Edit Blog Post
Published: September 3rd 2015
I woke fairly disoriented and realized that tomorrow I would be on the Salkantay trail. I was wondering now if I was in over my head but I was too far in to really back out at this time. Sleep was interrupted a couple of times as people who were returning from the tours woke up people trying to sleep. At one point one guy was making a lot of noise rearranging his luggage and someone else asked him to keep it down (in English). He replied back he didn't speak English so he was told to keep quiet in Spanish. It was amusing conversation. Pariwana hostel provided breakfast and I helped myself to coffee and bread. They also provide milk and cereal but I decided to keep it simple to allow my body to adjust. Over breakfast I chatted with a Swiss guy Valentin who was also going on the Salkantay trail. It was nice to speak to someone else who was going to do the same thing I was.
After breakfast I decided to visit San Pedro Market. I always enjoy visiting markets when I am overseas. I just love wandering around the stalls and looking at everything.
San Pedro market is close to my hostel and is used extensively by locals with the smattering of tourists. It is also a good place to grab a meal as the food booths are always crowded and have a diverse selection of things to eat. I grabbed some coca candy and tried a few of them. I was still disoriented by altitude sickness and I was hoping they would help.
Once I was done with the market I went back to the hostel for lunch. Over lunch I chatted with some more people. It was a diverse group at lunch that day. I chatted with people from Argentina, Brazil and Switzerland. They were all going or had been to Machu Picchu and we discussed it at length. For the rest of the afternoon I just relaxed in the courtyard and dozed off from time to time. That evening at 7pm I had my orientation at the BioAndean office. So at the specified time I went to the office and met up with Ryder. He is the one I had been emailing with for the last few weeks. I met my tour leader Puma and we sat down at a nearby restaurant Coca tea. I would drink a lot of coca tea over the next few days but I will say I don't really enjoy it.
Puma took me through the Salkantay tour and it was a tough one. The first 2 days would get you progressively higher and higher. There was an option of a horse to get up the Salkantay pass but I was determined to try it on my own. The 3rd and 4th day were challenging but not as hard as they went downhill mostly. After he answered my questions he advised me that my pickup would be at 545am tomorrow at my hostel. After that I collected my sleeping bag and walking poles and went back to the hostel.
At this point I hadn't actually met any of my roommates. I was in a room with a number of Brazilians and a lady from Austria. The Brazilians (Ligia, Thiago) were going on the Jungle trek tomorrow. The Jungle trek is slightly different because you stay in hotels and hostels after each night instead of camping. It is a more comfortable way of doing the Machu Picchu hike. The Austrian (Beatrice) had just completed her Machu Picchu hike and she gave some good advise on what to bring on the hike. We all chatted about our travels and where we were going to next. That night the hostel had a bbq dinner for 20 soles. It was good meal and we drank a bit as we sat down and chatted. Latin Americans were heavily present at the hostel and I had some trouble following things when people chatted in Portuguese and Spanish. I had an early morning so I went to bed early.
Tomorrow I would be facing the hardest challenge of my life. I had be preparing for months but judging by how hard I was still breathing it would not be easy. But I swore to myself as I fell asleep I would make it to the top.
Tot: 0.817s; Tpl: 0.043s; cc: 10; qc: 30; dbt: 0.0155s; 1; m:saturn w:www (22.214.171.124); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.3mb