Wow! The inca trail was absolutely incredible! Despite still feeling a bit ill an not being very fit, I managed the 28 miles in 4 days over mountains and through the Amazon pretty well. Theres nothing like a hardcore trek to make you sweat it out and get you fit!
The first day we started early, aroun 6.30am pick up and then we went to pick up the rest of my inca trail group. We had crystal and andrew from the states, bianca and milko from germany, cathi and maureen from oz and christine an mikey from the uk. a mixe group. some of them ere on a large tour group together, spending 79 days in each others company. makes me glad im going it alone!
the first day was pretty tough as we were just getting used to it, and it was pretty hot as well, much hotter than in cusco. i wasnt prepared for that in my jeans! it was beautiful though, we walked along the river at first, before heading up into the mountains.
the porters are amazing, incredibly superhuman. they carry around 20-22 kilos each of our bags, camping and cooking equipment etc and they start walking after we have left, they overtake us on the mountains and set up camp and start cooking for when we arrive. all in sandals as well, as they cannot afford proper walking shoes. it was kin of tragic and elitist, which we didnt really like, especially as it seemed a bit excessive to have tables, chairs, table cloths etc when it comes at someone elses expense. but they were lovely and would go out of their way to help you if you needed it. absolutely amazing people.
when we got to camp, i opened my bday card from fran, who insisted i take it with me! and i did, and thats when everyone found out it was my birthday. an to the credit of the chefs, they managed to make me a bday cake, without warning, or without and oven! insane! but it was delicious. a very good and different birthday.
the second day as definately the toughest, especially as due to maureens snoring, i hardly slept at all. it as 5 hours uphill and 4 hours onhill, in the burning heat. i can tell u now that my arms are quite tanned! yay! the walk as a bit of a killer, but me and christine kept the same pace. it was beautiful though, with the jungle for shade and fresh streams for washing you face and keeping cool. I have also never seen so many beautiful and massive butterflies! they are huge!!
i was so glad to get to camp, my feet were killing as the blisters set in. we also learnt a ne dice game that night, wih smithy our guide, which was pretty fun, although i didnt really get it as i started feeling ill again, but slept well that night. when we oke up, we were high up in the mountains and you could see the clouds below us. crazy!
that days walk was my favourite, as we got to see many more inca ruins along the way and started alking through the amazon in the mountains. it was so beautiful, seeing the mountains all covered in jungle , so many different plants, flowers, trees and wildlife. the path was a bit scary at times, as its very uneven and you have to tread carefully, as its so close to the edge of the mountain, you could easily slip and fall. that and being scared of heights, it was even more of a challenge.
it was so worth it though. the final campsite was extremely precarious as it was also right on the ege of a large drop, so getting out of the tent had to be done super carefully! there was an actual bar at this campsite too, which as a treat after our 3 days of treking. we had to get up at 3am as well on the final day, to make sure we were first at the checkpoint to get to the sungate on time for sunrise. we had to wait there an hour and a half in the dark and cold before it opened. as soon as it did, we were practically ran the 5km to the sungate, which was a way to wake up! hen we got there, it as quite foggy for a while, so u couldnt see much. when it cleared, it was incredible. we had finally made it!
its such a great view and made it all worthwhile, much more satisfactory than getting the bus there. the city is amazing and mostly intact. im so glad that the spanish never found it as the tried to destroy the incas. it was only found 99 years ago as well, and was buried deep in the jungle. now it is overrun ith cute llamas and tourists. we took tons of pics and smithy gave us a 2 hour tour of the site, and after that, i took a nap on one of the terraces, as i was exhausted!
in the evening we took the train back from aguas calientes to ollayentambo and then got driven back to cusco, where i am now, still recovering from the trek an still trying to shift the last of my cold!
the plan for now is, tonite, party! we are having a themed party, the gringos(foreigners) have to dress like the local girls. they dress very provocatively and target foreigners for free drinks and money and whatever else they can get. should be laugh and i think its gonna get messy! hen im hoping to get a bus over to copacabana in bolivia and start exploring all over again!
i cant seem to ad pics on here at the mo, so check them out on fb:
muchos love and thanks for all the bday messages! xxx