Boomeresque:Definition
1. Adj.: Describing a person born between 1 Jan. 1946 and 31 Dec. 1964
2. Adj.: Description of a person, place or thing possessing Baby Boomer je ne sais quoi
3. See also, Boomer, Esq.: A Baby Boomer who is also a licensed attorney (See, e.g., About).

Our Peruvian Honeymoon — 1982

by Suzanne Fluhr on November 14, 2013 · 58 comments

ruins at Machu Picchu

Pretty much the same photo of Machu Picchu I saw in a National Geographic magazine as a child only I took this one myself in 1982 after the last train for Cuzco departed.

Visiting Peru was on my bucket list long before I knew there was such a thing as a bucket list. I had been wanting to go there ever since seeing a photo of Machu Picchu on the cover of a National Geographic magazine in about 1964 when I was ten.

(Back Story Confession: Steve (Mr. Excitement) and I lived together before we were married 31 or so years ago. Contrary to my grandmother’s dire prognostication, this did not cause my father to go into cardiac arrest. In fact, given the notable failure of my first marriage from ages 21 to 23, I think he was relieved to learn we were taking our relationship for a test drive.)

When Steve was a senior resident at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, we invited his team for dinner. His intern was from Peru, as was his wife. She was working as a travel agent. Bingo! God put a Peruvian travel agent in our apartment. I took this as a clear sign we were meant to  travel to Peru for our honeymoon.

This was before the internet made it possible for Baby Boomers to believe we are all travel agents. Blima (from Lima) helped us plan a two week trip that included visits to Lima (the colonial and modern day capital of Peru), Cuzco (the Incan capital at the time of the 1528-1532 Spanish conquest), the “lost” city of Machu Picchu (lost to white folks anyway) and the Peruvian Amazon region.

At the time, two airlines flew to Peru from the United States, Lan and Braniff. She recommended Braniff. Oops. Braniff went bankrupt and stopped flying half way through our trip. There was no way Blima could have known that would happen. She also could not have predicted that the Falklands War (or La Guerra de las Islas Malvinas—depending on which side you were on) would break out right before we left for South America nor that the Maoist revolutionary group, the Shining Path, would crank up their reign of terror in Peru. We were not deterred.

Due to scheduling issues for our wedding, off we went on our pre-nuptial honeymoon in May of 1982, the month before we were married. Blima suggested we stay with her family in Lima. We had never heard of “couch surfing”, so we declined and had Blima book us a hotel.

After our long flight from Philadelphia to Lima via somewhere in Texas, we arrived at our hotel exhausted and decided that the first order of business was a nap (a real nap — not a nap, wink wink). We had not been in bed for more than 20 minutes before the telephone rang. It was Blima’s mother inviting us to the family’s Mother’s Day barbecue. By the end of the afternoon, we had met Blima’s parents, her three sisters and numerous cousins, aunts and uncles. We flew to Cuzco the next day, but before we left, Blima’s mother let it be known that, of course, we would stay with them when we returned. Now that we were on a first name basis with much of the extended family, this seemed perfectly reasonable.

Little Girl and Goat outside Cuzco, Peru

This is my favorite photo from our trip. A young girl outside Cuzco, joyously carrying her kid (baby goat) on her back in her shawl.

The flight to Cuzco was scary spectacular — more through the Andes than over them. Indeed, the view out the window made it seem like our wing tip was almost scraping the mountainsides. The Incans aptly called Cuzco, the Naval of the World as it is nestled in a “bowl” surrounded by the towering peaks of the cordillera. Steve still has scars from where my nails dug into his arm as we flew over the edge of the bowl followed by a rapid descent to land. (I might be  am exaggerating a little about the scars, but I’m pretty sure I elicited an “Ouch, woman”.)

Llamas Along the Road to Saksayhuyman above Cuzco

Llamas and their herder along the road to Saksayhuyman above Cuzco.

Incan style house outside Cuzco

Incan style house outside Cuzco

I recall being in a bit of a daze during our time exploring Cuzco and the surrounding sights, including the fortress of Sacsayhauayman, the Sacred Valley of the Incas at Ollantaytambo and the market town of Pisac. At an altitude of over 11,000 feet, most sea level dwellers are likely to feel some adverse effects from the altitude. Andes dwellers call it soroche. Even though we were handed a cup of tea made from steeped coca leaves as soon as we walked into our hotel  (the local soroche remedy), we experienced altitude induced headaches and loss of appetite. I’m not retroactively sorry that these symptoms caused me to miss trying the local delicacy — grilled guinea pig — one of my childhood pets.

Ruins at Ollantaytambo in the Sacred Valley of the Incas outside Cuzco, Peru

A much younger version of moi at the ruins of Ollantaytambo in the Sacred Valley of the Incas outside Cuzco, Peru (You don’t need carbon 14 testing to date the photo. Just go by my glasses.)

The market at Pisac, a town outside Cuzco.

The market at Pisac, a town outside Cuzco. In addition to food, the market abounds with artisans and their work and there are nearby ruins.

Having read accounts of recent trips to Machu Picchu, I’m glad we went in 1982. At that time, there were only two trains a day on the narrow guage, single track railroad to Machu Picchu. One was a tourist train and the other, which made more stops, was for the locals. The construction of that rail line remains an engineering marvel. Our train had to go up switchbacks to about 15,000 feet to leave the Cuzco valley. It made its way through the Andes and along the Urubamba River.

Aguas Calientes, at the foot of Machu Picchu was not yet a developed tourist town. It was little more than a rickety train stop with one backpacker’s hostel. There was only one 40 room government run hotel up on the mountain next to the ruins. I’m very glad Blima convinced us to spend the night there.

The ruins of Machu Picchu with Huayna Picchu looming behind.

The ruins of Machu Picchu with Huayna Picchu looming behind.

Fine Incan Stone Work at Machu Picchu

An example of some of the fine Incan stonework with stones so carefully fitted that even without mortar, the remain tightly sealed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The tourist train arrived at Machu Picchu at around 11:00 a.m. and returned to Cuzco at 3:00 p.m. At that time, most visitors had to leave to catch the train, leaving us in the suddenly quiet, nearly deserted ruins. Sitting at the Sun Gate looking down on the ruins at sunset was truly magical, a sense enhanced by swirling smoke from fires lit to burn underbrush.

Machu Picchu, Peru

A smokey haze over the ruins of Machu Picchu. This photo was taken from where the Inca Trail starts its descent to the Sun Gate.

It is my understanding that at present, because of the crush of visitors who have a choice of hotels and restaurants in Aguas Calientes, a reservation is required to climb Huayna Picchu, a sacred mountain adjacent to Machu Picchu. In 1982, no reservation was necessary and by starting our climb before the tourist train arrived, we had the trail pretty much to ourselves.

Our days in Cuzco made the adjustment to the lower 7,900 feet altitude of Machu Picchu feel comfortable. We even managed the climb up Huayna Picchu which tops out at 8,920 feet, without too much huffing and puffing. I’m sure being in our 20’s didn’t hurt either. The dead viper at the start of the trail reinforced the warning about checking out rock ledges before putting one’s hands on them.

Trail to Huayna Picchu from the ruins of Machu Picchu

The beginning of the trail from Machu Picchu to climb Huayna Picchu.

Looking back and down on Machu Picchu from the trail up Huayna Picchu

Looking back and down on Machu Picchu from the trail up Huayna Picchu. Not recommended for acrophobics.

The climb was challenging because of the narrow, steep trail with some slippery wet rocks with a 2,000 foot drop off, adjacent to the trail, down to the Urubamba Valley. (Supposedly, a German tourist had fallen to his death the previous week). There were chains to hold onto at some points, but we were quite impressed with ourselves when we reached the temple structures at the top and gazed down on Machu Picchu. We were also humbled to think that Incans had carried the stones up the mountain to build them.

Atop Huayna Picchu

Soon to be Mr. and Mrs. Excitement at the ruins of a temple atop Huayna Picchu. Surrounded by steep drops on all sides, I was holding on, no doubt wondering how I was ever going to make it back down to Machu Picchu.

Upon returning to Cuzco, our next flight took us to the town of Iquitos on the Peruvian Amazon. There we were supposed to take a river boat several hours downriver to a jungle “lodge”.  Apparently, the lodge could accommodate 40 people at a time, but tourism was at a seriously low point (blamed on the Falklands War and flooding), so it was just us and a British woman with her 12 year old daughter. Instead of the larger river boat, we were transported to the lodge in what was basically a dory with an outboard motor. Sitting so low to the level of the river made the logs passing in the fast current appear disconcertingly large.

Jungle Lodge on the Amazon River in Peru

Outside our “room” at a jungle lodge on the Peruvian Amazon.

I’ve perused photos of the Peruvian Amazon lodges on TripAdvisor. Ours was decidedly more rustic. It was built on stilts in the water, with a main structure for meals connected to the “rooms” by elevated wooden walkways. Window glass was non-existent, as was electricity. There were screens to keep out the wildlife, much of it of the insect variety. Our dinners were fish from the river. One day at dinner, I thought a bird landed next to my plate. Further inspection revealed it to be a bird-sized flying beetle. At that point, I resolved that Steve and I would be sharing one of the narrow cots. Honeymoon or not, at sea level in a jungle only 265 miles south of the equator, I don’t think he appreciated being forced to spoon.

Amazon River near Iquitos, Peru

The rubber boots they gave us for our jungle walk were no match for the 30 year flood waters.

Jungle Lodge on the Amazon River in Peru

This was our cold water shower–good enough to get the mud off after our jungle walk.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Because of our tiny “group” and the fact I could translate for our guide, he was able to go off his English “script”, and we had very satisfying exploring experiences even though our jungle walk was more of a jungle wade due to the worst flooding in 30 years.

Children in the Amazon River near Iquitos, Peru

In this region of the world, learning to handle a dugout canoe is a skill best acquired early in life.

House along the Amazon River in Peru

We came upon this “house” soon after meeting the little girls in their canoe. Our “lodge” no longer seemed so rustic.

I don’t know if it was on the usual “tour” route, but we were taken by boat to a village where there was a hospital/clinic run by Canadian nuns. They explained that their biggest causes of morbidity and mortality were accident and snakebite—not exactly the same things Steve was seeing in his internal medicine residency at Penn. As soon as they heard Steve was a doctor, one of the nuns scurried away, returned with a tray of IUD’s and asked Steve if he knew how to insert them. “Uh, no.” (Shhh, don’t tell the Pope).

House in a missionary village along the Amazon River in Peru

A house (and its parrot) in the village where the Canadian nuns ran their clinic.

Many of the village children had distended bellies from intestinal and gastric parasites. We were treated to a viewing of a very long white worm that a toddler had just vomited. I’m not sure whether or not that particular TMI moment was caused by having Doctor Steve with us. Thanks to my mild altitude sickness, the oppressive heat and humidity and the “show and tell” featuring parasitic intestinal worms, this was one of the only trips on which I’ve lost weight. Given that I shared the perennial bride’s desire to drop a few pounds before our wedding, this wasn’t necessarily a bad thing.

Our trip to Peru provided many memorable moments and we managed to capture some of them with our Kodak instamatic camera — you remember — the kind where you wouldn’t know if any of your photos came out until you returned home and had your film developed. However, the experience I resolved to keep in my memory as a “go to” happy place was one we couldn’t photograph. One clear evening, we motored up-river several miles in our little boat. As the sun set, our guide cut the motor and we drifted back to the lodge as the cacophony of jungle night sounds rose around us and a celestial chart of the stars of the southern hemisphere appeared in the inky sky.

[This post has been linked to a link up at Weekend Travel Inspiration.]

Where did you go on your honeymoon? Have you ever visited Peru? If so, how was your experience? If you have never been, is it on your bucket list? 

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{ 51 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar TheGirl November 14, 2013 at 7:57 pm

I did just look at the pictures, and I must say that is some gorgeous country-land! The way they built their society into the nature.

Oh and about that airline, that seemed to be a common thread in the 80’s, I remember a friend’s mom telling an airline called, Martin…went bankrupted and just landed all flights where ever they were.

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Suzanne Fluhr Suzanne Fluhr November 15, 2013 at 2:53 am

Thanks for stopping by. Braniff was taken over by Eastern Airlines—Eastern who? I think American eventually bought Eastern’s South American routes. In my hometown of Philadelphia, at one point, we had Allegheny (Agony) Airlines, subsumed by US Air (Dare) which is now US Airways, soon to be merged with American. I’ve had the same experience with our banks.

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avatar Tina December 10, 2013 at 5:26 pm

Also known as US Scare…!

Thanks for sharing your experience and wonderful pictures!

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avatar maxwell ivey November 14, 2013 at 8:29 pm

Hello; I enjoyed hearing about your trip to peru. i remember those cameras. it was our family’s first camera. it actually took very good photos especially considering we bought it for $11.00 at j c penny. and i’m impressed by your courage to make the trip during all that unrest. And its great that you were able to bond with the travel agent’s family so quickly and easily. wish i had that skill. thanks for the post and take care, max

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Suzanne Fluhr Suzanne Fluhr November 15, 2013 at 3:01 am

Thanks for taking the time to comment, Max. I have to admit that our travel plans seem to coincide with natural and man-made disasters. http://www.boomeresque.com/you-might-not-want-to-go-when-were-there/

So far, so good.

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avatar Catarina November 15, 2013 at 5:28 am

Am not surprised the photos are great since Peru is a very interesting country with a lot to offer, as the picture shows. Must have been a wonderful honeymoon.

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avatar Suzanne Fluhr (Just One Boomer) November 15, 2013 at 8:18 am

Thanks, Catarina– We’ve traveled quite a bit during our marriage, but we still both think that was our best ever trip.

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avatar Jacqueline Gum (Jacquie) November 15, 2013 at 8:52 am

Obviously a fabulous and memorable honeymoon, and somehow sentimentally fitting that you feel it was your best trip ever. Honeymoons should be like that! The pics were fantastic. My honeymoon was spent on a cruise ship that went through a hurricane. Not too many pleasant memories, yet also fitting as the marriage is long gone! LOL

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avatar Suzanne Fluhr (Just One Boomer) November 15, 2013 at 9:55 am

I’m glad we went on our honeymoon before our wedding. We were so exhausted after our wedding (even though it was pretty low key) that we canceled or plans to get away for a few days and collapsed.

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avatar Neva Fels November 15, 2013 at 11:52 am

Our children have traveled to this area and I love seeing the photos from your perspective now too. I think the best picture is the one in my mind, since you weren’t able to take any, of floating back to your lodge.

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Suzanne Fluhr Suzanne Fluhr November 15, 2013 at 12:19 pm

Thanks for stopping by, Neva. In a way, I’m glad I couldn’t take a photo of that night. As is often the case, maybe the memory is better than the reality. In any case, I’m sure the memory is less buggy.

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avatar Madaline Fluhr November 15, 2013 at 1:17 pm

Great post – GREAT photos. The photo of the little girl and the goat and the 2 children handling the dugout may be my faves, but they all carry a great sense of place, ie Other place. You and Steve look so young, beautiful and vibrant….didn’t we all! Let’s face it…youth is youth….Eddie and I spent our honeymoon in San Miguel de Allende, where our family lived for a year when I was 7 and you were 9. It was my first time back after 35 years and very emotional for me – I revisited the house where we had lived for most of the year and the ailing German woman living there, was kind enough to let us in and look around. She actually knew some of the artists dad knew back in the day. In fact, her husband, had been very good friends with one of them. Small pueblo!! Small mundo! I tracked down our Spanish tutor who was now the director of the main language institute of the town – El Instituto. Heartbreaking that he vaguely remembered mom and dad, but not me!! I had vivid memories of him – even of him getting drunk at a party mom and dad threw for he and his fiance at the aforementioned house we’d lived in. I even have a 7 year old memory of said fiance giving him an ultimatum at said party, such as “You’d better not have another drink….or…” I can report that in 1996 (year of my honeymoon) he was no longer married to the fiance of 1963! We also spent time in Mexico City. Highlights were the Blue House, where Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera had lived. A wonderful “museum” house, with her studio intact, etc. Really wonderful. A few miles away was a the house where Trotsky, who had had an affair with Frida Kahlo, was murdered with an ax. Lovely!…But also a fascinating place, a museum where you feel like you are walking into a snapshot of someone’s life with all the artifacts in place of the time, he and his wife’s clothes in the closet, etc. A real sense of Living History at both places. Long blog – long response! Sorry!! Runs in the family.

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avatar Suzanne Fluhr (Just One Boomer) November 15, 2013 at 1:32 pm

Mads, seriously, you should start your own blog—because I know you don’t have enough to keep you beyond busy. Thanks for taking the time to comment.

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avatar Susan Cooper November 15, 2013 at 1:59 pm

Peru and Machu Picchu is a place I have always wanted to go. Boy, how times have changed in regards to planning and booking travel. What an awesome adventure that must have been for you and Blima’s family sound so amazing. I loved reading your post. I gave me a sense of being there. Oh, that I could actually go. Who knows, I may just do so someday. 🙂

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avatar Suzanne Fluhr (Just One Boomer) November 15, 2013 at 3:01 pm

Susan, there are lots of packages four visiting Peru and the Galapagos Islands now. The latter are still very much on my bucket list. Thanks for stopping by.

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avatar Patti November 15, 2013 at 9:30 pm

We would like to travel to Peru, I have an online friend who owns a B&B in Cusco (you can find several of his recipes on my blog) and visiting Machu Picchu would be amazing, but it’s unlikely that we’ll make it. Abi has a difficult time with altitude sickness and I suspect it would be a problem for us. And a beetle the size of a bird? Yikes! But what a great pre-wedding honeymoon!

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avatar Suzanne Fluhr (Just One Boomer) November 16, 2013 at 2:54 am

Peru Is one of those “do it while you’re young” places although I’m sure there are plenty of people older than we are who do just fine. I Think Barbara Weibel spent some time there. BTW, age and fitness level don’t necessarily correlate with the degree to which the altitude will affect a person . I had one advantage from being an oboe player through college. Apparently my lungs are quite large.

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avatar Debra Yearwood November 16, 2013 at 7:56 am

Wow! The photo’s are amazing. I’m with you, the photo of the little girl was my favorite too, but all of the photos have a touch of the surreal to them. It was very much like being in your memories with you as you recalled this trip.

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avatar Suzanne Fluhr (Boomeresque) November 16, 2013 at 11:23 am

Thanks, Debra. It really was a magical trip. In one country, we were in so many different environments. This is reflected in Latin American literature. They call it “lo real maravilloso”—magical realism.

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avatar Mike November 16, 2013 at 12:00 pm

This is absolutely fantastic, Suzanne, and I loved it! Yes, I did read it all. You two were and remain still a vibrantly gorgeously couple! The retro look picture of you rocked. What had me right off the bat was that you had been inspired initially by the Nat Geo magazine picture. That is the same for me with a picture of theirs in 1978 and Tahiti (I still gotta get there). The picture of the little girl with the goat is priceless. What an amazing experience from the terrifying flight, a dead viper, the sick children, the jungle and then Machu Picchu itself. I burst out laughing at “Shh, don’t tell the Pope…”! 🙂

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avatar Suzanne Fluhr (Boomeresque) November 16, 2013 at 12:36 pm

Thanks for the lovely review, Mike and for the tweet, BTW. I really hope you get to Tahiti someday and that it is every bit as extraordinary for you as Peru was for me.

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avatar Becc November 17, 2013 at 7:38 pm

Fascinating place and the pictures are just gorgeous. You must have had a ball reminiscing and writing this.

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Suzanne Fluhr Suzanne Fluhr November 18, 2013 at 11:30 am

Thanks, Becc. It was fun and I’m glad I spent the money to have the photos digitized.

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avatar Gaelyn November 17, 2013 at 8:42 pm

What a great story, and pre-honeymoon. Peru is on my list and I better go soon before I can’t handle the altitude.

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Suzanne Fluhr Suzanne Fluhr November 18, 2013 at 11:33 am

Gaelyn, definitely get on it. Altitude is an issue although some super fit young folks also react badly. There are some meds that can help (diamox) if coca tea doesn’t do the trick. Maybe if you drink enough coca tea, you don’t care if you can’t breathe 😉

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avatar Roz Warren November 17, 2013 at 8:54 pm

For once, I not only looked at the photos but read the entire post. Enjoyed it too. I was on a flight from Bermuda to Philadelphia and read it on my IPOD. Seemed appropriate to read a travel blog post in flight.

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Suzanne Fluhr Suzanne Fluhr November 18, 2013 at 11:35 am

I love wifi at 35,000 feet. It definitely helps to pass the time. Thanks for reading; -)

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avatar Ayngelina November 17, 2013 at 10:06 pm

Great story! Was a great read and I love the old photos you included. Looks like a great memory!

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Suzanne Fluhr Suzanne Fluhr November 18, 2013 at 11:37 am

It was definitely one of our best trips. Now I have a high bar whenever I’m trip planning —-and Blima is no longer a travel agent.

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avatar Linda ~ Journey Jottings November 18, 2013 at 9:52 pm

That really was a magical (pre wedding) honeymoon –
Such an adventurous journey to take together – out into the unknown – preempting the life journey you were about to embark upon together!

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avatar Suzanne Fluhr (Just One Boomer) November 19, 2013 at 1:54 pm

Luckily for me, Mr. Excitement didn’t get cold feet after the honeymoon and he has let me plan new adventures for the last 31 years.

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avatar Johanna November 18, 2013 at 10:46 pm

Wow, what a fabulous honeymoon, and I loved the photos, especially those of a younger ‘you’, not that I don’t like photos of an older ‘you’ too!! I loved how you were both so smartly dressed and turned out on the hike too! Definitely still trying to impress each other maybe! Read your post with great interest and kept thinking it should be part of a memoir! We went to The Kruger National Park in South Africa for our honeymoon – and my Mum and God Parents came along too!!

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avatar Suzanne Fluhr (Just One Boomer) November 19, 2013 at 1:58 pm

I love that you took your Mum and godparents on your honeymoon. It sounds like something we would do. When we packed for our honeymoon, I don’t think we realized that it was going to be quite as challenging and rustic as it was. I don’t usually go mountain climbing in walking shoes and a white blouse.

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avatar santafetraveler November 19, 2013 at 10:38 pm

What I great post- I feel like I was there. I think it’s called a vacation when you take the trip before you say “I do”-lol.

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avatar Suzanne Fluhr (Just One Boomer) November 20, 2013 at 2:29 pm

Actually, I think a pre-wedding honeymoon is a great idea, especially if one is planning something adventurous—and not chilling on a beach somewhere. We were so exhausted after our little wedding, that I don’t think we would have been able to manage this trip — not to mention the chance to lose a few pre-wedding pounds through arduous travel 😉 Bottom line. All’s well that ends well. I think I’ll keep
him 😉

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avatar Ashley Faulkes November 21, 2013 at 2:43 am

Hey Suzanne
Great memories. And you did it in the 80s, perfect.
I went there in 2011 as part of our 6 months in South America, and it is very busy.
We went up to Macchu on the first bus at 5am. Then it was peaceful.
I actually have an awesome black and white from that morning hanging on our lounge wall.
It does not seem to have changed much, apart from all the people.
Yes you do need to book to climb up that mountain, and actually it is quite steep :>
We ended a 3 day quiet hike along the Lares valley with our visit to macchu picchu, because of all the people on the normal trek. Our trek was not as spectacular, but we got close to locals who rarely see anyone. So that was great. Great photos too.
Ah, the memories. I loved south america. Everyone told us it is so dangerous – baloni! Only if you are stupid. Not at all remotely careful and catch buses like you are in a mega safe country, leave your passport in your pack above your head, fall asleep and then wonder why your pack is gone or empty. People wouldn’t do that in their home country most of the time.
Anyway, you should go back and do Bolivia, Argentina and Chile if you have not. Even more spectacular!
ashley

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avatar Suzanne Fluhr (Just One Boomer) November 24, 2013 at 2:33 am

Thanks for your comment, Ashley. I also love South America. I studied in Bogotá, Colombia in 1974 and also had the chance to visit Argentina and Chile a few years ago. I don’t know if I could handle the altitude in Bolivia at this point in my life. A visit to the Galapagos is still very much on my bucket list.

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avatar Billie November 24, 2013 at 5:24 pm

My earliest memory of an exotic “travel destination” was the photo in my Weekly Reader in 4th grade showing Egypt’s exotic Abu Simbel. At the time, the U.S. was painstakingly helping Egypt move the structure to higher ground so it wouldn’t be flooded by the Aswan High Dam. I couldn’t help but think how incredible an adventure it would be to visit that temple some day, but I never dreamed that 20 years later I would make the trip.

When I made that trip, I had already done a fair amount of traveling, having grown up in a family of people who traveled extensively. (A couple years ago, I compiled a 50th anniversary gift for my dad and his wife of photos of their 20+ international trips to all 7 continents….you should see the coordinated outfits, handbags and high heels she wore…not like the t-shirts/backpacks and athletic shoes we’d choose today).

For our honeymoon I was determined to choose a country that neither of us had ever visited. My husband’s ancestors had come from Turkey, and it seemed like it would be memorable to see Istanbul and beyond. Like you, we were fortunate to have a local as our guide. Hubby had worked for years with a man who came from there, and he had just gone back to his country to live. He hadn’t begun his new job, had a car, and wanted to show us all around his country as a sort of wedding gift. It was a great way to see the country, through the eyes of a native. Not to mention, he had cousins in nearly every town and he spoke the language.

We were recently invited to a week-long wedding celebration in the Philippines (near Manila) and are deciding whether we should go. Have you been?

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Suzanne Fluhr Suzanne Fluhr November 25, 2013 at 10:36 pm

I used to eagerly await my weekly Weekly Reader and I also remember following along the efforts to save Abu Simbel—-now that you mention it.

If I were invited to a week long wedding in Manila, I’d probably want to go, but it is a massively long trip. I’m not sure I could handle the trans-Pacific part in an economy airplane seat without succumbing to deep vein thrombosis and/or a pulmonary embolus. We are flying to Thailand from San Francisco on Philippines Airlines in January, but we’ll only be in the airport in Manila—assuming the Bangkok Airport isn’t shut down by civil unrest. Our son recently spent quite a bit of time in the Philippines. It grew on him and he met some nice people.

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avatar Guy Creese December 2, 2013 at 10:02 pm

The timing of this post is appropriate, as Ginny and I are going to do Macchu Piccu and the Galapagos Islands in February 2014 on a Williams Alumni trip. Part of the pre-reading is a book by Ed Larson ’75 — so far, the only one in our class who’s won the Pulitzer Prize. I may contact you for further pointers…

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Suzanne Fluhr Suzanne Fluhr December 3, 2013 at 7:36 am

That should be a wonderful trip—once you recover from the sticker shock. Absolutely let me know if I can help with any information. A lot of travel bloggers have been there a lot more recently than we have. I’ll look some up for you. I’ll be looking for Ed’s book as well.

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avatar Cathy Sweeney December 3, 2013 at 2:38 pm

Thoroughly enjoyed the story and pics from your Peruvian honeymoon. Those photos are treasures and I can see why the one of the smiling young girl is your favorite. Also love the pics of the soon-to-be newlyweds. But I’m a little mad at you — you compelled me to go into the garage looking for the 1964 National Geographic issue with Machu Picchu — I know that I saw it back then, too. (I probably shouldn’t admit it, but I’ve got a lot of NG magazines from way back when that my parents kept. I can’t part with them, even if they’re in a box in the garage!) Alas, I couldn’t find that particular one. But thanks for the journey — it’s still on my list of must-sees.

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Suzanne Fluhr Suzanne Fluhr December 3, 2013 at 3:03 pm

I can’t believe I got you rummaging through your old Nat Geos. Obviously, you don’t need much of an excuse 😉 I, of course, heartily endorse the fact that you still have them. I’m afraid that after two downsizes for us (and no longer having an attic and basement) and two for my parents, we had to make some difficult decisions. I really hope that you and Mr. TWS get yourselves to Peru. Unlike on your trips to Italy, you actually might lose weight!

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avatar The GypsyNesters December 8, 2013 at 7:16 pm

LOVE this post! Your newly recovered photos are amazing – and your story is just precious. Love your humor as always! – Veronica

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avatar Corinne July 21, 2014 at 1:56 am

Wow, Suzanne. What a great honeymoon and beautiful photos to go along with it. I love that Blima’s family was so welcoming. Did you ever go back and stay with them? Thanks for linking up with Weekend Travel Inspiration!

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avatar Chanel | Cultural Xplorer July 21, 2014 at 10:25 am

Wow! It looks like a lot less people visited Peru back then and you were able to get a very authentic experience back then (and it was 4 years before I was even alive)!

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Suzanne Fluhr Suzanne Fluhr July 21, 2014 at 1:22 pm

Yes, we are THAT old 😉

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avatar Rebekah July 23, 2014 at 8:49 am

I bet your trip to Peru vs going now is quite different. I think that’s an awesome honeymoon. Way cooler then hanging out in a resort. I’ll have to remember that idea

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avatar kay dougherty September 3, 2014 at 9:01 am

This is a really enjoyable article -I even like the comments as I too am from Pennsylvania and remember Agony Airlines very well! I’m leaving for Peru in a couple hours and printed this to take as reference material. The main thing I know now is that I want to avoid vomiting long white worms!

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Suzanne Fluhr Suzanne Fluhr September 3, 2014 at 9:35 am

Safe travels, Kay. I look forward to reading about your experiences in Peru.

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avatar Lia @ Practical Wanderlust November 12, 2016 at 10:27 am

What a great post. Even though our visit to Machu Picchu was decades after yours, looking at the photos, it looks so similar – minus the hordes of crowds, that is. We didn’t make it to the Amazon, but your description evoked some visceral visual images (and I don’t just mean the bit about the parasitic worm! Although – ick). Thank you for sharing!

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