Ultratravel U.S.

Summer 2014

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24 ultratravel I f my title at Architectural Digest (International Style Editor) is any indication, I have an obligation to wander far and wide (and auspiciously fulfill my 'wonders of the world' wish-list). I have traveled to old world cities in France, Egypt and Italy, but my South American roots have always pulled me towards Peru, a place I knew would satisfy my taste for Latin flavors. I hired a fancy travel guide with my friend Kim Vernon, who traveled with me for the nine-day trip. You would think as a seasoned globetrotter I would have already figured out the art of packing—not so. Apparently, a nine-day trip involves at least three jackets per day. Though, one savvy traveler tip I can offer is this: Always carry a beautiful wrap or big scarf (in lavender of course) for the plane. Enough about packing for the moment; let's talk about the destination. My recent trip to Peru left me filled with memories that I will carry with me as inspiration in my creative work. Those Peruvian llamas figured it out: Where better than this spot overlooking the ancient Incan ruins and lush, evergreen mountains to call home? I felt a complete sense of harmony on the sacred, iconic grounds as the five o'clock lighting painted the 15th- century architecture in a way that could only be described as magical. Perhaps the altitude—nearly 8,000 feet about sea level—had something to do with that 'magic' feeling, too. I did, after all, refer to myself as an Incan Princess in a past life. Perhaps that's why I was so drawn to the Indian jewelry back in Lima at the Larco Museum. It's all so chic and so simple, and because of that, so modern! One thing I noticed throughout my travels in Peru is that there, beauty is about simplicity. One visit to the Mercado Indo—an amazing marketplace for locally produced textiles, objects and so much more—in the Miraflores area of Lima, really put that into perspective for me. And then in Cuzco, at the Pueblo de Chincheros, I think I saw the most beautiful home entrance ever. It was designed in clay with loads of white and yellow gladiolas in woven baskets surrounding the doorway. You have to marvel at the fact that Incans created these incredible structures without any formal training, machines or anything, really. Yet, the structures they built are superior to anything you find in, say, New York or Dubai! And I would argue that the food in Peru rivals that found in New York, too. One restaurant in Lima stands out in particular. El Mercado has the most divine calamari ceviche, and I could eat at Fiesta Restaurant for the rest of my life. In Peruvian cuisine, fish is like a blank canvas. Peruvians cook with unexpected flavors and ingredients. Like, they add ginger or jalapeño or mango or beets. In Cuzco, I stayed at the most beautiful hotel, Monasterio. But forget the hotel. Just wait till you see Ollantaytambo—the most incredible ruins. And the Templo del Sol, you see the sun hitting the spots and think, 'my god this is what heaven should look like.' You look at these Temples for Gods, for the afterlife, and you start thinking about how everything had a meaning, each little stone, each placement with the sun and the light. HIGH STYLE Stylist Carlos Mota takes a trip to Peru and shares a few highlights from his experience with us. Clockwise from top left: Machu Picchu; Carlos Mota visits the Incan ruins; Incan gold jewelry at the Larco Museum in Lima; Mota strikes a pose at Machu Picchu. There was no end to ceviche options in Peru. Travel Diary

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