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    • Day 33

      Inka Jungle Trek Tag 1

      November 7, 2022 in Peru ⋅ ☁️ 14 °C

      Unser Tag startet um 6:30 Uhr und hätte ereignisreicher kaum sein können: zunächst fahren wir durch eine wunderschöne Landschaft ⛰🌳 (Canyons, Flüsse, Alpakas, hoch auf 4000m auf der trockenen Seite der Anden, runter Richtung Wald und Nebel). Dann steigen wir auf Mountain Bikes um und fahren fast 3000 Höhenmeter runter. Was ein Spaß!🚵🏼‍♀️ Einziges Manko: sobald wir weiter unten sind, schwirren die Mücken in riesigen Scharen um uns herum…
      Weiter geht es mit einer abenteuerlichen Runde Rafting, bevor wir eine kleine Wanderung durch den Wald hoch in die Berge zu einem Familienhaus machen, wo wir heute Nacht schlafen. Die Geräuschkulisse im Wald ist unglaublich schön und nach einem leckeren Abendessen fallen wir ins Bett. 🌴
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    • Day 250

      Inka Jungle Trek

      September 3, 2017 in Peru ⋅ ⛅ 18 °C

      There are several ways to get to Machu Picchu. The most famous one is the Inka Trail but as it's limited to a number of people every day you have to book month in advance so I skipped that. A similar hike is the salkantay trail which lots of people recommended but I was kind of done with a lot of hiking and being cold so I went for the fun option: the Inka Jungle Trek, which is a combination of hiking, biking, rafting and ziplining. Also it takes you to Machu Picchu through the lower jungle which means warm temperatures and no altitude!
      I booked the tour with the same company I used for Rainbow Mountain even though people had recommended a company called "Marvelous Machu Picchu" to me. The lady in the Marvelous office just wasn't as convincing as the other one. But I was happy to realize when I was picked up that my company had sold me of to Marvelous.
      The tour started with a bus ride for a few hours that took us to our starting point for the bike ride atop a mountain on 4,200m. From here we went 2,000m downhill on paved roads. I knew the biking would be the most challenging for me as going downhill on a bike still freaks me out sometimes. I started with the group but realized quickly that I was the only one actually using the breaks when the road started turning. So I decided to let the group go ahead and just make my way down at my own speed. It felt like I was going pretty fast but I was so far behind that I couldn't see the rest of the group after just a few minutes. We took a break after the first 45 minutes. Till this point our guide had been leading the group but for the second part he went inside the car and let us ride free. Needless to say the group went even faster now and I fell even further back. But I decided to not let this bother me and just enjoy the ride and the view.
      When I caught up with the group we got back in the car to drive to Santa Maria where we had lunch and checked into our accommodation for the first night. After lunch our next activity was the rafting. As I was sold of by another company I didn't join the main group for this activity. Me and two other guys joined another group which was kind of weird first but turned out to be quite nice as we met some fun people. The rafting was a lot more fun than the biking. And our guide did his best to make it fun. We hit every stone that was in our way and went backwards through every faster rappel. In the end we stopped by the side of the river and got to jump from a bridge into the water.
      We met the rest of our group back at our hostel and had a beer in our garden before heading over to "the only bar" for dinner. Quite a funny name for the only bar in this little town. But our guide told us it wasn't a good idea to be drinking to heavy that night as the next day was a lot of hiking. So after dinner we only shared another beer before heading to bed early. I shared my room with Craig from England and Herbert (I think his name was spelled different though) from Brasil. The funniest thing was that the guy from Brasil spoke a decent english but just couldn't understand Craig because of his accent. So I always had to translate.
      The next morning after breakfast we started our hike towards Santa Teresa where we would spend our second night. As we were only on about 1000m the temperature was pretty hot. And hiking on such a low altitude was a nice change! I could actually feel my legs before running out of breath and remembered that this is a normal sensation when hiking. But the hike wasn't bad at all. Craig and I were walking ahead most of the time which I enjoyed a lot after being by far the last on the bikes the day before. We walked flat for a while before climbing up for about an hour to reach the part of the trek that was a real Inka Trail. It was an narrow path along the side of a mountain. Nothing for people with fear of heights but the view from here was amazing.
      Along the way our guide explained a lot about the history of the Inka. I really enjoyed the day as the hike was a nice and varied between hiking through the jungle or climbing alongside the mountain. In the end we crossed a river in a metal basket hanging on a zip line operated by hand and walked through a tunnel only illuminated by our flashlights.
      We ended at the hot springs in Santa Teresa which were the nicest I've seen on my trip so far. Several nicely laid out pools with different temperatures and a supernice view towards the mountains. Craig and I had a lot of fun with his waterproof iPhone 7 taking pictures underwater - once we trusted it to really be waterproof.
      From here we took a bus to our accommodation in Santa Teresa. Here our guide announced that this was the night for drinking as we would start the day a little later the next morning and would only do ziplining and the 3 hour hike to Aguas Calientes. And as soon as we got to the restaurant for dinner they started promoting happy hour. It's funny how this sometimes works. After our meal our guide came around with "Inka Dick" - Tequila from a cup shaped like an inka person with a huge dick. You were drinking through the dick which was covered in condensed milk. Only after everybody had at least one sip of this we could move on to "Inka Pussy". Tequila infused with Chili. This one was actually quite good as the chili took away the burn of the alcohol. After a while all the other groups staying in Santa Teresa came over to our restaurant and we actually had something like a party there with more Inka drinks and lots of dancing. Apparently the Inka Jungle Trek with its activities is a guys thing. There were a few couples, a group of 4 girls traveling together and me.
      The next morning I woke up regretting taking the offer of the barkeeper to take another Pisco Sour instead of change when paying my bill. But after breakfast I was feeling better and ready for the zip lining. I had to join another group again for this activity but by now I knew lots of people from the other groups so it was actually fun to meet again.
      I had done ziplining before but this time it was a lot of fun as we got to go in all kind of different positions. I went hanging upside down, lying on my back turning around the anker and flying head first.
      From the ziplining we drove with busses to Hydroelectrica, the last train station on the way to Machu Picchu that can be reached by car. A few people took the train from here to Aguas Calientes but my group all walked along the train treks. Walking along train treks is one of these things your parents taught you not to do but the few passing trains were so slow I guess it's hard to actually get hit. It was a nice hike and almost completely flat. Close to Aguas Calientes we caught a glimpse of the stairs leading up the mountain to Machu Picchu we would be climbing up the next morning.
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    • Day 142

      Inka Jungle Trek Tag 2

      November 19, 2021 in Peru ⋅ 🌧 17 °C

      Heute müssen wir zeitig los, denn es steht eine lange Wanderung an. Leider ist das Wetter nicht auf unserer Seite und wir werden voll angeregnet (zum Glück hat mir Katrin einen Regenponcho besorgt). Die Wanderung ist dennoch sehr cool und wir entdecken super viele Papageien. Nach ca. 3,5h bergauf erreichen wir ein kleines local Camp bei dem wir eine längere Pause einlegen und selbst angebauten Kakao und Kaffee trinken. Dort bleiben wir recht lange und freunden uns mit den tierischen Bewohnern - einem süßen Hund und einem super zahmen Ara - an. Gaston spielt ein wenig Musik auf der Gitarre, wir trinken den ein oder anderen Schlangen-Schnaps und tragen irgendwann witzige local fashion.

      Als es aufhört zu regnen geht es dann weiter bergauf und Marco pflückt immer wieder Mangos und anderes Obst um uns zu versorgen. Die Wege sind echt schön und wir haben oft eine super Sucht auf das Tal und den Urubamba-River. Erst am Nachmittag erreichen wir unseren Lunchspot wo es neben der obligatorischen Quinoa-Suppe Spaghetti mit Tomatensoße gibt. Perfekt als Stärkung und zur Abwechslung mal was anderes wie Reis, Pommes und Gemüse.

      Der nächste Teil der Wanderung geht teilweise steil bergab und wir müssen stellenweise ziemlich Klettern, was ich nicht ganz so toll finde. Landschaftlich ist die Tour super. Kurz vor unserem Ziel müssen wir den Fluss mit einem "Cablecar" passieren, das leider Out of Order ist. Daher müssen wir einen ziemlichen Umweg machen und da wir so lange beim Camp vertrödelt haben wird es dann auch schon dunkel, bis wir das nächste Cablecar erreichen. Das Cablecar ist eine Art Kiste an einem Seil mit der wir über den Fluss gezogen werden. Sieht etwas wackelig und unsicher aus, funktioniert aber einwandfrei.

      Auf der anderen Seite angekommen entscheiden wir uns spontan dafür nicht ins Hotel zu fahren sondern erst noch in die Hotsprings zu gehen. Nach der langen Wanderung (24km, 970hm) tut das heiße Wasser richtig gut und wir wollen gar nicht mehr raus. Besser hätte der Tag nicht enden können.

      Wir gehen recht spät Essen und danach dann auch direkt ins Bett.
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