• Day71

    Day 2 - Machu Picchu

    June 12, 2017 in Peru ⋅ ☀️ 18 °C

    Today was our day of trekking (around 18km) along part of the Inca trail. The 3 ladies from Brazil were doing a shorter tour than us so we said our goodbyes and continued as a team of 7. Breakfast was at 6:20am and we were on our way by 7am.

    The first part was along a road so we drove that part and were dropped next to a small path that lead into the jungle. We had anticipated a full day of hardcore hiking however to our relief it was far more relaxed. Every now and then we would stop and JC would talk about the flora and fauna. We saw many coca plantations, pineapples, bananas, coffee, some rather large bugs and so much more. We also stopped for a taste of some typical Peruvian fruits that a lady on the side of the trail was selling. One of them was called chirimoya which was delicious and I can't remember the name of the second one but it wasn't very nice anyway.

    We stopped at a lady's house for a bathroom break where I got to experience the squat toilet! I certainly won't miss those. She also had a pet monkey which was tied up as apparently he had a habit of stealing people's sunglasses.

    One of our longest stops was at a random place in the middle of the jungle where we got to try some more Peruvian goodies. There was 100% cacao chocolate, a very disgusting snake alcohol shot and some other shot with some leaves in, a delicious passion fruit juice and chicha morada which is a typical drink made of purple corn. They also had a pet monkey, coati and macaw. Simon had the monkey sit on his shoulders however after the dog incident I wasn't taking any more chances which involved potential rabies. This was followed by a very random dressing up session where we all got dressed up in traditional clothing. I was given a very special hat however the funniest by far was Lukas who was given a black dress like thing to wear and a balaclava mask along with a dolly wearing a creepy mask!

    Before continuing on with our hiking we had yet another treat in store, face painting! JC painted our faces with a red berry that grew locally and which is also used in cosmetics such as lipstick. The Incas also used to use it as a sun block. This was all very well and good until we sweated profusely walking up the giant hill that followed and needed to put on more suncream. I definitely looked like I had been tangoed at one point.

    The next bit of the path was very narrow in places and wound its way around the side of the mountain. There were very steep steps up and down as well as some bits where you needed to hold on to the side. It certainly put Simons fear of heights to the test. This was our final stretch before lunch and we were very happy when we arrived at the restaurant.

    Following lunch we had a mere 20 minutes hammock time before JC was rounding us up again to continue. It was at this point that we lost Annie as she had started feeling incredibly sick so she got a taxi back to the town where we would be spending the evening.

    The afternoon saw around another 2 hours hiking before we would be reaching the hot springs which we were all most certainly ready for by this point. Before we got there though we had some more interesting obstacles to overcome. One of which was a rickety old bridge across the river which had huge holes in places, resulting in more squeaky bum time for Simon. After which we had to climb over huge rocks alongside the river and back up again.

    The hot springs and where we would be staying for the evening were on the opposite side of the river so we would be needing to get across. JC informed us that there was a cable car which we would get. Now I don't know about you but when someone mentions cable car I don't think of a giant metal tray suspended from a wire. You went across in pairs so Simon and I sat ourselves on the tray and before we knew it we were being whizzed across the river. Well it definitely beat swimming and was actually quite fun.

    Now we had just one final obstacle before we could relax in the hot springs. JC instructed us to get out our torches as we had to walk for a couple of minutes through a tunnel in the pitch black! Said tunnel was also full of bats! Fortunately I made it to the other side without being pooed on and as we walked out into the sunshine we could see the hot springs in the distance.

    There were 4 pools in total, all of various temperatures but we went straight for the hottest! It was just what we needed after our hard day of trekking. I realise that this post may make it sound like a stroll in the park but believe me it was tough! Our dip in the pool was then followed by a much deserved cold beer!

    We were then taken to our hostel for the evening by minibus and went out for dinner at a nearby restaurant.
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