Quiet Side of Grape-growing Time


We all love the grape-growing, crushing, fermenting time especially when new releases of wines are shared, but what happens during the other months? Let’s not forget the work to be done by people who are pruning the vines, cutting the grass and growth between each row of vines, and all the other projects needed for a successful harvest.

What I discovered during this quiet time is an opportunity to talk with more employees about their work at the vineyard and the tasting room; learning more each day about the wine-making process; appreciative of everyone’s work!

Worker at vineyard cutting grass between rows of grapevinesClose up of grape vine


Learn Something New Everyday at the Grand Canyon!


Another beautiful day at the Grand Canyon! Yesterday’s snow is melting under a blue, sunny sky today, yet the canyon continues be with all its grandeur! Wonderful tours are available here: history tour starts at Verkamp’s Store, tour about Emory Kolb’s family and home at Kolb Studio (only offered at winter and limited participants allowed), and geology talk at Yavapai Point geology museum. Always informative talks about this amazing “wonder of the world”. Bumped into a Sedona friend here; it is a small world!

Snow at the Grand Canyon!


I love the canyon in the wintertime, especially when I wake up in the morning and see snow! The walk along the rim provided us with beautiful views, a history hike from Verkamp’s Store and a tour of Kolb Studio while learning about the Kolb family and walking in their home below the Studio/gift shop. (Kolb tour is only in winter and limited to 15 participants per tour.) I hope my photos capture the canyon’s beauty.

Final Notes on Peru


1. Electrical power is 220 volts; however, in some hotels separate 110 and 220 volt outlets are available.
2. Recycling of waste products is rarely seen in Peru with the exception of at their national parks.
3. Toilet paper is not thrown in the toilet; use wastebasket instead because the sewer system would get clogged…even in the best hotels and restaurants.
4. Indians in Peru live in communities where they own their land. The Indians outside of Cuzco area sold some of their land to the government for the new airport to be built and will provide them with employment.
5. Food, the not so usual for us, served at restaurants : ceviche made with a white fish or trout, baby alpaca raw or in stir fry, pisco sour drink, fresh papaya.
6. Tourists only drink bottled water. Glaciers are Peruvian's current source of water, and when gone desalination of water will be only option.
7. Indians do not trust the banks so they will build their house with available money and supplies. That is why we see concrete columns and rebar sticking up from the roof for future construction.
8. Wars happened in the past between Chile, Ecuador, Brazil, etc but every Dec 9 all the South American Presidents meet to wish continued cooperation and travel between their countries. Lots of tumultuous times in Peru's history.
9. Average age for life in rural is 70, city is 74. Pork is served at weddings. Guinea pig is served at celebrations with family.
10. Everyone votes at age 18 and if not then pay a fine. If non-voting person wants to travel someplace, it had been noted he/she did not vote so they must pay their fine and then they can get their ticket to travel.
11. One president ordered doctors to perform tubal ligations. When women realized they were not getting pregnant the president was ousted. Corruption is big problem and many presidents have been imprisoned.
12. People need to make at least 800 soles per month. Our Tuk-tuk drivers make 60 soles per day, work 6 days a week. Police make more money than teachers.
13. So much more to Peru…pre-Inca, Inca, colonial and Spanish times…wow! But it seems now Peru moving forward with mining, fishing and tourism!
14. Be sure to visit Peru. I traveled with Overseas Adventure Travel (OAT) and would recommend them. Want more info, just email me at hihikermary@gmail.com

What to Pack for Peru in August/September …


1. In Iquitos & Amazon area, be sure to have: Passport, malaria medication, possibly yellow fever vaccination, bug spray, sunscreen, wear long sleeve shirt and long pants, sneakers for possible wet & muddy areas, hat, sunglasses, binoculars – if birding, camera, raincoat, windbreaker.
2. In Cuzco, Sacred Valley & Machu Picchu area, be sure to have: Passport, bug spray, sunscreen, hiking shoes, walking sticks with rubber tips for Machu Picchu, raincoat, windbreaker, hat, sunglasses, altitude medicine possibly needed for Cuzco at 11,000 feet, camera, clothing as listed above plus additional layer for warmth, sandals with straps if rafting.
3. In Lake Titicaca at 12,500 feet, be sure to have: Passport, sunscreen, altitude medication, camera, raincoat, hat, sunglasses, camera, clothing as listed above plus additional layers for warmth where it will even be colder in early morning and late night.
4. Always carry: toilet paper, small coins…1 soles or 5 soles coin…for toilet use fee, to take photo of a person who requests payment, hard candies for dry areas in country or on airplane flights, water, snack.
5. Other items: extra camera batteries, etc, reading glasses, map of Peru, copy of passport and credit cards, etc in another location from actual items, personal needs, wipes or anti-bacterial solution, antibiotics, flashlight.
6. Be ready to be flexible, polite, good-humored, giving…we are ambassadors experiencing a culture different than our own and the time spent in Peru can be wonderful!