Obligatory back from vacation post! We went to Rio to the Olympics, then on to Peru to spend time in the rainforest and hike part of the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. A trip of a lifetime that crossed several things off the bucket list.
We went out to the olympic village and watched badminton and diving. We also traded a few pins. For diving, a storm was coming in and the wind was causing the divers to do belly flops. It was pretty crazy. Things were blowing in the pool, coaches were arguing with judges. At least the pool was no longer green at that point.
The next day we went to watch track and field, then the women's soccer semi-finals. Track and field was amazing, with several events going on at once. We saw women's pole vaulting and hurdles, men's triple jump, and the men's 200. Unfortunately, we had to leave before Bolt ran to make it to the soccer game. They changed the times after we bought the tickets to make them overlapping. When we got to the game, there was such a crazy long security line that we missed the first half. But I'm glad we got in because it was phenomenal to be there at Maracana, the temple of soccer, with Brazil playing. The crowd was intense.
Then, on to Cusco to acclimate to the altitude, which was harder than anticipated. My fingers turned blue and I couldn't think straight when we first arrived. By the next day, we were ready to go out and explore. Machu Picchu was everything from all the pictures and more. But all the other ruins were impressive, too.
The rainforest wasn't quite what I was expecting. Lots and lots of birds, but not nearly as many monkeys and sloths as I hoped. Apparently, something like 80% of the vegetation is not really edible, so animals often have to travel a ways for food and are often up in the canopy and hard to spot. Many bugs, but we didn't see a single snake. I guess I just expected the Amazon to be overflowing with wildlife. We definitely saw quite a bit, but different from what I was expecting. Leaf cutter ants are fascinating.
Glad to be home again. Pictures can be found here.