Our seven day experience trekking to Machu Picchu, Peru

Machu-Picchu--417It has been 53 days since Becky and I returned home from Peru. Each day, “Write about Peru” topped my to-do list, and for 52 consecutive days I have failed to strike that item, repeatedly moving it forward to be tackled another day. Today shall be that day.

It’s not that I didn’t want to write. I did. I just couldn’t find the place to start, or the words to describe an experience that was simply indescribable. As it sit here today in front of my keyboard and reflect on this experience, emotions are carrying me off and I find my vision suddenly blurred by tears.

Peru was just one part of what can only be considered an amazing year for me, packed with wonderful changes and events. We opened Royal LePage Vidorra, our downtown location. We completed the purchase of Hallmark Realty and we began a new association with a terrific group of great people there. On a more personal side, my daughter Pamela announced that our family would soon (this December) grow with the addition of a grandchild! Yeaaaah! Becky and I re-opened the previously empty nest when Becky’s daughter Brielle came to live with us. My son Justin and his lovely partner Zoe who have been away for what seems like forever finally came home! I have so much to be grateful for, and then, Peru. Wow!

For those who don’t know, Becky and I went to Peru for a pretty special reason, the Machu Picchu Challenge for Shelter. Almost two years in the making, this fundraiser brought nearly 70 Royal LePage agents from across Canada together to raise funds for local women’s shelters in what turned out to be one of the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation’s most successful fundraisers ever. As of today, $488,347.84 has been raised for shelters that badly need these funds. About $15,000 of that money will find its way to the Saskatoon YWCA Crisis Shelter and Saskatoon Interval House. To all of those who contributed to our campaign, thank you so very much! If you had intended to do so, but didn’t, and would still like to, our page is still open and accepting donations here. Nothing would thrill us more than to push this above $500K before we close. Thank you again from the bottom of our hearts.

Peru was amazing as you can well imagine. Over the two weeks we spent there we experienced so much. As I said, it’s very challenging to describe this trip in words. Thankfully, my new friend Cory Permack, husband of my Royal LePage colleague Rebecca Permack was gracious enough to allow me to use his photos to assist me. Thank you Cory! He took some images that will blow your mind. I promise. So, I’ve broken this post into sections so you can get to whatever seems interesting to you. If you can only make time for one or two clicks, I would really encourage you to visit the two “people” pages.

The beautiful city of Cusco, Peru

People of Cusco, Peru

Festivals and celebrations of Cusco, Peru

Markets and street vendors of Cusco, Peru

Food of Cusco, Peru

The Andes Mountains of Peru

Our trek through the Andes

Camping in the Andes

The Andean people of Peru

Animals of the Andes

Machu Picchu, the prize after a gruelling trek

The trekkers

Take aways

Once again, my thanks to all who supported us in this fundraiser, whether that was through contributions or an encouraging word. It was an experience that we will never, ever forget and we so appreciate you choosing to be on the journey with us.

Norm