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Published: October 23rd 2006
3rd October- 19th october
Coming back to my much loved, intoxicating, liver-damaging cuzco was bound to be dangerous. The cheesy nightlife haunts of mama africa, mythology, and uptown were indeed beckoning each night i dared to say- ¨no, tonight i will not go out...i will not drink. i will take it easy!¨
By the end of my travels here, i came to realise that i had spent a total of almost a month in cuzco! When i was here in june, i was laid waste with patying with the friends that i had made along the way. This time i was motivated to do some more ¨culturaly influenced activities!¨
So checked myself back into my second favourie hostel in south america- LOKI hostel. situated high above the hills, with demanding views from the verandahs and magical views at night from the bar seat from where i sat drinking the night away in the company of others stuck in my same predicament of cuzco-procastination.
limiting myself by not going out the night before the infamous INCA trail which has daunted my travel plans to a paralyising extent as some
of you know. so in the early morning of 7th october, i get aboard with my group for what was to be one of myhighlights of south america. another tick box adventure that delves into the historic INCA empire.
i headed with Andean Life, great tour company, great guide and porters. and an absolutely awesome group. we had a blast. 1 australian, 3 brits, 1 american, 1 irish and a german. all young and full of humour. there wasnt a dull moment on the trek...which is just as well, as some days you felt like you were about too pass out from exhaustion!
4 days of trekking up and down mountains. the second day was an absolute killer as that mountain was relentless in its upward ascent. admittedly, the higher that mountain was, the more i loved it. it was not only a physical but also a mental challenge! having crossed 3 passes along the way, carried by my trustfull walking stick, and keeping company with the group and occasionally charging ahead with the porters. i realised my spanish was greatly improving when my conversation would be entirely in spanish!
We passed by
partyin in Bar 7
with Sue(ireland) and carlos (US)
stunning valleys, ancient inca sites and ruins. explored the sites and were encaptivated in the history. damn spaniards however, they have brought so much destuction to so many places in south america...all in the name of colonisation!
We would stop at breath-taking views at lunch and at night. sleep in tents, and look out under the southern stars each night. eat amazing food in our makeshist dining room! have a laugh...and occasionally a crazy dance...even salsa! you cant escape the latin beats!
then finally day 4, we woke up early and started our slow ascent to machu picchu. walking through the sun gate around 6:00, you had to pinch me to make me believe what i was seeing. The distant magic of machu picchu staring back at me... definitely one of the most intoxicating sites i had ever seen in my life...up there with the Taj Mahal!
We toured the site with the 1000 of others that descended on machu picchu that day...most of which had come up for the day on a train...i dont think you should be allowed in if you havent walked the trail! the city was beautiful,
surrounded by majestic mountains curtained by mystic clouds that just added to the overall magic of the place.
troubled by exhaustion, most of the group decided to relax. whereas, i ventured to climb every mountain, see every site that there was to see. i loved this place! wow! wow! wow! very touristic, but for a reason! it was bloody fantastic! then the long train trip back to cuzco for that muchly deserved hot shower and meal!
the rest few days were spent chilling in cuzco, until my next trip- Rafting! Rio Apurimac! said to be one of the best rafting rivers in south america, with grade 2-5 rapids! also said to be the main river feeding into the amazon which i would later be cruising down! our hardcore group consisted of 1 aussie, 2 germans, 1 brit and 1 israeli. the first day was introductoy and basic. but with the help of our guided Jesus (who we would often find walking on water), the next 2 days were filled with water-splashing, adrenalin surging fun as we tackled all that the riverhad to offer!! sleeping by the banksides in tents on the
sand, and warming ourselves by the bonfire each night...even roasting marshmellows! our cargo boat got stuck on on of the orcks at one point...really badly and could not get out. our things in the apparently waterproof bags got drenched! we had to use 4 ropes and alot of muscle power to finally rescue it...taking almost an hour!!! such was the force of the river! that night was spent largely hanging our underweraon our head in an attempt to dry them beside the fire!
i did manage alot more shopping, and visited Coroicancho, an old inca site, where the rocks were subsequently used for the base of the existing Sainto Domingo church that played an important monasterial role for much of the spanish colonisation.
had to leave...really needed to leave...and boarded the next plane out of there to lima wheer i chilled before heading out to Iquitos to start my jungle trip down the amazon!
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