Monday, 7 January 2013


Hallo! So I have (just about) survived a 5 day Salkantay trek to the amazing Machu Picchu with the amazing Eoin, Andreas and Adam, and our group collaborated with a couple of lovely German girls called Lisa and Verena, three Ozzie gals called Renee, Katie and Ellen who were an absolute hoot and we had loads of fun with. Juan, our tour guide, got more and more hilarious as the trek went on, leading up to the last day when our group and our chefs and Juan and Mac (tour guide number two) all got absolutely hammered round the campfire in Hydroelectrico. This proved for a very interesting and hilarious morning, as the chef was still too drunk to actually be able to cook anything! And so we dined in style with bread rolls (no butter, chef lost it) and a terrible, terrible, drunkenly decorated cake. It was lucky we all found it so hilarious as it was a bit of a disaster.

So the trek entailed meandering through snow-capped mountains, up to a height of 4800m above sea level, passing alongside the mighty Salkantay mountain, before descending into the humid depths of the jungle on day three, finishing off doing zip-lining on day 4 (which is the MOST amazing and fun thing) before walking along the train tracks to Aguas Calientes, super tourist town which lies at the bottom of Machu Picchu mountain which towers above. The whole town is dwarfed by giant mountains covered in trees and is buzzing with a constant atmosphere of anticipation, excitement and relief. (also loads of bars do 4 drinks for 1 which is a bonus).

Regrettably I took the bus up to Machu Picchu itself, due to terrible blisters on my little toes which massively hindered my ability to walk, but it was a nice journey up and saved my feet for the 45 minute trek up Huaynu Pichu (the massive mountain overlooking the ruins) which proved to be oddly enormously enjoyable...not excercising makes whatever excercise I get quite a pleasant feeling on the old bod...Anyway. So we arrived at Machu Picchu in the morning, and took our final huffing steps up the viewpoint, and watched as its mystical secrets unfolded through the mist. Maybe a tad underwhelming, but the combination of its incredible age, incredible location and the sheer feat of human ability ensured that it took what little breath I had left from the climb away. We spent the afternoon napping on the top of Huaynu Pichu, taking naked photos and sketching, before making the descent to wander around the ruins once more (assisted by our makeshift hilarious guide, Eoin) before saying our farewells and heading back down to Aguas Calientes to shower and go for Pisco Sours before our (late) train back to Cusco, into which we arrived at 2 in the morning after a horrendous train and bus journey. But hey ho, we covered a good 80 or 90 kilometres, had an amazing time, covered a thousand topics of conversation, and saw some incredible landscapes.

Here are the photos from the last little while, covering Sucre, Christmas (sadly not New Year as both Andreas and Adam´s cameras got stolen, and the infamous Machu Picchu. Enjoy!

p.s. a lot of these pictures are courtesy of Adam Clelberd
P.p.s. they are also seriously jumbled...not sure how to recitfy this... starts with Sucre, moves on to La Paz, the walk is Pisaq, then Christmas, then back to Sucre. more pictures to come later!

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