purchase waters, drinks, food, fruits etc. We stopped at Mama Angelica , part of Los Jardines de Mandor, and had a meal for 15 soles ( about $5) per person. You will undoubtedly find more inexpensive options along the way, but we wanted to stop at this historic site and were not disappointed!

 

After lunch, we continued walking a long the path, breathing in the forest and springs coming down the mountain. It’s a flat walk and very enjoyable. There are parts where the pedestrian path merges with the railroad tracks but it is not as issue, because the trains goes by every 30 mins or so and you can hear the whistle before they get close.

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My favorite part about this trail were the streams. Praise to the Spirits of this forest.

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Just look…

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The river too, was a being of immense force

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The trail is very well marked near the exit and you follow the signs to the Hidroelectrica Station. You cross over the tracks, go down a hill and reach a clearing where there are shop stalls and taxis waiting. From hidroelectrica we took a shared taxi to town. It was 20 soles for 2 people for a 15 min ride, which we thought was very expensive but it was 5pm and we were tired so we did not negotiate. (The prices for taxis in Santa Teresa were higher than anywhere else during our travel, perhaps due to limited supply and monopoly.)


Taxi took us to EcoQuechua Lodge, another incredible place of beauty. Cost for one night was $58 USD for a private bed and bathroom, including FRESH, MADE TO ORDER ORGANIC BREAKFAST! Well worth it. The lodge restaurant also serves a dinner until 8 pm, which is recommended over going into town at night. We did not do that and Joseph had more excitement than he bargained for, though we had a good meal. If you do go into town at night, take a flashlight ( and maybe pocket knife) as there are stray dogs and it’s a bit of a dodgy walk before you get to the town center. We slept listening to the river.

We woke up in the morning in what felt like paradise.

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Rain soaked green foliage, a river running strong, clouds wafting through the green mountains…una experiencia inolvidable ! From the lodge, we took a collectivo in the morning that took us to Santa Maria and from there another collectivo to Ollantaytambo. Along with a breathtaking view this road is windy , and had huge drops but being from Colorado, it really didn’t bother us. Plus there were waterfalls coming down to the road which was delightful!

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And once we crossed over the valley, the views and scenery were truly out of this world.

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A very memorable trip for sure!

and some good advice…

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Sweet Potato Salmon Salad

This is my first time ever writing down a recipe to share so please bear with me.

I rarely use measurements when I cook. I usually eye-ball, taste, and adjust accordingly
because that’s the way I saw my mother and grandmother do it and they are some of the best cooks I know. So, my apologizes to anyone who is looking for exact measurements. You won’t get them here. If you are okay with that, let’s get started.


There are 3 essential components to this salad

+ Sweet Potato Salmon patties

+ The raw veggies for the salad

+ the honey mustard dressing


Sweet Potato Salmon Cakes 


Ingredients:

  • Wild Salmon ( can use fresh or canned)
  • White Japanese sweet potato ( can substitute a different kind)
  • 1 bunch of scallions
  • Handful of cilantro leaves + stem
  • Ginger + Garlic Paste ( can sub powder)
  • Spices mix : turmeric, coriander, paprika/cayenne, salt and black pepper
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil / Avocado Oil

Method:

– If using fresh salmon, first cook the salmon. I simply threw it in the oven ( 385 F)  with a little bit of soy sauce, rice vinegar and garlic powder. Let cool 5 mins. If using canned, no need to do anything with it just yet.

– Peel, cut up and boil the sweet potatoes. Drain + let cool 5 mins.

– dice scallions and cilantro

– In a mixing bowl add : cooked ( or canned) salmon and break it up with a fork, be sure to remove any bones ; add sweet potatoes, a dash of oil and all the spices and herbs. Mash it all together. Make little balls or patties with the mixture.

– Heat non-stick/cast iron skillet and add oil of choice.  I  prefer Avocado Oil. Test to make sure oil is hot enough and start to put the patties into the skillet. Brown both sides. About 3-4 mins each side. Set aside for assembly.


Slaw Salad


Ingredients:

  • Red Cabbage
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Carrots
  • Broccoli

Method:

– cut up all the veggies like you would for a slaw.


Garlic Honey Mustard Dressing


I LOVE this dressing.

Ingredients:

  • Chopped RAW garlic ( this is ESSENTIAL)
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Lemon Juice
  • RAW honey
  • Yellow Mustard
  • Salt + Pepper

Method: Add olive oil to the chopped garlic, and mix it well. Add honey, mustard, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Taste and adjust accordingly to preference.


Assemble the Salad.

First the slaw. then the salmon patties, and dressing drizzled on top.

Enjoy!

You are the bud too.

Period to speed up growth. Bring up the seeds put forth and grow. In all directions like the blossoming of the the most sacred flower bud. You are the bud too.

School of healing
Massage
Nutrition
Business
Movement workout
Yoga
Martial arts
Dancing
Singing
Hiking
ya
Wilderness appreciation and skills
Family time
Joy of being
Happiness
Self growth
Explosion
All happening
At once
By working on each at a time
Time time time
Create it
Speed it up
Accelerate growth
Doing
Being
Outer and inner merging
Towards completion
Jaguar spirit
Ready to move
To pounce
To conquer the middle world of life
el todo mundi

Summer vibes
Middle life

Adulthood is when you no longer wish to be a child but embrace the joy and responsibility that is yours as a full being of expression experiencing life in spectacular ways.

Facing challenges
Head on
Challenge after challenge
After challenge
After challenge
And then some more
Constant
Puzzle pieces
Solve them
Move on
Don’t and you get struck moving around in circles

If it keeps coming back, ask why?
What is there to learn what is it saying
If you want to overcome it, ask how?
And you’ll see

Speed up
Raise up
Step up
Warrior mentality
2nd wave
Redefining
Raising
Monumental capability
Doing the work
Steadfast
Consistently
Work work work
Work work

Work the fields
Work the hand
Work the land
Work the heart
Water the seeds
Give them light
Watch them grow.

March 11. 2018
Lima, Peru
3:36 am

France: Flowers on a rainy day in Paris

It is difficult to compare any other experience to a day in Paris.

Except perhaps, a rainy day , in Paris.

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It rained for a couple days on and off, during our week in Paris, and each day was magical. It is just something about the city, her presence, her spirit is present in everything, from the art on the walls, the layout of the city, the architecture, the sights, the smells, the careful, loving attention to detail and beauty. Oh the beauty!…

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Our Airbnb host had very tastefully decorated her apartment, including the patio balcony, where amid concrete roofs and buildings, she created a paradise filled with trees, plants and flowers. On the eve of our departure day, it rained beautifully so we mostly stayed in, enjoying our last night in Paris. The flowers on this day were just so exquisite, I stood outside for 30 mins in the rain getting their pictures so I would forever be reminded of them. It is my hope that I am able to capture and share with you their beautiful essence.

 

Some are blurry because the rain was covering the screen of my smart phone faster than I could wipe it off!

 

 

Sending you loving flower vibes,                                                                                                                                                                  Nisha.