Day 1 – Friday, January 17th

cropped-on-route-to-peru.jpgSo it was midday, after a half-day at work, on Friday, January 17th, when we handed our keys, animals, and house over to The Brunton family and finally hit the road for Machu Picchu, via stops in Gainesville, Fort Lauderdale, Lima, and Cusco.  It was a cold day, but stuff like outdoor temperatures don’t do much to chill the excitement of any Beard adventure.  After several hours of sing-alongs and horrendous traffic in Chattanooga instead of Atlanta, we made it to Dr. D’s condo below a clear, full-mooned sky.

Sleep hit us all hard, but nothing wakes you up with a smile quite like a day with a dream served bedside on a platter.  We all jam-packed the rental car, and I proceeded to drive the 5 plus hours, surrounded by sleeping smiles and The Avett Brothers keeping me awake and baked in the Florida sunshine, heading further south and closer to breaking on through to the other side of the equator; another world away was in front of us.

The plan in mind, at this time of the trip, was to arrive in Lima, jet-set to Cusco the sunrise upon landing in order to acclimate to the altitude and relax for two days before hiking for another 4/camping for 3, and then reassessing our bodies, minds, and souls in a small town near the Inca Rail (yes, I laughed at the train company’s name as well when I first read it too) – then leaving a little room for anything else randomly added into the plan besides smartly opting not to do any white-water rafting before or after the epic hike before us – before making our way back home safely in the reverse route we planned to arrive.  Sounds simple enough, right?

Right.  I forgot to turn off of the toll road on the right before the airport, and thus started the the rest of our trip on the left foot.  Bad news was that we would have to pay a fine for my mishap.  Good news was that we were on time to check-in early so it didn’t really matter.  Even better news, the fine would be charged to Emily’s credit card on the rental, and thus adding a few more dollars and a lot more sky miles for future plans not planned yet.  Yes, this trip was beginning to look like a positive light in our lives, no matter which way we turned.

I promise not to bore you for the rest of the trip below, and I promise to make interesting points and somewhat of an entertaining story arc from the nonfiction tale we lived and I share with you today.  That said, I will give you our dailies as I remember them moving forward, after leaving Florida in the early evening.  Enjoy.

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