Day 9: One Perfect Day - Where Sidewalks End
 
Taking a break from the usual photo-stream, I've decided to participate in an initiative which the travel blog BootsnAll has created. Starting November 1, they launched a project called 30 Days of Indie Travel. They’re inviting bloggers from around the world (including you!) to join us in a daily blogging effort reflecting on our past travel experiences.  Each day, they'll post a new prompt on BootsnAll articles. Bloggers can follow the prompts as strictly or loosely as they like, interpreting them in various ways and responding via text, photos or video posted on their own blogs.

Today's theme: One Day
Travel helps us better appreciate the present moment instead of always looking to the next thing. Describe one perfect day you had while traveling this year. Where were you? What were you doing? And what made it perfect?
This is a very difficult question to answer. Many days of my life, especially those spent travelling, experiencing, learning, growing, celebrating (and all the other Travel Indie prompts so far), I try to focus on the positive in each. 
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Machu Picchu in dense fog - yup, that's it!
The day I spent wandering around Machu Picchu on my whirlwind trip to Peru, started off quite rough, hangin over from a good time the night before, with an early start and a long train journey/bus ride ahead - a small sacrifice with what I figured awaited me at the other end. One could have been upset that Aguas Caliente was drenched upon our arrival, as the low hanging clouds wouldn't even let you see the tips of the mountains we were about to ascend. Dressing in ridiculous pink, yellow and purple rain ponchos, we journeyed up the daunting switch backs to what first appeared as... more clouds. Upon entering the ancient city, we wandered around.. soaked.. and could see approximately 3 meters in front of us in any given direction. Every now and then there would be a patch which opened up, and you would get a glimpse that this place was bigger than well... a 3 meter radius. It was at least 4! 

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Machu Picchu as the fog started to lift
However, as the day dragged on, the clouds slowly lifted and the sun not only peaked through, it blasted down upon us, with only patches of misty clouds left lingering to do battle with the sun, creating an incredibly mystical sensation to our destination. After a few more hours of exploring, we made our descent, happy and feeling quite rewarded. We had just experienced multiple seasons at Machu Picchu in the same day. A power nap on the train got me back to Cuzco, while dreams of the ancient Incan cities flashed past in my head, only to arrive to a local pub filled with friends, ready to celebrate what will always be remembered as a perfect day. 

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Mystical Machu Picchu in the hot hot sun
.... but it didn't seem like that at first. Life will always be balanced with good and bad, easy and challenging, exciting and depressing moments. It's really what you strive to get out of it in the end, and how you overcome those more difficult stages. If you keep the positive outlook that those times were necessary, and that everything can be a positive experience when put in the larger picture, you'll never have a terrible day again! 

I've had countless "Perfect Days" (though some may have been less than ideal at times), both while travelling, and while not. Maybe that makes me very fortunate - and I don't deny that I am - but maybe it's just how I've chosen to perceive things, deconstruct the bad, and reassemble them into learning, positive growth and change. 

My ideal "perfect day"? It's is quite simple.. a mixture of good company, good food, nice landscape (mountain, jungle or ocean - I'm easy) and "ideally" warm climate. What's yours?
11/11/2011 03:09:40

Legend says the reason it took the Spanish so long to find Machu Picchu was because it was hidden in the clouds.For this reason it was one of the last strong holds of the Incas. Sounds like you had a similar experience.

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