It is official. Peter and I have sorted our permanent housing in London.
The process took just under three weeks from start to finish and we are happy that everything has been finalized. At the start of September, we will move from our temporary apartment in Kensington back to North London where we lived in 2015 before moving to Seattle. Hopefully, our sea shipment will have arrived by the time we move into our flat, otherwise, we will rent furniture until it arrives.
Now that we have achieved success on the overly complicated task of finding somewhere to live, we’ve shifted our focus to travel planning. In two weeks I will be traveling to Vancouver, BC to cheer-on my sister who is running Lululemon’s SeaWheeze half marathon. SeaWheeze uses the race lottery system and she won and then I think terror set in.
Peter and I were still living in Seattle when she received her race acceptance notification and the trip was going to be easy peasy. She’d fly to Seattle, we’d stock her up on Washington wine, and we’d drive to Vancouver. Shortly after her acceptance, Peter and I finalized our plans to move back to London and my easy peasy three-hour drive from Seattle to Vancouver turned into an expensive 10-hour flight BUT Vancouver is one of my favorite cities and I’m excited to introduce her to proper Canadian hospitality and I may even get her to taste a bloody caesar.
I’ll be in Vancouver for about a week and then I’ll be back in London for a few weeks before jet setting to Peru (via Minneapolis) with my Romantical Adventure mates, Jessi and Sara.
Our trip to Peru, “Romantical Adventure 2.0” (aka RA 2.0), includes three nights in Lima and five nights in Cusco where we will trek through Sacred Valley, hike to Machu Picchu, and crawl to the top of Rainbow Mountain whilst eating cocoa leaves.
When researching Peru, I found the words “altitude” and “elevation” were being used interchangeably. These two words have very different meanings and when used incorrectly, can result in very incorrect information.
Altitude: The vertical distance between an object and the local surface of the Earth. When flying, pilots use altitude because the local surface (directly below the plane) of the Earth changes as the plane flies across land and sea. Therefore, altitude is a measurement that does not use a standard reference point.
Elevation: The vertical distance between the local surface of the Earth (or object) and sea level (“standard reference point”). When hiking, hikers use elevation because there are known oxygen percentage levels based on elevation. A hike at 3,000 ft will be much easier than the same hike at 9,000 ft.
Example: A trailhead and mountain peak are at elevations of 5,000 ft and 9,000 ft, respectively. When standing at the peak, you are at an altitude (from the trailhead) of 4,000 ft and at an elevation of 9,000 ft. From an oxygen point of view, hiking to an “elevation” of 4,000 ft (when the word “elevation” is misused) is very different than hiking an elevation of 9,000 ft.
Machu Picchu and Rainbow Mountain are both at high elevations. I do not foresee any difficulty with Machu Picchu but I am somewhat nervous about Rainbow Mountain.
Machu Picchu is at an elevation of 2,430 m / 7,972 ft. For comparison sake, the peaks of Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains in Canada are at elevations of 7,160 ft and 7,992 ft, respectively.
Rainbow Mountain (“Vinicunca”) is at an elevation of 5,200 m / 17,060 ft. For comparison sake, Everest base camp in Nepal is at an elevation of 17,600 ft and the summit of Mount Rainier is at an elevation of 14,411 ft.
Other than Vancouver and Peru, I do not have any other travel planned in 2019. Peter and I have kicked around the idea of visiting Israel and/or Greece at the end of the year but we have no set plans.
To any readers who have visited Peru, aside from Machu Picchu and Rainbow Mountain, what is your top day trip from Cusco and why?
To any readers who have visited Crete and/or Cephalonia, which destination would you recommend and why?