July 28, 2013
Day 3: Today was considerably easier than yesterday. The trail was much easier as it was a series of roads and trails. yesterdays trails was especially difficult because it was highly travelled by horses which ripped up the trail a lot making it very rocky and muddy. Last night we camped in the valley with quite a few other trekking groups. After an interesting breakfast (scrambled eggs and yuka? which is one of their wild potatoes), we were on the trail by 7:30- exactly as Bernie described. The days hike was a lot of ups and downs, stream crossings, mud bridges, jungle trails, and exotic flowers including orchids growing wild. We saw avocado, banana , ferns, bromeliads and such. The stops were at beautiful grassy areas with little thatched roofed stores to buy snacks, with pigs, chickens, dogs and other livestock running around. We hiked 6 hours today till our lunch place in Santa Theresa where Juan Carlos cooked us another great meal, always starting with some amazing soup. After lunch we napped on the lawn until a van came to pick us up. Today being the Peruvian Independence day meant there were not many buses running and cost twice as much so we crammed 10 of in plus the driver. After a short drive we got to our campsite with a little time to organize ourselves to go to the hot springs. We grabbed our bathing suits and towels and crowded back into the van. The hot springs were enormously crowded with tourists and Peruvians on holiday. The hot water felt so good on all the aches and pains as did a shower to get cleaned up after these heavy days of hiking. Back to camp for dinner then an invitation to go zip lining as a way to get to the hydroelectric dam instead of hiking for tomorrow. We all agreed that this would be a great thing to do for 90 soles (about $35).
After dinner a big fire was built, disco lights turned on and would you believe a wild and crazy evening of South Americans dancing and partying into the night. Most of the crazies were the trekking groups much to the delight of the guides, cooks and locals.
So tomorrow I zipline then hike for about 3 hours where we will get our first sighting of Machu Picchu. I am excited about this. What amazing days its been.