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Published: January 23rd 2016
Machu Picchu was stunning! Absolutely heavenly. I have to admit that by the fourth day of the Inca Trail, I was over it. My ankles and knees killed me. They are still killing me. I feel like I hiked solo all four days. As soon as we started hiking, my group was already halfway down the mountain. I was left to small talk in Spanglish with the tour guide for hours. It felt like not having a place to sit at the lunch table in school and eating in the classroom because I had no friends. *Violin sounds
The beginning of arriving at Machu Picchu would’ve gone a lot better if it wasn’t for:
A. Dying physically and…
B. Under the assumption 140 soles was taken from me.
The night before the group was compiling tip money for the porters and cook. I put in my share, but the rest of my money deep in my sweater pocket. Rookie move, I know. This was after the third day, the nine — for me, ten — hour day of hiking. The hike that includes the lovingly-titled bit called “The Gringo Killer.” Eight thousand
straight down on hard stone. This is not an exaggeration. Needless to say, by the time I got back to my tent after dinner and tip collaboration I passed out harder than a blacked out sorority girl. I forgot to put my money back into my freaking wallet!
You could imagine my dismay when I peered into my empty-ass wallet. I didn’t realize that morning when I packed up that sweater that the money was still in there. The whole beginning part of the day I was huffing and puffing, morning the loss of my soles. It wasn’t until later that night when I looked into the pocket and found it. I felt so much better. Still haven’t lost anything!
After Machu Picchu I beelined for the hot springs. For ten soles, you can take a dip in a pool-sized hot jacuzzi. A lot of people give it a bad wrap because it is not the cleanest of waters (aka, natural springs.) When water isn’t chemically altered to be a crystal blue, rich white people tend to freak out. To that I say, get over yourselves.
That shit felt awesome. I was so dirty
at that point that any
body of water is an upgrade. I just laid back and drank my first Pisko Sour, while the rest of my group looked at me like I was some crazy American Alcoholic. Oh my God, Becky, she’s drinking during the day!
Agh, that’s probably not what they thought. I’m just bitter that they left me to walk on my own for four days.
I made a closer connection with the three boys from London on the two hour bus ride back to Cusco than I did with the Scandinavians on the four day trek. Still, that night the group went out for dinner to celebrate our hiking accomplishment. The restaurant we went to was delicious! Papacha’s, a gourmet burger place. I got the Mustafa Burger, a burger topped with falafel and creamy cabbage yogurt chunks. Sooooo good!!
The best decision I made this day was booking a private room at the Milhouse hostel. I just threw all my belongings everywhere across the room and sank into my queen sized, fluffy bed. I slept peacefully for 12 hours.
Oh and another thing, I
totally take back every time I’ve ever referenced something as a ‘shit hole.’ Now that I have seen, smelled and used an actual shit hole in my life, I know that nothing actually compares. Let me tell you, they are so much worse than anything I’ve ever known. With all of the money Machu Picchu is making, I am so surprised they don’t lug actual toilets up there. To paint the picture that I know you want to see, first of all, you know you are near one yards away because of the stench. It days and days worth of pent up urine, shit, vomit — you name it — rotting in the air. You get into the “stall” and there it is. A hole. No toilet whatsoever. There is no toilet paper, no soap, not even place to hang your stuff, so while you’re squatting you’re clutching your possessions with dear life not to drop them into the brown abyss. In South America, the pipes cannot handle toilet paper, so you must throw the toilet paper you use in the trash. The miniature
trashcan was located outside
of the stall, so what people did was stack piles and piles
of their used shit/pee toilet paper right next to where you are supposed to squat!
Some people would take a dump, completely missing the hole altogether! As heavenly as Machu Picchu is, hell is right around the corner and it goes by the name of El Baño.
I wish I had more time to put up these blog posts. Finding working smooth internet in Peru is an art form. I’m so behind on it. My goal is to be up to date on all the blog posts by the time I see Jon. I really can’t wait to see him!
I have officially made my exit out of Cusco. I’m on a double decker bus on the way to Bolivia. High alerts engaged because it is the bus ride in Bolivia and walking around Brazil where I have heard more stories of people getting robbed. I’m at the mercy of the bus right now. They made me put my big bag below the bus. They did so with everyone. Worst cast scenario (and it better not
be worst case scenario) I only have my clothes in there. All my valuables are up in the
seat, locked, with me. The bus driver motioned me to put that bag under the bus to. I very sternly declined. He then made a motion of hugging the bag, advising me against pick pockets. What a nice guy!
I got eight hours on this bus. It’s already 11pm here and I’m getting sleepy. —Oh wait, never mind. The baby up at the front just began to cry and shit his pants. God’s way of keeping me awake to watch my things. Good call, big G.
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