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Machu Picchu 2 • June 24-July 7, 2022

Trekking Times!

July 5, 2022

Patrick and Lily here writing to you from our cozy hostel in Aguas Calientes. We only have one more night of sleep before we visit Machu Picchu!

Our trekking section of the trip was filled with beautiful sights, great conversation, and as always, a lot of laughs. Our first day of trekking began with a delicious breakfast in our hostel in Cusco and set a course for the Salkantay trail. The car ride may have been long, but it was a perfect moment for some carpool karaoke thanks to DJ Eloise and Claire. We reached the trailhead of the Salkantay, munched on an amazing mountainside lunch prepared by our outfitters, Marco and Daniel, and then we began our first portion of the trekking section up to Humantay Lake. As we made our way back down, the Peruvian constellations emerged from the night sky, and our guides greeted us with hot coca tea and hot chocolate. After sipping on hot drinks, we enjoyed a stellar fish and beet salad meal at 12,500 feet. The night did not end there as Knowlton suggested some incredible sing-along tunes, and the entire group lit up the tent with a classic backcountry dance party.

On our second day, we began our trek up and across the Salkantay pass. Abby made sure we had enough group pictures as she suggested a human pyramid photo shoot during our water break. Chandler led the front of the group up towards the pass, and we made it to the top of the pass sitting at 15,090 feet! We had warm soup and chicken wings at the top of the pass where Jacob and Charlie enjoyed a mid-mountain power nap. Eloise made it her mission to take the perfect apple desktop photo of the amazing Peruvian views as we made our way to our second campsite. With another night sky lit up by the stars, we enjoyed our “Pass Day” Fiesta with celebratory glow sticks and Nalgene lanterns. Meredyth and Sam entertained the table with some spirited conversation and debates while we waited for dinner. Do you think a hotdog classifies as a sandwich? We all enjoyed some comfort food – fried chicken and vegetables, followed by chocolate pudding and Oreos. To close the evening, we had Moonup in the chilly mountain air and then fell asleep nestled in our tents under the stars.

On our third day of trekking, we began the day with some Sunday morning banana pancakes while listening to Jack Johnson. After breakfast, we all made our way down the trail and met so many horses along the way. Once we arrived at the end of the trail, we were welcomed with a yummy lunch of tacos and apple juice! Ebbe was especially excited for our midday meal at the end of the trail. Once we finished lunch, we hopped into our vans and made our way to the hot springs. We all jumped into the warm water where we could rest and play some fun water games. Marco Polo was a huge hit, and Huck was so sneaky he nearly won every game. After relaxing in the hot springs, we ate some delicious ice cream and moseyed our way back to camp.

Before our hike over to Aguas Calientes, our LODs Tyler and Huck led the NOLs leadership grid exercise where we all learned more about ourselves and our leadership styles. As we made our way along the railroad tracks to Aguas Calientes, Morgan kept everyone entertained with engaging trail conversation. Before we knew it, we finally made it to our cozy beds and hot showers at our Machu Picchu Hotel. We are so excited to visit one of the seven wonders of the world tomorrow and cannot wait to see all of you in only a few more days!!

Much love,

Lily and Patrick

 


Let the Trek begin!

July 1, 2022

Hello friends and family!

We have just hit our halfway point of our trip and have finished up our day 7 in Peru! After our days white water rafting, we ventured over to the Ccorca district for our community service portion of our trip. These three days of service were filled with new friends, many laughs, and lots of games. Meredyth and Chandler helped make the student’s and teachers’ day when they made an old classroom look brand new with a new coat of paint.

Claire and Morgan wasted no time as they immediately applied their artistic talents to help brighten up the school’s yard. They both painted hopscotch and other games for the children. Huck and Sam also helped create more activity for the students at the school by building “Matachola,” or tetherball, for the kids to enjoy for many years to come! We were graciously invited to the school’s 22nd anniversary celebration of their opening, and Abby and Jacob made numerous new friends as they played Matachola and soccer with the children. We all enjoyed the company of our new friends as we watched native Peruvian ceremonies and dances together.

After a long and successful first day of service, we enjoyed some group games and activities together. Charlie was undoubtedly the “don’t touch my rock” champion and Ebbe’s karate skills flourished during our games of Ninja. For dinner that night, we had an opportunity to have a Peruvian cooking lesson. Knowlton mastered the art of cleaning a fish as she and some of the girls helped prepare our entree while the rest of us prepared sides, seasonings, and other delicious ingredients that made our homemade Peruvian dinner a success! We all shared our delicious meal together, and closed the evening with hot tea and Moonup.

The next day we were back to work putting the finishing touches on the school while also cleaning up the streets of Ccorca while we could. Eloise and Tyler helped make a plastic-littered street look brand new by picking up trash around the town. After our successful day of community service, we had the opportunity to look at cave paintings that live in the town of Ccorca. These magnificent paintings were over 10,000 years old and live in an ecological site by the school!

 

The service section of our trip provided a period of solace, connection, and laughter. We enjoyed some much needed rest here in Cusco, accompanied by warm showers and a delicious dinner. The kids enjoyed some comfort American food and milkshakes at a local restaurant, and we all laughed and shared stories across the table. Now, the kids are all sound asleep, catching as many Zzz’s as we can before we embark on our trekking section tomorrow. Tomorrow morning, our group sets off to the Salktantay trail to begin our trekking portion of the trip— we cannot be more excited for this journey! We cannot wait to share all of our stories with you soon! Thank you to all the friends and family that made this trip a reality—we are thinking of you! Before we sign off—here are a few shout-outs from our group!

 

Hope all is well back at home. Be in touch so soon!!

Much love,

Pat and Lily

 

Abby: Hey brocho familia!!! So far we have already white water rafted and did some

awesome community service! The people here are so kind and my leaders/peers are

amazing!! Spread my thoughts to everyone!! Love you and miss you so much! Abby

Chandler: Having a great time! Hope all is well. Miss and love you guys!!!!

 

Huck: Hey in Cusco having a great time!! Love you!

 

Charlie: Hey family. I’m having fun in Peru. Say hi to everyone for me. Love you!

Jacob: What up fam. We have done 3 days of white water rapids, which was super fun.

I was tenting and also our raft flipped and i jumped off some cliffs. also, recently we did

some community service at a primary school, where the boys made some tetherball

tents, and hung out with some really nice kids. My spanish is thriving down here.

Mañana nosotros tomamos un autobus a Machu Picchu. the altitude has been iffy, but

nothing that your boy can’t handle. Met a lot of new friends, and the leaders are hype.

Say hi to everyone, love and miss y’all.

 

Claire: Hey family, Peru is awesome. I love it here. So far we have gone rafting and

camping for 3 days and then headed down to the town of Ccora to do community

service at a local elementary school. Everyone here is very slay and my group is

awesome. Cannot wait to come home and tell y’all all about our adventures. Thank you

for sending me here! I am having the best time ever. I love you all very much and miss

yall!

 

Ebbe: Hey Family!!! Miss you guys so much! I’m having such an awesome time here.

Rafting was so cool and the community service was such a good experience. We are

getting ready to start our trekking portion and I’m super excited! Everyone is so

awesome! Miss you tons, love you!!

 

Sam: Wuddup family, I’m having such a great time in Peru. We went rafting in crazy

rapids, and helped repair a school is Ccorca. Miss ya a ton, gonna hike Machu Picchu

in a couple of days. So much to say and yet so little time! Love you, Samuel L. Jackson

pero Blanco.

 

Knowlton: Hey fam! I miss y’all soooo much. I am having an amazing time here in

Peru. We just finished our service work and we’re about to begin our trekking

experience. I can’t wait to see y’all again in 7 days. Much love, Knowlton.

Meredyth: Hi mom and dad! Having lots of fun and lots of laughs. I had a great time

rafting and doing service work and am excited to see Machu Picchu. I am very grateful

to y’all for this experience and can’t wait to see y’all in a week! Lots of love to everyone

and the dogs, Mere

 

Morgan: Hey y’all!! I am having the best time here and have made so many new friends.

I know y’all are having a blast in Amelia. We head towards Machu Picchu tomorrow!

Miss and love y’all tons, Morgan

 

Eloise: Hi!! Rafting on the Apurimac was so fun and y’all would have loved it. Just got

done with service in Ccorca and had the best time getting to experience the culture.

Heading to trek tomorrow! Love and miss you!

 

Tyler: Hey fam, having a great time in Peru. In Cusco currently, about to hike Picchu.

Love you all! Make sure you’re taking care of Tilly.


Hi Family and Friends!

June 28, 2022

Hi Family and Friends!

 

It is day 4 of our adventure and our group is getting along swimmingly. This is Patrick and Lily writing to you from Cusco. Peru has been an incredible adventure so far. Not only is the environment beautiful, but the people here are so kind. All our raft guides were especially welcoming and personable, which made our first activity so special. We are so thankful for our little community and are so excited to make many memories throughout the rest of our trip.

 

Our adventure began with an epic travel day to the Apurimac River. We had our first Moonup underneath the endless Peruvian stars, where Huck and Meredyth were elected as first Leaders of the Day! The next morning, we had granola, yogurt, fruit, and eggs for breakfast to prepare for our first day of rafting. Along the crystal-clear river, our kids started to bond with each other within each boat group. Jacob and Eloise passed the time by playing riddles and telling stories within their boat. Thereafter, Knowlton and Abby found an epic cliff jumping spot, where they were some of the first students to leap into the cold waters. After shredding the Apurimac River for a few hours, we had a wonderful lunch on the sandy beaches. We enjoyed some rice, salad, and tuna for our midday meal—and to top it off we had some incredible watermelon. 

 

Later in the evening, we finally arrived at our campsite. Tyler and Chandler helped find and carry firewood to prepare for our evening entertainment. Sam led the entire group in a successful first game of “Mafia,” where Ebbe proved to have the best poker face. For dinner, we enjoyed some fireside quinoa soup, followed by some spaghetti Bolognese prepared by our incredible raft guides. After our epic game of Mafia and some yummy dinner, our guides surprised us with marshmallows! Morgan and Claire tested many marshmallows to find the perfect s’more. Meredyth suggested we all look at the stars and take a deep breath. What a way to end a first day of rafting!

 

The following day we woke up to eggs, toast, fruit, and granola prepared by the guides. Once we packed up camp, we had some time to spare before hopping on the river. Willy—our raft guide— led the group in a few riverside games. Charlie was a rockstar in the “spin the paddle” game as he nearly fell into the water, but he was able to catch himself and help win the game! After many laughs and many different games, we embarked on day 2 of rafting. To start off the day, we all climbed up a waterfall, where everyone ran underneath the cold Peruvian water. After enjoying the waterfall and some afternoon sunshine, we all jumped back into the boats—ready to take on more rapids. To close our rafting section, we stopped along the river for some adventurous cliff jumping. At the end of the river, we got out to enjoy an incredible Peruvian lunch in the sun. 

 

After a windy van ride back to Cusco, we all took some warm showers and walked to a delicious burger restaurant in the Cusco square. What an amazing first few days it has been. We are all now nestled into bed, getting some much-needed rest before our Service section. Hope all is well at home—best wishes to all our family and friends! Thinking of all of you. Talk soon!

 

Best,

Lily and Patrick


Wheels Down in Cusco!

June 25, 2022

Hello Machu Picchu Families!

We heard from our leaders that group has made it safely to Cusco! The trip is off to a great start, and we cannot wait to hear more stories from their adventure.

Please remember our leaders and students will be unplugged during their trips but we will be posting up to three trip updates throughout the next couple of weeks! This will allow you to follow along with the trip and the students will also give a special shout out mid-way through! You can also follow us on Instagram, @moondanceadventures, to see more of what we are up to this summer!

-Moondance HQ


Students

  • Abby
  • Chandler
  • Charlie
  • Claire
  • Ebbe
  • Eloise
  • Huck
  • Jacob
  • Knowlton
  • Meredyth
  • Morgan
  • Sam
  • Tyler

Staff