Join Page Lambert and Laura Tyson on this cultural immersion into Peru
~ the ancient, the sacred, the everyday world of women ~
“The trip to Peru was truly remarkable – I could never have done it without this amazing group of women.” ~ Fran Elliott, Weaving Words & Women 2012
“What a fantastic trip! It was an incredible respite from a crazy pace of life. I loved everything about it.” ~ Carbery Morrow, Peru Weaving Words & Women 2012
April 19 - April 30, 2013
Immerse yourself in ancient Peru.
Discover the Sacred Valley, Patacancha, Cusco, and Machu Picchu.
Watch the nimble fingers of the women weavers with their vibrant strands of wool. Open the pages of your journal and weave your own tapestry with words.
This itinerary is designed to allow for a relaxed and flexible pace with plenty of opportunities for cultural interaction, creative facilitation, writing and rejuvenation, and for your own individual needs. Lodging is double occupancy, in clean, comfortable accommodations, with private bath. Single rooms may be arranged for a single supplement fee. Scroll down for photos of lodging accommodations.
DAY ONE, Friday April 19 - Travel
Peru begins to weave her way into your heart! Arrive in Lima in the evening and take pre-arranged transport to Casa Bella Miraflores, a small cozy boutique hotel just half a block from the Malecon Cisneros, a main boulevard not far from the Pacific Ocean. No group activities planned for this evening since you’ll be flying to Cusco in the morning.
DAY TWO, Saturday, April 20 - Arrive in the Sacred Valley
Fly to Cusco. We’ll have lunch at a local restaurant, and celebrate our arrival exploring the twisted streets and alleys of this ancient Incan city. Then, an hour’s drive and we’ll be in Pisac, in the Sacred Valley beside the Urubamba River. We will stay at the Paz y Luz Bed and Breakfast, a quiet, peaceful spot just outside of the village, where Page will lead us in some guided “sensate” journaling to help us capture the sights and sounds of the day before we enjoy dinner on the town. Massages and traditional healing treatments are available at Paz y Luz, where we will be staying for three nights.
DAY THREE, Sunday, April 21 - Traditional Market and Shamanic Ceremony
Fully immerse yourself in Peruvian culture with a visit to the traditional Tuesday morning market of Pisac. For centuries, women from the surrounding Andean villages have made the trek to Pisac to barter and display their produce, livestock, weavings, jewelry, and clothing in a feast for the senses. In the afternoon we will return to Paz y Luz for writing and reflection, and in the evening a local Quechuan shaman will lead us in a despacho, the traditional Incan ceremony of intention and letting go. A home-cooked Peruvian dinner at Paz y Luz will complete the day.
DAY FOUR, Monday, April 22 - Pisac Ruins
In the morning, we’ll make the steep 90-minute climb (for those not inclined to hike, there is a back-road way by taxi) to the ruins above Pisac, the ancient Incan empire. A dramatic Temple of the Sun, intricate stonework, and sweeping views of the Sacred Valley make this one of the best ruins in the region. In the afternoon we’ll return to the round, open-air meeting space at Paz y Luz to share the a few pieces of literature by Peruvian women with time to reflect on how we can weave what we have learned from this ancient culture into our own modern lives.
DAY FIVE, Tuesday, April 23 - Explore Ollantaytambo, Evening Class in Peruvian Cuisine
We’ll get a taste of local transportation by taking the one-hour ride by local bus to the town of Ollantaytambo, downstream from Pisac on the Rio Urabamba. Ollantaytambo is a small town with an enormous ruin perched on the hillside above. After settling in at the Apu Lodge, where we will be for four nights, we will spend the afternoon exploring the Plaza de Armas and the cobbled streets, with more creative facilitation by Page. In the evening we’ll take a class in Peruvian cuisine—ranked among the top five world cuisines! During our evening of cooking and eating we will also learn a few basic phrases of Quechua to prepare us for our village visit the following day. We’ll sprinkle our writing with the sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and textures of the day.
DAY SIX, Wednesday, April 24 - A Day with the Women Weavers of Patacancha
We will journey to the remote village of Patacancha to immerse ourselves for a day in the lives of women who are practicing the traditional art of weaving on backstrap looms. After a morning of learning about the art and history of Andean weaving and watching the women work, we will split up into twos and threes to join a local woman in her home for individual weaving lessons. In the afternoon we will gather in a large group for a Pachamanca – a traditional meal of earth-cooked local potatoes and meat.
DAY SEVEN, Thursday, April 25 - Ollantaytambo Ruins and Optional Sacred Valley Horseback Ride
A day of options. Visit the ruins that rise above the town in the morning, and spend a few hours in the afternoon horseback riding on Peruvian Paso horses, known for their smooth, four-beat gait called the llano paso. Or, write, nap, and wander on your own! We will gather at the end of the day to weave together our adventures, reflections, and tall tales.
DAY EIGHT, Friday, April 26 - Machu Picchu
Rising early in the morning, we will take the VistaDome train along the spectacular Rio Urubamba river as it thunders and crashes towards Machu Picchu, recently named one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. A local guide will explain the amazing culture behind the intricate stonework, and then we will linger in the quieter afternoon to write and wander through the magical ruins. We’ll dine in the local town of Agua Calientes before taking the evening train back to Ollantaytambo.
DAY NINE, Saturday, April 27 – Meet with Nilda Callanaupa in Chinchero, arrive in Cusco
We’ll drive to the mountain town of Chinchero, where we will meet with Nilda Callanaupa, founder and executive director of The Center for Traditional Textiles, and a renowned expert in Andean weaving. Nilda will share her home village of Chinchero with us, and teach us about the natural dying techniques that she has helped to revive. In the later afternoon we’ll continue on to Cusco, the former heart of the Incan empire and a unique blend of Incan culture and the rich architecture of the conquering Spaniards. We’ll lodge at the Hostal Amaru (www.amaruhostal.com), a lovely courtyard hotel in the artsy neighborhood of San Blas.
DAY TEN, Sunday, April 28 – Exploring, Writing, and Relaxing in Cusco
A morning to unwind and follow your interests – visit the Mercado Central, where hundreds of women crouch next to their blankets and stands filled with vegetables, potatoes, breads, and meats. visit the towering Cathedral on the Plaza de Armas, the Incan temple of Koricancha, get a massage, or wander through the galleries and museums of Cusco. In the afternoon we’ll gather as a group for writing, reflection, and celebration of our time in Peru, weaving together our memories of the land, the women, and the culture.
DAY ELEVEN, Monday, April 29- Cusco Behind the Scenes
We’ll glimpse into the lives of Cusquenian women and children in this day spent in the busy city and outskirts of Cusco. In the morning we’ll visit the Museum at the Center for Traditional Textiles – a nonprofit organization that supports women weavers in the Cusco area. In the afternoon we will visit a local non-profit that works with children, and venture to places well outside the usual tourist circuit.
DAY TWELVE, Tuesday, April 30- Fly home.
Breakfast offers a chance for us to tie together the last threads of this amazing journey. A late morning flight from Cusco will get you to Lima in time to catch a flight home. Most flights to the States leave Lima in the late afternoon or evening and arrive the following morning, and Laura can help you with these logistics if you have questions.
Note: If you’d like to extend your stay in Cusco for a day or two, just let us know and we can book your room for those extra nights. Please note that international travel is always subject to unforeseen circumstances, and lodging locations or other details of this itinerary may change!
Meals: Breakfasts and dinners will be restaurant or catered meals. Lunches will be either restaurant meals or market/ picnic style. All non-alcoholic drinks are included with meals. Participants will provide their own drinking water during the day, extra snacks or treats if needed, and alcoholic beverages if desired.
Lodging: Day 1- Lima; Days 2, 3, 4 – Pisac; Days 5, 6, 7, 8 – Ollantaytambo; Days 9, 10, 11 – Cusco
Transportation: All transportation, except the return flights from the U.S. to Lima, and from Lima to Cusco, is provided. Transportation will be a combination of chartered van, public bus, train, and taxis.
Laura Tyson, director/founder of True Nature Journeys and founder of The Women's Wilderness Institute where she served as Executive Director for ten years, has led an adventurous life since her self-initiated and planned 'bike hike' at the young age of 5. She has traveled in Alaska, Asia, North Africa, South and Central America, Europe, Mexico, Australia, and New Zealand. Her wildest adventure was a solo bike trip across Tibet in 1985. She holds a Master's degree in Psychology, and has held roles of psychotherapist, wilderness guide, poet, writer, and nonprofit consultant. Her international guiding work combines her passions for helping people create vibrant lives, empowering women, and exploring the landscapes and cultures of our beautiful planet. She has spent hundreds of hours exploring Peru and falling in love with the culture, the people, and the landscape – both modern and ancient. Page spent 5 days on the Green River with her in Utah, where she co-led one of Page’s river writing journeys for women, and she spent 12 days with her in Peru in 2012. We are lucky to have her as our guide!
Note from Laura:
I am 52 years old, and live in a house-in-progress in Eldorado Springs, a small town with many dogs, at the end of a dirt road, just south of Boulder. I currently bounce between three occupations- designing and leading trips for True Nature Journeys, directing a series of outdoor retreats for women veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, and finishing the house that my partner and I have been building for the past three years. It has been a labor of love, learning patience and the satisfaction of simple hard work. We have two cats, one three times as big as the cats in Peru. I love to dance, write, and be in wild places. I am finding the balance between my needs for adventure and stable home life, relationships and solitude, movement and stillness. My personal intentions for our journey are to have fun myself, to practice the balance between creating experience and letting experiences create themselves, and to breathe deeply. Right now I am sitting on a deck in Ollantaytambo, listening to the sound of the river and gazing across the tiled and thatched rooftops, adorned with their little bull figures and crosses, at the steep walls of the Valle Sagrado. Can't wait for your arrival. Safe journeys. Laura