Published: June 20th 2008June 20th 2008
Got to Cusco early doors and wandered up to Loki where we thought we had our room booked. They informed us we were on a waiting list so we sacked it off and found a nice little guesthouse and went stright for naps. Had a late brekkie and watched the quali for Canada and then pottered around the town and did some jobs and organising for Machu Picchu trek.
Moved to a different guesthouse with a telly in the room so we could wach the f1 and then did some more exploring of cusco which is a very pleasant little spot. Had a briefing for the trek in the eve where we met Ruben, our guide for the trek (who turned out to be both a legend and a little bit mental) and then got an early night to be ready for our 5am start.
Met our team at 6am and popped on a bus for about an hour then stopped for breakfast, then another 2 hours by bus up into the hills where we met the porters and donkeys that were carrying all our gear. Some people had bought extra porters to carry all their stuff. Me and Claire packed light.
First hike was up a stinking steep hill, we were all well prepped after sitting cramped on a bus for 3 hours, and then stopped for lunch by a pretty little lake. The food the whole time was amazing, 3 course meals for lunch and dinner and a massive selection for the main course every day. Happy bunnies. No steaks though.
Bit more uphill before we scaled day one´s mountain and then the rest of the day was mostly downhill to camp. Saw loads of llamas en route, something Tommy boy´s become a bit obsessed with, they take such a good picture! Even came across a Shaman en route who the guides gave some popcorn to. Treat.
When we arrived at camp all the tents were all set up as then porters had arrived ages before even though they were carrying all the gear. We had our massive dinner then settled into our little tents for good nights sleep when we realised we were on a slope...
Up at 6 to have a ´wash´ and pancake breakfast then on the road at 7. First stop was at a families house where they told us about how they live up in the hills and all that business, and had a little peek in their house to see loads of different types of little Guinea Pigs cruising about the floor. Turns out they were dinner. Continued the trek, every so often stumbling across a little Andean kiddy roaming about the mountains on their own covered in filth. Some must´ve been about 4 and when we asked what they were doing it turned out they were looking after sheep or something else ridiculous. We´d been told to stock up on sweets to give them in return for a cheeky snap, cue 20 cameras in an unfazed 4 year old sheep minders face and a pocket full of sweets. Anyone would´ve thought we´d stumbled across Posh n Becks the amount of pictures were taken everytime we came acrss these folk. I prefer the llamas.
Scaled 2 mountains on day 2 so were glad when we finally got to camp for tea, biccies and popcorn.
Ruben had told us they had a bottle of Rum to ´warm us up´ but we weren´t sure whether to believe him as he loved spinning a little porkie. Examples: ´When you get altitude sickness smell your armpit and it cures it. No book will tell you that, but remind me later and i´ll tell you which book it is.´´We´re having a llama bbq tonight´(devastated when that didnt happen). The rum turned out to be true though so tucked into a bottle of that before dinner and then another after with some local hot fruit mixer that the cook had knocked up. This led to Ruben calling for joke time and then stepping up with 2 corkers. Both punchlines revolved around faeces. Needless to say we slep a little better that night. No slope either!
All downhill today, arriving in the final little village for a visit to a local school where we got rid of the end of our sweets in a free for all. Had our final lunch and said bye to the porters and cooks before getting a bus to Ollyantaytambo where we got the train to Aguas Calientes or ´Machu Picchu town´. The train journey was really good and was quite a nice town too where we would stay before heading up to Machu Picchu for sunrise. Had a nice room with a hot shower so got an early night feeling nice and refreshed.
5am start to get the bus and arrived in Machu Picchu around 6. Bit gutted because it was covered by clouds, but we had a 2 hour tour with Ruben where he told us all the history. Finally it started to clear and some of us went to climb Waynapicchu, the mountain overlooking the city. It was touted as an hour hike, but we waltzed up in 35, ´Super Hikers´as Rubinho had dubbed us! The views were incredible so we had a rest and then took on the downhill climb, far more hairy than heading up. Spent most of the time sliding on our bums holding on to ropes for dear life.
Wandered around Machu Picchu for a few more hours and ran the camera dry before hiking back down to the hotel for an hour and a half for lunch. Spent the afternoon at the market and went for a well earned drink and rested the tired legs. Then it was the long journey back to cusco via train and bus before munching a pizza and stumbling into bed.