Tag Archives: Woman

For Your Eyes Only – Journey In Peru

My story ‘Journey in Peru’ is coming to an end. If you think the ending was a simple matter of getting a taxi to airport and flying straight to Ireland, well no, the journey’s end had even more adventure to be lived.

Journey In Peru Book Coming Soon

Journey In Peru Book Coming Soon

 

Journey In Peru - Available Soon

Journey In Peru – Available Soon

Soon I will be publishing my story in its entirety, available for purchase through on-line stores and my websites.

This will serve as a forerunner and introductory to my first novel once published, which details the adventures of fictional character Kitty Clinch in Peru, that damsel who lured me to Peru a second time.

Journey In Peru - Mini Novel

Journey In Peru – Mini Novel

Thank you once again for reading and especially those of you who showed appreciation through comments and ‘likes’. I have received the highest praise a writer could wish for, from readers who contacted me in person to say exactly how my story made them feel. This is the ultimate reward for a writer, and especially one who has arrived late in years to this wonderful art form of expression through words.

Machu Picchu - Journey In Peru

Machu Picchu – Journey In Peru

You can sign up for the final posts (installments) of ‘Journey In Peru’ by entering your email address in the space provided either to the right side of this page (if you are using PC) or at the very bottom of the post (if using mobile phone). The ‘follow’ (subscribe) form is also found on the Home page and the ‘About’ section. All set for the ending of ‘Journey In Peru’!

Journey In Peru - Available soon

Journey In Peru – Available soon

©Caroline Cunningham Author of Wild Star Landing (Blog)

 

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One Direction – Journey In Peru

I said goodbye to my companions who had travelled with me from Ollantaytambo. They were heading straight to Lima from Cuzco airport. We kept in touch by text until they stepped aboard their plane.

On my final night I treated myself to a room in what was considered to be a posh hotel in Cuzco. My companions told me it was the chain in which ‘One Direction’ (band) had stayed when touring Lima. The room I was shown however, had a dismal view of an internal concrete chamber. I enquired if there could be another option available. The staff were reassuring and asked if I could wait twenty minutes. I was astounded by the outcome after being escorted to my room. I had been given the Presidential Suite with a view of the entire Plaza De Armas of Cuzco!

Plaza De Armas Cuzco Peru

Plaza De Armas Cuzco Peru

I was so thrilled I took photos of the room and sent them to my friends saying ‘I think I’m ‘One Direction’!’ As I sat in amazement looking out the window at the stunning view of the Inca capital my brain grappled with the reward it was receiving.

Cuzco City Peru

Cuzco City Peru

I most definitely had been lured by some other-worldly force, to visit this country of Peru. I had written uncontrollably from the moment of my first arrival, the year previous to this, completing my first ever novel. I had subsequently stepped into the pages of my own book, having created a curiosity in terms of a sequel.

Fact and fiction had become inter-twined. I yearned, as much as Kitty Clinch or any other fictional character, for an adventure of my own. What makes a heroine? Is it the things she would do for love, real love? And does anyone on this planet know what that truly is? I can safely say there are a great many people, men as well as women, aching to know the answer to this question. And of the love that lies within, can it ever find you, if you feign defeat against the haunting conflict of your past?

Journey In Peru

Journey In Peru

The view from my presidential suite pulsed with a sensation of terrific reality. Was I proud of Kitty Clinch or was it that she was proud of me? For four months I had observed her whilst sitting at a tiny desk in my rented bedroom in Dublin, with a hot water bottle on my lap and the cold breeze nipping at my fingers as I typed beside a draughty window.

Cuzco Capital Of The Incas

Cuzco Capital Of The Incas

Incredibly, this character had inspired me to arrive at this grand position of observation. The whole city of Cuzco was spread out before my eyes. Christ stood, with outstretched arms, between the elevated Inca temples of the Sun and the Moon. The memories of my visits to both of these locations were cancelling each other out with the intensity of opposite emotions. I felt like an Inca Chief standing there and I’m proud to be the teller of the tale.

Christ in Cuzco

Christ in Cuzco

Journey In Peru

Journey In Peru

© Caroline Cunningham Author of Wild Star Landing (Blog)

Dear Reader,

I am preparing to publish my blog as a mini-novel and introduction to my original novel inspired by my first Journey In Peru. I am really grateful to the readers who have taken time to ‘like’ my posts and especially those who have contacted me tell me how much they have enjoyed my writing. Your comments are very much appreciated. If you are interested in purchasing a copy of ‘Journey In Peru’ please stay tuned in the coming weeks and all will be revealed.

Kind regards,

Kitty Clinch (oops!) Caroline Cunningham

Muy Peligro Motorbike – Journey In Peru

My friends were dying to see my photos of Machu Picchu. I had done the rounds with my PC ending up at The Coffee Tree with Alex. Only a few remaining days I would have amongst my Peruvian family. It was hitting me hard. I came, an unfamiliar person, to this town and country, and within two months it had attached its tendrils to the heart of me.

It was quiet in The Coffee Tree that afternoon. Alex started telling me about a festival in Patacancha. It was a place in the mountains, a half hour drive from Ollantaytambo. ‘Quires ir?’ he asked. ‘Ahora?’ I replied. He nodded, yes, meaning he was prepared to go straight away. I was curious. How would we get there? Who would mind the Coffee Tree? He planned to go there on his motor bike and the cafe would close for the afternoon.

MaPi - Machu Picchu

MaPi – Machu Picchu

There was only one other time I ever saw the closing of the Coffee Tree, it was the day all the people from Calca returned to their hometown for the celebration of a religious festival. I shook my head. It was appealing but I didn’t fancy risking the journey on a motorbike. Alex sent Maria to enquire about the availability of a car. She returned minutes later saying ‘no hay’. Alex decided he would need to check for himself. He insisted that he would find someone with a car to take us there.

Ollantaytambo Peru

Ollantaytambo Peru

I needed to return to my lodgings with my PC and take a jacket, so we agreed to meet around the corner outside Worlds Coffee (cafe) in ten minutes. When I arrived there, Alex and Maria were waiting alongside the motorbike. There was no car available.

I was shaking my head about the proposition of going on the motorbike. We had no helmets, no protective gear at all and my head was still sore from the blow I received from the rock at Machu Picchu only the day before. I was feeling wounded and unwilling to risk further disaster. ‘Muy peligro, muy peligro!!’ I kept repeating over and over.

Julio, Alex’s brother and owner of World’s Coffee had stepped out to observe our situation. Alex dug inside his pocket and produced his driver’s licence to me. Perhaps he was offended that I was so distrusting but I could not allay my fears just then. Julio did his best to encourage me but I wasn’t having any of it.

Alex was talking rapidly in Spanish. I could no longer understand him. He went into the shop next door to find Hoowert who spoke excellently in English. Hoowert listened to Alex and heard my complaint. My good friend turned to me and said in English, ‘Caroline, you need adventure in your life, you should go!’ I heard him well. He was right. I needed adventure. I was about to leave this fantastic country very soon and I had not ventured very far from the little town which I had made my home.

The Road to Cuzco from through The Sacred Valley Peru

The Road to Cuzco from through The Sacred Valley Peru

There were many sites worthy of a visit, many trails worth climbing and exploring, much for an adventurer to achieve but I had had very different agenda for my visit and my funds were limited, so, apart from trips to Cuzco and Machu Picchu I had restricted my opportunity in many ways.

I took Hoowert’s good advice and sat on the motorbike between Alex and Maria. Off we set, me stating my wishes that we would go slowly and reminding Alex that further up the road there was an un-covered chamber, quite sizeable, which he must avoid.

Ollantaytambo Peru

Ollantaytambo Peru

Soon I realised I could relax. My friend, who loves fast music and fun had much sense in his driving. It was uphill all the way, gradually at first and then much steeper as the bends became more acute and winding. We passed farmers walking along the road with shovels upon their shoulders and donkeys or cows before them. A dog chased us as we passed one household and it had great fun nipping at our ankles. The Patacancha River flowed vigorously from the mountain as we climbed and the air got steadily cooler. As we came nearer to our destination there were hints of wet snow pitting in our faces. The week of unexpected rain had brought a sudden chill to the area and in higher parts it was more apparent.

Patacancha River Ollantataytambo Train Station

Patacancha River Ollantataytambo Train Station

The journey was much longer than anticipated and I realised afterwards why the drivers of the cars may have been unwilling to take us to this place. Within fifty minutes or thereabouts, we arrived at the village of Patacancha.

©Caroline Cunningham Author Of Wild Star Landing

 

Best Travel Blog (Personal) 2015 Irish Blog Awards

Best Travel Blog (Personal) 2015 Irish Blog Awards

Best Blog Article in 2015 Irish Blog Awards (The Silent Sun)

Best Blog Article in 2015 Irish Blog Awards (The Silent Sun)

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Machu Picchu Strikes A Blow – Journey In Peru

At 4.15am, Henry, in his sleepy state, unlocked the door and wished me well for my trip. I stepped into the darkness and directed myself towards the train station, hushed in silence, passing other moving bodies along the way.

Train To Machu Picchu

Train To Machu Picchu

Train To Machu Picchu - Journey In Peru

Train To Machu Picchu – Journey In Peru

I found my seat in the allotted carriage and watched some other passengers taking photos of each other. I had my packed lunch from the Coffee Tree and my rain coat. A week of unexpected rain had passed but the skies were not yet completely clear.

At last the train began to glide slowly through the flat floor of the valley, with the Urubamba river alongside on the left and neat, green, peaceful fields on the right. The towering mountains draped the scene and somewhere amongst them was the enshrined city of Machu Picchu or ‘MaPi’ as it was affectionately known by local Peruvians.

Early Morning Aguas Calientes Peru

Early Morning Aguas Calientes Peru

I arrived in Machu Picchu town, (also known as Aguas Calientes) at 6a.m. It was much quieter than I had expected, based on my visit the previous year as part of a holiday tour. The air was slightly warmer than that of Ollantaytambo, perhaps due to the lower altitude and jungle terrain. There was a sweet floral perfume in the air and clumps of mist were visible not far above. The mountain was at its closest. Looking upwards you could not detect its beginnings.

Machu Picchu Aguas Calientes Peru

Machu Picchu Aguas Calientes Peru

Without waiting further I crossed a wooden bridge and found the place to purchase my ticket for the mini-bus that would take me to the entrance of the Inca citadel. An elderly Peruvian woman in modest attire boarded and sat near me at the back of the bus. She was solemn in her silence, she too was taking pilgrimage.

Machu Picchu Entrance

Machu Picchu Entrance

My anticipation heighted as the bus rounded the sharp steep bends delivering me to the top of the mountain. Once my passport was checked I made my entrance. I went without the services of a tour guide this time. I decided to explore the path to the Sun Gate ‘Inti Punku’ instead. I passed the signs hailing the work of Hiram Bingham, the explorer credited with exposing the ‘Lost Inca City’ and found the path to Inti Punku.

Along the Inca Path Machu Picchu Peru

Along the Inca Path Machu Picchu Peru

My rain coat kept out the clinging mist as I took care on the stone path which was wet and slippy. Even at close range the glory of Machu Picchu was at this hour unrevealed. I decided not to look behind until I reached Inti Punku, hoping the skies would clear by then. The walk was longer than I had anticipated, at least an hour. I met very few travellers on the path. I stopped sometimes to observe cute little birds, lamas, beautiful orchids and trees.

Llamas at Machu Picchu

Llamas at Machu Picchu

Llamas at Machu Picchu

Llamas at Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu Flora

Machu Picchu Flora

Birds at Machu Picchu

Birds at Machu Picchu

Mach Picchu Nature and Hertiage

Mach Picchu Nature and Hertiage

At last, in the distance, was the platform of the Sun Gate, the entrance to Machu Picchu for those arriving from the Inca Trail. The path was steeper there so I stopped briefly for a break and to adjust my attire. What happened next was sudden and shocking. I banged my head off a piece of rock jutting out just before me. I’m baffled as to how I didn’t notice it, being so large, but I suppose I had been watching the stones beneath my feet rather than above and my range of vision had been hampered by the hood of my rain jacket.

Mind The Rock - Machu Picchu

Mind The Rock – Machu Picchu

Winding Road to Inca Citadel as seen from Sun Gate

Winding Road to Inca Citadel as seen from Sun Gate

Misty Morning at Machu Picchu - View from Inti Punku

Misty Morning at Machu Picchu – View from Inti Punku

For some minutes I was dazed. Apart from the physical smart of the impact, the emotional hurt that it triggered went far deeper. Every wrong-doing against my being sprang forth with a vengeance to taunt me. How could a sacred mountain, a world wonder, do this to me? After all the trials and tribulations I had come through, this visit was to be the souls caress, a memory to cherish in times of future trials. The Inca’s were regarded as a genius race. Which genius amongst them had considered the placement of this particular rock, which caused me such pain?

I wiped tears from my eyes and grappled with the shock of it. With weaker steps I climbed to the Sun Gate. A guard was standing there, a Peruvian man whose job is it to ensure that people respect the rules of preservation. I was concerned about the blow to my head in case of concussion later on and being conscious of the long walk I would probably make alone back to the citadel. I debated telling the guard about my accident, fearful that, if I needed medical attention I might be stretchered off the mountain and completely miss out on the day’s adventure.

Approaching Machu Picchu Citadel from Inti Punku

Approaching Machu Picchu Citadel from Inti Punku

He must have sensed my apprehension as he approached me and enquired if I was OK. He spoke to me in Spanish. I attempted to tell him about my accident but I didn’t know all the words to describe accurately what had happened. I relied on actions and words that implied ‘sore head’. He didn’t understand me. I got a little upset and had to walk away until my frustration subsided.

Eventually he came and stood beside me once more, He offered me his biscuits and chatted to me. He talked about the Inca Trail and told me he had spotted a bear in this particular spot earlier that year. He asked me where I was from and about my travels and was curious as to how I came to be travelling alone. And most his most curious question of all ‘why aren’t you married?’!!! I

‘Because I’m an artist!’ I replied more indignantly now, getting tired of this question and assumption that being married is some kind of life aim that guarantees eternal bliss. It was not fair to say that being an artist denies a person of the ability to be married. It was perhaps more true to say ‘because I’m a woman and I’m an artist.’

Maybe I am wrong to assume that my sensitivities as a woman were common to other women. Love, in the romantic sense, was something I regarded to be so precious and rare that if I were to find it, my artistic dreams might suffer and since I had not yet developed a healthy trust for the opposite sex, I was doubly wary of wandering into that realm.

Flora at Machu Picchu

Flora at Machu Picchu

Flora at Machu Picchu

Flora at Machu Picchu

I had already been burnt from what I thought would be a simpler option. It did not matter to me if the one I loved was rich or poor so long as love was a mutual devotion. I had risked for the first time ever to see how strong I was in being true to myself and to see if love indeed could be available to me. But love was with-held and to top it all, a Sacred Mountain decided that I needed to learn some additional heart lesson by inflicting further pain upon me.

Flora at Machu Picchu

Flora at Machu Picchu

I spared the guard of my reasoning. His life was obviously a lot simpler than this, he certainly seemed content. It was best to preserve his condition.

Wild Star Landing - Journey In Peru

Wild Star Landing – Journey In Peru

The forest cloud wafted in snake like fashion above and around the citadel below. I didn’t get a clear photograph after all of that. I was keen to return to the heart of it and continue my exploration of the temples and houses and astronomy sites.

MaPi - Machu Picchu Peru

MaPi – Machu Picchu Peru

Machu Picchu Peru

Machu Picchu Peru

The sun never managed to completely wipe away the mist that day and as the ground was wet, it was necessary to keep moving. I stayed as long as possible soaking up the stillness and awesomeness of the depth of the valley below and the towering peaks that surrounded the citadel at close range.

Author Of Wild Star Landing

Author Of Wild Star Landing

Machu Picchu Peru

Machu Picchu Peru

We parted company. Despite the blow, I was grateful for the opportunity to return a second time to this spiritual place which I carry within me. And the lesson? Being too careful with my feet caused me not to look up to see the rock that was waiting for me. Or maybe I accredited too much perfection to the Inca race. They were human after all. And I got over it eventually.

Temple Of The Sun - Machu Picchu

Temple Of The Sun – Machu Picchu

Temple Of The Sun - Machu Picchu

Temple Of The Sun – Machu Picchu

Journey In Peru - Wild Star Landing

Journey In Peru – Wild Star Landing

©Caroline Cunningham Author Of Wild Star Landing (Blog)

Best Travel Blog (Personal) 2015 Irish Blog Awards

Best Travel Blog (Personal) 2015 Irish Blog Awards

 

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