Had a bit of a comedic day with my first plane being delayed causing me to have to leg it through Lima airport to catch my connecting flight with only 5 minutes to spare, then I get to Buenos Aires only to find my bag hasn´t turned up, then my taxi driver drops me at a random building instead of my hostel… could only happen to me! Anyways at my hostel now, and its pretty awesome from what I can see… THERE´S EVEN A BATH IN MY ROOM! Made friends with a girl from Sao Paulo who´s going to show me around a bit tomorrow.
Since my last blog post I´ve done a lot of stuff. Crossed back into Peru via Puno, and took a boat across Lake Titicaca to Isla Taquile. It was a lovely little island and the people were very welcoming. One day I kayaked for two hours across the lake from the island to another part of the mainland. Unusually for me I really loved it.
After Lake Titicaca it was onto Cusco for the last leg of the tour. We spent a day there and enjoyed a nice meal in a place called Jacks, then the next day we drove down to the riverside and began our 3 days of whitewater rafting on the Urubamba river. First day was pretty fun and we had wars between the 3 rafts. In the evening we had a roaring fire to sit around in the small field we camped in. But then the second day was a lot colder, and on the third day we woke to rain pouring down, and the thought of putting on our sopping wet stinky wetsuits and going out on the raft barefooted was almost intolerable. Nobody wanted to raft. But we still did. It was freezing and miserable and we were all glad to be out of the rafts at the end. After warming up and changing we drove an hour to the beginning of the Inca Trail.
First day was pretty easy going. 4 hours up a winding trail along the mountainside. Unlike the trek in Bolivia, we had to carry our tents and camping gear this time and so the loads were heavy again. Thankfully the weather was preferable to the blazing sun we had every day in Colca.
The second day was much tougher. 4-5 hours constant up hill, following steep rocky steps. By the time we reached the ridge for lunch our legs were knackered. It was then another hour and a half downhill on the other side to camp. This was painful on the knees and ankles instead, and we were glad for camp at the end of the day. Unfortunately none of us had expected midges and so we were eaten alive that evening. As I brushed my teeth before bed that night in the darkness I noticed how brilliant the night sky was. Thousands of stars shone bright in the vast expanse and as I stood there I even saw a shooting star.
In the morning the mist of the day before had cleared and we welcomed the views of the nearby mountains. The weather was nicer but the day much longer. We left camp around 7am and didn´t get in to the next camp until 5pm.
On the fourth day we woke at 4am to leave at 5 to head to the sun gate in time to see the sun rise over Machu Picchu. Unsurprisingly it was extremely foggy and we sat at the gate until around half 7 before giving up and trekking down. We went down to the tourist office, dumped our huge backpacks and then waiting for a few of the others to bring up the sandwiches and join us for a wander around Machu Picchu. Our guide was a great guy, very cheeky, and gave us some insight into the history of the ruins. Then we were let loose to take pictures. Thankfully the mist cleared and we were rewarded with amazing views of Machu Picchu. I finally made it 🙂
After a day at Machu Picchu we hiked down to the town below, where we hung out at the Eco Packers hostel for food and until it was time to get the train to Ollantaytambo in the evening. The train was pretty plush but there were no views as it was dark by the time we were on it. An hour and a half bus ride after getting the train later, we were back in Cusco.
Yesterday was our last day together and we enjoyed lots of tat shopping, a slightly odd massage, then a pretty awesome night out. Now I´m in Buenos Aires alone and I looked forward to what the next stage of my adventure brings.