Friday, June 26, 2009

Peru Photo Gallery

Hopefully this works, the link below should take you to different albums we are posting of Peru. They are unedited and I must let everyone know the Machu Pichu photos were all taken with a wide angle lense, I am not really that wide!
Currently I am in Arequipa getting ready to take a tour of Colca Canyon and see the Andean Condors for the next 2 days. If these albums work correctly you will click on one of the pictures and see either the Museum of Archeology, City of Lima, Pisaq, Machu Pichu,Cusco, Arequipa and CaƱon de Colca. When I get home I´ll work on editing and eliminating some of the unnecessary ones and write a description of what you are seeing. ENJOY, I sure am!!!
When you are in the album, the bottom right hand corner is a square with an arrow and if you click on it the pictures will be full screen size.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Machu Picchu

Where do I start, how can you describe the incredible beauty of an ancient Inca Machu Picchu surrounded by snow capped Andes Mts.? Jacob and I awoke early to catch the bus at 5:15 from Agua Calientes to Machu Picchu. As we ascended into the ruins you were met with the breathtaking site of terraced ruins , rock walls and structures indicating a whole society had lived there. There were houses, temples, storage houses, water systems and grazing llamas. Your imagination of a time past came alive as you absorbed the magnificence of Machu Picchu . We spent 8 hours walking up rock steps that Inca´s had cut from the stone and then used in the late 1400´s. We saw their temple, the area where they sacrificed llamas and guinea pig, their amazing architectural and rock cutting skills, we saw wild chinchillas, we saw where a society of Inca´s lived. Absolutely amazing and I believe we took over 400 pictures and hopefully I´ll post a few before I finish this entry.
We explored Machu Picchu for a couple of hours by ourselves and then had a three hour guided tour. Because of a train strike no tourists could get up to the ruins unless they got to Agua Calientes yesterday so there were probably less than 400 tourists exploring the area compared to a usual 1600 tourists.After our guided tour we rested on an ancient wall as llamas grazed no more than four feet from me.
My new knee and arthritic foot held out well and I didn´t miss anything at Machu Picchu, I climbed up and down every path there was, sometimes a little slower than others but I did it and I was amazed at how good a shape I seemed to be in having no problem with all the exertion and the altitude.(maybe my rail walking helped)
I am so thankful God has given me this opportunity to explore another part of his world and to share this experience with my son, Jacob.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Agua Calientes in Peru

Peruvian children in Pisaq

Standing by a ruin as our van is being repaired

I am currently sitting in an Internet Cafe in Agua Calientes at the base of Machu Pichu. Beautiful Andes mts. surround me, the air is clear and cool. Jacob is working at the computer next to me and all is well. Yesterday was another story . It started by us scheduling through a travel agency a 7 hour bus drive to a train station where you were then transported to Agua Calientes and after spending a night there you took a bus up to Machu Picdhu. Well, this was no ordinairy bus ride, we traveled through steep rocky dirt roads overlooking a deep canyon where there wasn´t enough room for 2 vehicles to pass. We passed through little towns with markets , children playing and many Peruvian´s in their native dress, you knew you were in a foreign country. After many bumpy areas in an van filled with 8 people our van broke down.... the driver sawed a piece of wood and put it somewhere up in the axle area? YIKES!!! It took him an hour or so and we knew our schedule was tight, he kept trying to call because he needed to purchase our train tickets for Agua Caliente. When we arrived in the town that those tickets were to be purchased the station was closed, we had a flat tire and things weren´t looking good. When we arrived at the train station we were told the train was full and that we would have to walk along the train tracks to Agua Calientes, we were told it was a short 1-2 hour walk.....(that is definitely not true if you are almost 55, had a knee replacement 6 months ago and have had foot and ankle repairs) .
Well, I will leave out a lot of the details as Jacob tried to get me on that train , we were so frustrated with the travel agency arrangements but because of our van breaking down twice we all missed the bus and began walking down the tracks at around 4:45 PM. Jacob and I laughed and talked as we started on our ¨"Adventure" carrying our back packs and all our possessions (I have some great pictures I will post later). Two hours into the hike I was beginning to tire but surely we were almost there but by now it was also pitch black!!! Let me tell you, walking rocky railroad tracks in the dark with knee and ankle problems wasn´t fun but luckily we had headlamps to give us a little light on the track if you constantly looked down.
OK, now imagine it is dark and we are in the middle of the Peruvian Jungle all by ourselves.... fireflies, birds making noises... beautiful but I hadn´t eaten since 7 that morning other than some soda crackers. To make a long story a little shorter we arrived in Caliente Aguas at a little before 9PM having walked over 7 miles, yes that little walk on the tracks was SEVEN MILES in the pitch black jungle. I only fell once and when we finally reached Agua Calientes I began sobbing. Exhausted and frustrated but oh so glad it was over. A travel agent came and met us and we arranged to stay another night so we could rest today before climbing Machu Picdhu and take the train back to Cusco Wed. evening , no more dangerous bus rides over rocky roads overlooking deep canyons .
My knee is doing great but my foot and hip is really sore today. Jacob is a loving , concerned son who is taking fantastic care of his Mom, this is such a special trip and I will try to keep updating and should be able to post pictures soon.
I will be ready for Machu Pichu tomorrow!!! This adventure to Machu Picdhu has been a dream of mine for many years. Hopefully the soreness will lessen and I will have another night of sleep and be ready. I have so much to share about this trip but this was quite the adventure yesterday!!

Walking the tracks

Starting to get dark walking the tracks to Agua Calientes

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Peru Here I Come

As I sit here entering this blog my husband is irritated that I'm not packing for my departure to Peru this evening. However, since I probably won't be updating till I get back I'm going to blog about why I'm so excited to be leaving on my trip and why I wouldn't let myself get to excited till yesterday.

It all started 2 weeks ago when I was sitting on the couch reading emails from my iphone when I noticed I felt really strange and then when I felt my chest I could tell my heart was really beating fast. I woke Brad up and placed his hand over my heart and he sat upright and said "You are going to the ER!". Now, I had no pain, no shortness of breath but I couldn't even count my heart rate because it was so fast. When I got to the hospital they pretty much checked my BP and heart rate and whisked me back, started IV, EKG, monitors, drew blood and had about 6 people were scurrying around my bed and the doctor said I was having Supra ventricular Tachycardia. They even had the defibrillator ready to use. The doctor placed a bag of ice on my face with no results so he began carotid massage ( MY HEART RATE WAS 194) with no results so he said to just bear down as if having a baby. Well... that did the trick and slowly my heart rate lowered to the 90's. After some observation they let me go home with instructions to see a cardiologist the next morning. I saw the cardiologist and he kept telling me what a high risk person I was and I could have heart block or kidney block or etc.... HE TERRIFIED ME!! He ordered labs, x-ray, echocardiogram and a Thallium Stress Test. I asked if these could all be done within 2 weeks because I had plans to leave for Peru.

Yesterday I had my last test and spoke with the doctor. He was much more pleasant this visit and he looked over my results and said, "Have a nice trip". AHHHHH what relief, nothing was abnormal and he decreased my medication and said everything checked out fine.

So you see, I couldn't get real excited about the trip till I had the final OK from the doctor because I sure didn't want to be in some foreign country with medical issues. Pray for me, pray for Jacob, we are going to have a BLAST!!! I leave today and return very late on July 3.

Sunday, June 14, 2009


I was very proud to attend the graduation of my youngest son, Kurt Preston Thompson this week from CSUB with a BA in Child Adolescent and Family Studies and his wife, Alisha Siusan Thompson with a BA in Liberal Studies. Kurt received his diploma in March but walked on Friday in the ceremony. Alisha was amazing taking a full load this past quarter along with giving birth to little Zoe and yet she completed her classes and became the first person on either side of her family to graduate from college!! CONGRATULATIONS ON A JOB WELL DONE


Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Disneyland with Aubrey

I spent Sunday at Disneyland with Justin, Barbie and Aubrey. We had a great time with good weather, minimal crowds and lots of excitement. Aubrey wanted to ride the rides with me and was so very happy to share Disneyland with me. We rode the carousel several times, Dumbo, roller coasters, Matterhorn and even visited the California Park for a couple of hours. I must say, Aubrey is an "adrenaline junky" because she was game for any ride. I'm sure the Matterhorn was a little scarey but she had her arms up and had a great time. We also went on this huge Ferris Wheel where the cars slide and swing as it goes around. Some of the pictures will show that it took us by surprise but Aubrey's concern was that her "Baby Minnie" was ok. LOL!! We had a great time and were totally exhausted by the time we got back to the hotel. I had to cut my trip short and come home the next morning but Justin, Barbie and Aubrey are still there as I write this.

I got very few pictures. We lugged this huge camera around but I had the wrong lense on it and it was such an effort to get it out I sometimes took some pictures with my iphone.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Thompson Girls

Aubrey loves to come to Grandma's as now I'm accumulating lots of fun activities. I got a table and chairs and an art easel at IKEA a couple of weeks ago so now the attraction is to paint, use chalk and markers, have tea parties, take care of her babies and just about everything a little girl likes to do

Zoe , although not old enough to join the fun is growing and becoming more interactive. It won't be long till she and Aubrey can sit at the table and have a tea party together. I'm loving GIRLS!! # 3 grandchild is on the way and I'm willing to tackle a boy again or add to the granddaughter numbers all I want is a healthy baby and an easy pregnancy for Barbie. It is so exciting to know that the family is growing again!!!