Report from Carol Cumes on recent Peru flooding

February 1, 2010

Dear Willka T’ika and Magical Journey friends,

We thank you all for your support and concern about the recent floods in the Sacred Valley, Peru. Here is a brief and accurate update on the current situation.

Willka T’ika is fully operational and suffered no damage during the recent floods. We have a large group entering the garden guesthouse this week, and another a few days later. The summer gardens are spectacular, the organic veggies delicious, and the sun has been shining for the past five days. Everyone at Willka T’ika is fine, and calm has been restored since the floods.

Urubamba and Rumichaka: The upper residential and farming area where all our staff lives was not damaged by the floods.

Sacred Valley: The main road from Ollantaytampu to Pisaq has reopened. Buses continue to take tourists to the Inkan sites and markets. The Pisaq Bridge is under repair and transport moves without any problem via the Urubamba bridge to Cusco. The river waters have receded and within a month or so, everything in this already green valley will be lush and beautiful again. With the infusion of river silt, it will probably mean fantastic crops in the years to come.

Cusco City was not damaged. I drove through Cusco last Wednesday and all services and roads into and out of the city remain open and operating as always. All Cusco Inkan sites are open.

ALL Sacred Valley Inkan Sites are open. There is no damage to their access roads. This includes, the Chinchero, Moray, Maras, Pisaq, and Ollantaytampu Inkan Historical sites.

Machu Picchu: Yesterday President Alan Garcia flew over the damaged railroad areas by helicopter to Machu Picchu. Because the tourist industry has top priority in Peru, Garcia promises to do everything in his power to make sure the railway lines and additional side roads, are repaired and reconnected. He is determined to restore the train service to Machu Picchu as soon as possible. The village is still isolated but the residents are receiving food and help via army helicopters.

Repair to Train Tracks: Last week, the Ferro Carril, Trans- Andean railway company surveyed the damage and estimated 7 weeks to do all the repair work necessary to get the trains running to Aguas Calientes and Machu Picchu town. If the weather cooperates, this will be completed ahead of schedule. When I receive updated reports, I will forward them.

Current Weather: The rain season appears to be waning and is expected to end during February. Tourist season always begins in March which is regarded as the end of the rainy season. Rain however, is always welcome to ensure that crops grow to feed the people in the months to come. With all the mountains green and the skies blue, March remains a wonderful time of year to travel in Peru.

Newspaper articles showing devastating photographs of waves crashing against buildings along the Urubamba river were taken ten days ago. The river has quieted since then. Since we all live and work in the high Andes, we expect hiccups during rainy season. This sudden rain deluge broke all records. This appears to be similar to what is happening all over the planet and perhaps Pachamama is frustrated with mankind. Spiritual Healers and like-minded friends are sending special offerings of gratitude to Pachamama

If you had plans to come to Peru, or are thinking of coming, please do not punish the Peruvian people further, by shunning the country and not coming because of photographs interspersed with negative tourist reports. The work and livelihood of these gentle people depend on you. Simple farmers, healers, transport people, airplane employees, hotel staff and guides all have families to support. They pray for you to come as planned. They depend on you. Rather than stay away, or wait for another year, please do not forsake Peru.

At Willka T’ika, we promise to take excellent care of you. In ayni exchange, the Quechua will do everything in their power to make sure you have the very best spiritual journey imaginable. You will enjoy meditating in some of the most energetically pure places on this planet. Now that Pachamama and Her children have been purified, please send them positive energy and hold yourself in positive thoughts. Not only will you gain from this intention, you will help repair the soggy land and the dampened spirits of the Andean people.

With Andean munay,
Carol Cumes

PS. Queridos amigos y familias, I have a “flood” of work-related e-mails to attend to before I can personally answer everyone. Please know I appreciate your messages and in short time will get back to you all.

Gracias from sonqo’s chakra garden!