Watch out world the Barkers are coming!
WE MADE IT!!!! Finally we made it to the fabulous ruins of Machu Pichu! Tues night I was indeed treated to a whole roast Guinea Pig, Cuy Horne, as they call it here. I was warned by the waiter it would take an hour, which was quickly filled with 5 local Peruvians and their various instruments playing the local Pan Pipe music and dancing in circles. When the beast arrived it was presented for taking a picture, whole with a tomato, parsley head dress, feet and all. At least a chilli was stopping it from screaming! Only joking it was cooked through and through. They then took it away and quartered it. There was not much meat and it was unfortunately stuffed with some seaweed type greens with a really strong flavour of cumin, not particulary nice, but it was an experience! I persuaded Dave to come Horse riding with me around the Inca ruins which surround Cusco on Wednesday. After our 'Horse man' guide had us waiting in the square for 40mins before putting us in a taxi with a different guy who spoke no English, and very little Spanish for that matter, we met our horses. Mine was quiet young and liked being in the lead, although still struggled up hills and took a great deal of encouragement to break into a trot which would last 1 min! Dave's on the other hand was deffinately dying, if not just a spirit. It puffed it's way up the mountains and stumbled/ fell down them, head down the whole way. Not in good shape! By the time we arrived at the first ruin the heavens had opened, thunder and lighting, the lot. The ruins are impressive but there is no information for any of them, no signs of what things are, no tour guides, no maps. take heed those who may visit Inca ruins, buy a book it the local town and bring with! After two hours 1 very drenched Mare and 1 Stalion and 2 useless horses finished their dreadful tour. Funny though, and it got us out in the fresh air! Early thursday we left Cusco and drove through more beautiful Andean scenery and jungle to Aguas Calientes, 'the town of Machu Pichu'. Very touristy place obviously, glad it is off peak season. We spent most of the day at the hot baths 'hence the name hot water', it was wonderful, up in the crevice of the mountians covered in low cloud, we bathed in mineral hot baths, med temp, and even tried the freezing cold! It was warm and sunny, and great to watch the old local ladies having their weakly wash in the magic waters. We did feel a bit guilty after not doing the 3 day walk. That night we met with the tour group we should have been with, 5 Irish friends from Doctor College, could we have been in better hands!? They seem really nice and said the walk was amazing, and the tour guide was great, gutted is not the word!! Up early, 4.30AM!! To take the bus up to Machu Pichu it was certainly worth the wait, the mist was just clearing as we arrived and we were pritty much the only people there. We started in at the same view point as the pictures and the local tour guide, from Inca descendant himself, a true believer of the religion of the sun god, took two hours to show us all the special temples, sacred stones, sun dials, housing quarters etc. It was amazing and so imaculate this picture does not do it justice, we shall put some of our own up soon, (I know someone is getting impatient Sam Barker!). We then had our own time to walk around and admire the sight, but by 10 the big tours and school kids started arriving and the sun started blasting through, so we decided to come back down to write to you alllll about it. Dave is much better now, a little R and R and he is back to normal self, so out tonight for a few to celebrate, and the antibiotic course has stopped. Yipee!! Lots of love to all El