Greetings from Peru. Its very high up here, 3500m, and I was sick as a dog the first few days but I'm over all that now you'll be delighted to hear. I'm just back from doing the Inca Trail yesterday and it was amazing but I was completely knackered after it. It was a 4 day multi sport option trip I did and it really was all go.
The first day we got collected at 8 and headed high up for the mountains so we could bike it down from the top. It was really misty and wet at the beginning and at a few points all I could see was the yellow line on the road to guide me and going down those windy mountain roads at a nice little speed is pretty scary but I managed not to go over the egde so its all good. Death road should be a piece of piss now! The more we got down the mountain the warmer it got plus the worse the roads got so we went from being drenched on good roads to getting sun burnt on these really bummpy dirt roads but it was great fun. The group I was in consisted of 22 and 20 of them were from Israeil. I was the cat amoung the Jewish pigeons! Listening to them talk Hebrew sounds like a flem contest but they were grand. A bit clicky to say the least but I got on well with the other non Israeili girl on the trip. When we finished the bikes we went to our "hostel" and played a few games of footy for the evening which was nice. Somene told me the histel was 5 star and I believe them cause I could see 3 of them through the hole in my bedroom ceiling wha?
The next day we started the trek on the Inca trail and old dumbass here had to bring pretty much all his stuff in the big rucksack while everyone else had their slick little backpacks containing just the right amount and weight. 6 friccin hours I had to lug that thing around on the Inca trail. Me shoulders felt like rock at the end of it. Luckily I was able to get rid of it cause one of the guides had to go vote in the elections in town. Did you know every single person in Peru has to vote or else you face a fine which apparently is fairly hefty by local standards. Thats one way of keeping democracy alive and well. We had a 3 hour trek in the afternoon but this was on much more level dirt roads and as half the group went on ahead in the van it was much quicker moving so it wasn't too bad. Fairly knackered again by the time we finished so just had food and went to bed. The food isnt great here. Its mostly watery soup as a starter and the main is always plain rice, chips and some sliver of meat to go with. I got a steak the other night and it was basically the same slice you'd get for packaged beef slice in aldi! Bring on Argentina
The third day we had the option to go zip lining in the valley which I went for straight away. The instructer was this big thick German headed guy who was hilarious giving the instructions. He was only a few phrases away from say ze papers are not in order!The zip lining was cool but the only drawback was you had to hike up the mountain with all the harnesses on which were restrictive to say the least. The major thing I've noticed here on all the activitys is the complete lack of health and safety. They tell you how to do something and its up to you to use your common sense to not fall off the cliff or whatever. Theres no one pouring water on the floor of supermacs over here making a claim.
The main course arrived yesterday. The town at the base of Machu Piccu, Aguas Calientes, is far and away the nicest town in Peru. Its got nice hotels and restaurants and all mod cons. I'd forgot what that was after all the rest of the crappy towns I seen. We set off at 4 am to trek up the mountain and I have to say it was brutal. It was cold, raining and the steps were just killer. They are rocks laid down so there is no uniform size and the longest stretch of steps not broken up by windy road up is the last bit and it nearly broke me. In summary, take the bus. But in fairness it was all worth while to see Machu Piccu. I cant remember what age I was in primary school when I first seen it in a history lesson but it was a real thrill to see it up close after all those years. To think of the hardship they must have went through to make it was unbelievable. There wouldnt be a household without a major book publishing contract to tell their stories. In fairness its actually a really nice town and once it warmed up around 10 it was gorgeous with the weather and the views were stunning. The Inca's might have been engineering experts and what not but they like an ould view out the kitchen window too after a hard days slog. It started to get busy so I left just after lunch - stupid lamo tourists and their stupid comfortable buses. At least my feet had honest, pride giving blisters and superior moral aches and pains, that'll show them.
Anyways back in Cusco now and have to organise a trip onto LA Paz via Copacabana on Lake Ticitaca. I'll call in and see how Lola is getting on in the showgirl business.