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Published: March 15th 2018
We've had a pretty short day today as we've been trying to rest up ahead of starting the trek tomorrow. We did take a Peruvian cooking class this morning which was good. We got to cook three courses and went to the local market to buy some of the ingredients which was an experience in itself and we learned lots about the different types of quinoa that are grown in Peru also about the fact they grow over 3000 types of potatoes! We also tried some special Peruvian juice drinks which are made out of purple corn. It looks exactly the same as corn on the cob but is purple in colour. CThe three courses we cooked were potato with a special Peruvian sauce which had some peppers blended with crackers and various other things! It tasted nicer than it sounds. The main course was stuffed peppers, mine had minced beef in and Steph had some local mushrooms bought from the market. We had to scrape all the flesh out from around the inside of the peppers because despite them looking like the peppers we have back home these were actually a type of chilli pepper which was very hot and
spicy. Scraping the flesh out got rid of most of the spiciness. Pudding was rice pudding with cinnamon which tasted lovely as well. We also made the traditional pisco sour cocktail. Steph made hers with lime and I made mine with passion fruit. It was made with pisco alcohol, egg white, sugar syrup, ice and the fruit juice. We had to shake them in a cocktail shaker until the ice was melted, I regretted picking the larger ice cubes at this point! Once we'd finished cooking we got to ate the meal which filled us up so much so we haven't had dinner. Probably not the best idea with the trek starting tomorrow!
Once we'd finished at the cooking class we went back to the hotel and rested for a few hours just going on the Internet using the wifi and watching a bit of TV. Luckily whatever was making me ill yesterday seems to have passed at least for the moment so I feel a lot better ahead of tomorrow. I need to start listening to my recordings again as I've been a bit sporadic as been busy exploring and felt confident after the cable car but I
can't let it lull me into a false sense of security. I'll be tested in different ways in the coming five days.
At 6pm we went to our pre trek meeting where we got to meet the other people who will be part of the group. There are going to be 9 of us in total, two couples, a group of three and me and Steph. There are 6 females and 3 males so the guys are going to be outnumbered! Our guide is called Leo, he speaks good English and it seem the trek will all be done in English. I think most of the other people are German with possibly a couple of French but I'm not sure we haven't really done introductions yet. Leo seems nice although he does seem quite serious apart from when talking about the free ponchos they give us which are apparently shit! He talked us through the trek day by day and made it very clear that Day 1 is about testing us and he will be watching up closely to see how we get on. We get picked up from our hotel between 4.30-4.45 where we drive for an hour
and a half to a small town for a 30min break where we can buy breakfast and any snacks etc we need as the last stop before we begin the trek. We then drive on for another hour and a half until we reach Challacancha where we being the trek. It's split into three parts, the first part is uphill for 30mins then pretty much flat for 3 hours until we reach our camp for the night. We stop and have lunch and then we have a hike up to Humantay Lake. This is steep and tough and is the main test. Leo says that the hike to the lake should take between 4mins if you are fast, an hour if normal and an hour and 15 if slow. He says if it takes longer than 1hr 15min then they will ask you to take a horse the next day up to the pass as we are on a schedule. I'm really nervous about this, I've been getting out of breath around Cusco. This altitude goes from 3920m to 4200m which is a lot higher than Cusco. I'm hoping the fresh mountain air will help! Wishful thinking. I really do
not want to have to go on the horse the next day, partly because I want to walk it myself but partly because the thought of being on a horse next to a steep drop scares me a lot more than me walking it! Once we visit the lake it should take 45mins to get back down to the camp where we have 'happy hour' as Leo called it which is some nibbles and coca tea etc before dinner later on. There is a girl in our group called Catherine who is a vegetarian too so Steph's got a ready made friend already!
The second day is the big one, we hike for three hours uphill from 3900m to 4630m over 3 hours, this is steep and very exhausting. We will spend about 30mins at the pass before walking downhill steeply for three hours to have lunch before walking another 3 hours downhill to our camp for the night. So in theory it's a 9 hour hiking day. The second night will be spent at 2900m altitude which is lower than Cusco! Yay this camp also has hot showers and wifi! So hopefully I'll be able to upload a couple of blogs at this point so you'll know if we made it or not! The next day is a 5-6 hour day which is only half a day hiking because we get to visit some hot springs in the afternoon which take 1.5 hours to get to on a bus. We then stay in jungle domes this night. The next day is a hike through the jungle where we will visit coffee plantations in the morning and get to roast our own coffee. There is a section on this path where Leo says we may have to take a bus instead if the weather has been rainy as it gets very muddy and dangerous. The rest of the day is spent doing one of the things you are told not to do as a child, walk on the railway line for 3 hours. Apparently this part is very beautiful, the trek is flat and it's very nice. I cannot wait for this bit! We then arrive in Aguas Calientes this night where we stay in a hotel and get hot showers! We then all go out to dinner in a restaurant as a group for the last time before getting up at 4am to trek up the 1518 steps to Maccu Picchu to get there for when it opens at 6am. The altitude at Aguas Calientes is only 2050m so it will feel great and Machu Picchu is only 2430m as well. We get a guided tour for two hours around the site before we can wander around on our own. We have to be down at the train station to catch the 4.22pm train which goes to a town called Ollantaytambo where we get on a bus back to our hotel. I feel OK about the trek, it's just the 'test' and the first half of the second day that is daunting. I really want to do it on my own two feet. This is the result of 8 months worth of training and exercise, hypnotherapy and generally trying to prove to myself I can do it. Tomorrow is the real test where it all begins.
Tot: 0.846s; Tpl: 0.114s; cc: 15; qc: 67; dbt: 0.0373s; 1; m:saturn w:www (184.108.40.206); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.4mb