Oh where to begin! The last two weeks have disappeared in a haze of activity and excitement that far surpassed my original expectations. Machu Picchu was a hard climb but was so wonderful to see; despite having seen countless pictures of the place, I was absolutely bowled over seeing it 'in the flesh'. And, as well as this, I also used my boyfriend's visit as an excuse to do all of the touristy things in Lima that I've been meaning to do over the last 5 months, but never seemed to get around to (such as paragliding and surfing).
I actually have so much to report and write about that I'm loathe to do it in one post, so I've decided that my two-week stint spent in Cusco, Lima, and climbing Machu Picchu will be done as a series of posts. Just a collection of recommendations and thoughts, rather than a step by step of what we did. Some things probably even deserve a post all of their own. So here goes.
Soon after Tobias arrived, we had one evening in Lima before hopping on the plane to Cusco, the town from which people go on to climb the mountain, and we spent this evening at the Magic Water Circuit (Circuito del Agua) at Parque de la Reserva in Miraflores. This is a place I've been wanting to go to for ages, as everyone raves about it, so a couple of weeks ago I finally did.
The park, which has been open for about seven years now, has thirteen illuminated fountains, and an amazing atmosphere. It manages to maintain that difficult balance of being family-friendly but also a romantic spot for couples, or just a perfect destination for a fun night out for groups of adult friends. The fountains can be admired at your leisure, either by walking or by taking the little train that drives around the park. We did both - I tapped into my inner child when I saw the little train meandering around the place, and we fitted into the tiny carriage - just.
The place is awash with colour and joy, and if you fancy getting wet (which I did), you can run into the fountains and enjoy being splashed, or you can keep a safe distance like Tobias did, and just appreciate the beautiful coalescence of water and colourful light, maybe whilst also taking pictures of your girlfriend acting like an overexcited five year old (which she definitely regretting after realising she hadn't brought a change of clothes).
But the most impressive sight by far was the water show, an absolutely spellbinding 20 minute piece, weaving together music, water, and incredible coloured light projections absolutely seamlessly, and leaving us mesmerised. I'm glad I watched this before jumping into the fountains and running through water tunnels though, as I think spending the 20 minutes shivering and with soggy feet would have detracted from the magic somewhat.
All-in-all, it was a fabulous evening, with the only negative bit being that it ended with a last minute and frantic packing session before we could collapse into bed and refresh ourselves for our adventure the next day. Next stop: Cusco.