Tuesday, June 30, 2009

What's a Four Letter Word for Magnificent?

What’s a four letter word for magnificent? Peru!

How about for genuine? Peru!

And what about gracious? Peru!
Where in the World can you eat a fabulous meal at a world class restaurant under the stars literally at the edge of an Incan archeologically site? Peru! Of course!

You’re probably noticing a theme here. All the answers seem to be…Peru! That’s because I recently returned from an incredible journey to Peru with friends, Joe Vitale and Mark Ryan. Joe was the main reason we were in Peru.

He along with Bob Proctor was in the movie and book, The Secret and invited to speak in Lima.

The event in Spanish was billed as El Secreto.
Mark was along as a friend and videographer to capture Joe on video 24/7--kind of an “all about Joe” reality show.

Mark did a first rate job and was able to get some awesome high definition video. I can’t wait to see the finished product. I know you’ll love it too. I was along as a friend, chiropractor, partial tour guide, (I’ve been to Peru before), and to have fun.

Also, I was able to promote our book…Give to Live, The Real Secret To Manifesting Life’s Rewards.

It was an incredible journey on so many levels. Gastronomically, intellectually, inspirationally, spiritually and emotionally to name but a few “ly” words. But what touched me the most was the love and spirit with which the Peruvians embraced us.

From those that knew who Joe and his companions were to those who didn’t; people at a top notch hotel and restaurant, to those in a small market, to train, and airline personnel, to tour guides and translators…as well as service people of all kinds. Everyone with very few exceptions seemed to genuinely care about how we were treated and displayed personal pride in how they acted and spoke! I was overwhelmingly surprised and pleased by the level of service and love in the service. This is something that we used to have in the United States but has long since vanished, or at least is rare. But Peru was a breath of fresh air. It is what I remember we used to be like, and can be again. Genuine caring is transparent. For example, I experienced it with a woman who sat next to me on a bus and recommended a typical Peruvian restaurant to me. And the guide to German tourists who showed me the best place to sit on the train for an excellent view and great photo opportunities.

So to Peru, its people, go my compliments. It is a land of diversity and wonder. This was my second time to travel to Peru and yet I still haven’t experienced enough of it. There is so much more to see and do. I would surely travel there again—just invite me.

Though the journey seemed long in some respects, it was lightning fast in others. Each day was brimming over with activities.
Joe was met by promoters, groupies, news people, reporters and fans with great anticipation. It started the moment we landed and didn’t stop until we boarded the plane for home.

We were in Lima for several days then flew to the city of Cuzco—the navel of the World. Of course, airport personnel spotted Joe and asked for autographs—it was amazing and fun. Everyone seemed to have a bootleg copy of The Secret for Joe to sign.

They obviously didn’t know who I was. The author of four books, wellness practitioner, public speaker, award winning chiropractor, humanitarian, medical missionary, and co-author of Give to Live with Joe Vitale. And depending on whom you talk to, a double for Joel Osteen or Richard Gere. (In Mexico especially, everyone thinks I’m Richard Gere.) In fact, a whole restaurant thought I was Richard Gere, but that’s another story.

Restaurant where I was mistaken for Richard Gere!

Anyway, getting back to Peru…so here I am schlepping bags and taking pictures with no one asking for my autograph—only Joe’s. Oh, the pain of it all! But, I got over it quickly…or maybe not if I’m still writing about it.
Photos were taken and then on to Sacred Valley.

Cusco’s elevation is 11,000 feet so we suffered from some massive headaches and difficulty breathing for a while. After all we live at sea level so it was quite an adjustment. We combated this by drinking coca tea and chewing coca leaves. Did it help? I’m still not sure. Probably yes.

From there we traveled by train (Peru Rail) for several hours to the town of Aguas Caliente at the base of Machu Picchu.

A short bus ride on switch back roads put us just a few hundred feet from the entrance to the ancient Incan city and the beautiful hotel, The Sanctuary Lodge. It has just two suites and twenty-nine rooms and is the only hotel there. Having been to Machu Picchu before, I was familiar with the lodge and knew that this would be the ideal spot to stay and, of course, afford the best views and continued access to the ancient city.

Here most people go for day hikes around the ruins or on the Incan trail. Maybe even ascend Machu Picchu and Wana Picchu. It was well worth it. They treated us like royalty. Amazed again! Several hotel staff recognized Joe from The Secret. We all posed for photos. Joe signed more autographs and yet again, no one recognized me. The pain deepens. Though I did, however, give out several of my affirmation and prayer cards. Joe and I also told everyone about our Give to Live book.

On this trip, we all seemed to be experiencing strange coincidences reminding us yet again of how small the World is. Besides Joe being recognized at this tiny hotel, over 3,000 miles from home, we also ran into a woman and her husband who has attended one of Joe’s seminars in Austin, Texas!

While hiking through the ruins of Machu Picchu, I met a young man and his wife from New Jersey. They live a few miles from where I was born. He is Peruvian but moved to New Jersey when he was ten.

Mark met two people working at different hotels who were from New York State where he had previously lived.

I also met some wonderful translators and their friends. One of which has a boyfriend who lives in a small New Jersey town close to where I lived and my great grandfather was a miner! This was getting strange.

Machu Picchu was spectacular! It is one of those trips everyone should try to do in their lifetime. I was amazed again by the feelings one experiences there—by the ingenuity of the Incans, the improbability a stone city on this mountain never found by the Spaniards, the feeling, a greatness, of smallness, of oneness, and of unity.

I was amazed that two thousand to three thousand people visit this ancient Incan city per day. It is a confluence of humanity, different races, religions, ideologies, and languages. I met people from all over the United States, France, Poland, Germany, Asia and Argentina.

Machu Picchu invites peace, harmony, and unity. It seems to be a place that connects us all. I say go, visit, enjoy…and go again!

From there, we retraced our steps back to Cuzco, on to Lima and home—the United States. It was a truly exceptional trip!

I hope you enjoy the photos and create your own journey and memories.

Be open…

Live life now!

Dr. Rick Barrett

P.S. A big “thank you” goes to Jay Islam in coordinating this exceptional trip. Visit his website at http://www.grandtravelcruise.com/.