Note: This Peru hiking tour page is part of a series of blogs that we did while learning Spanish language in Peru. Each blog focuses on experiences from our language learning program or, like this one, on cultural experiences we had. They are designed so show you how to implement a self-guided Walkabout language learning program. Use our examples here for any language you want to learn. See the "Related Stories" list of links on this page for additional language learning activities.
This wasn't your typical Peru hiking tour, if there is such a thing ... and I'm not sure words can accurately describe my experience at Machu Picchu today. But here are a few that come to mind ... Vast. Perfect. Unreal. Peaceful. Tranquil. Powerful. Calm. I feel like I stepped into, and walked around in, the most realistic and beautiful, life-sized painting today. I'll share a few of my Peru photographs from my Peru hiking tour, but they can hardly convey how I felt when I experienced Machu Picchu and its companion mountain, Wayna Picchu, which I climbed with my dad.
One of the great things about stepping outside of the classroom of our language learning program is that we get some amazing experiences. We want to learn the language while we are here, and understand the people, the culture and their special locations. Our trip to Machu Picchu gave us a chance to do all of these things. Along the way, we practiced language learning activities--talking to the locals. Visiting Machu Picchu left me touched in a way that almost nothing else has.
To rank my most memorable travel destination to date, I will start by sharing some places I have traveled to abroad. For starters, I was born in the Solomon Islands, a tiny country in the South Pacific near Australia. I've been to Hawaii; the Philippines, Singapore, Hong Kong, Okinawa, Bali, Malaysia, Brunei, Phuket (Thailand), and once to Patia. I've also floated around at the base of Niagara Falls for a day. I've spent a little time in the United Arab Emirates as well; we traced an imaginary box off the coast of Iraq for six months at five knots, and even moored to several oil wells, also in the Persian Gulf.
I've had missiles pointed at me from both sides while traveling through the Strait of Hormuz, and I spent some off the coast of Yemen with the USS Cole, after she was shot in 2000. I've also been fortunate enough to see the sun set in San Diego for seven years running now.
Now, without taking anything away from the above destinations, as they all have given me priceless memories, and I would like to do a blog on each in the future, one place stands out from the rest. I found paradise on earth in a small island-country in the Indian Ocean east of Africa; The Seychelles. My experience convinced me: travel The Seychelles and you don't need to travel any further.
I can still see the lovely green and crystal blue waters surrounding the tropical island as we pulled in by boat. Memories flow: mango, papaya, and coconut trees, and pineapple plants galore. Turtles larger than life. Lazily snorkeling and canoeing my way around as I explored the white sand, incognito beaches. Beautiful women, friendly gentlemen. The beautiful sunset, as I enjoyed the best wood-fired pizza I´ve ever had. Magnificently designed houses with enormous leaf roofs. WOW! Almost seven years later I can return in an instant by shutting my eyes and taking a deep breath, right back to the white sands, the clear-blue water, the breeze. Right back to paradise.
I hadn't experienced any place so wonderful – until yesterday's Peru hiking tour. With a landscape as opposite as night and day, Machu Picchu worked its way up to the top of my list. A tie for first -- next to, of course, The Seychelles. Our trip capped off the classroom language learning exercises with a rich language learning activity.
Seeing these amazing sights makes our trip all that much more rewarding and valuable. Studying the local language adds rich color to our experiences. You can create your own customize language learning program. Check out the Walkabout Language Learning Action Guide which shows you step by practical step how to learn a new language. Click here to download it today.
--Posted by Shawn, October 15