Hello again. It was really nice to speak to everyone this morning. Now it is time to fill you in on the details of the trail and Cusco. I have also uploaded photos from Puno to now. We arrived in Cusco on Tuesday afternoon and i set off to explore the city centre. It was just as you had described with the main square surrounded by covered walkways and the large cathedral on one side. You can really tell that it is the tourist capital of Peru by the abundance of very expensive gold and silver shops. On Wednesday we had a free day to explore the city. Our leader Jose wanted to take us to a local school which GAP are sponsoring, so we went off to the outskirts of Cusco to visit it. It was a tiny place with about 50 pupils in totatl. It is run by volenteers from around the world and it teaches the children skills so that they will be able to fend for themselves when the time comes and so that they will be able to support themselves financialy. It was a really worthwhile trip and we were able to support the school by buying the differt thing that the children had made. In the afternoon we went on a city tour to see the main sites, most of which are just outside Cusco. We visited Saqsaywaman which sits above Cusco and which was an Incan City. Thje stone works was absolutely amazing and the size of some of the stones was amazing. Thursday was the day that we were to start the Inca trail. As there were only 2 of us from our group doing the trail we were joined up with another GAP group. so we were picked up from our Hotel at 6 in the morning to be driven to the town of Ollantytambo where we were picking up the rest of the group. Here we were introduced to the other group that consisted of 2 Brits, 2 Sweede's, 1 Canadian, One French and one Japanese. From Ollantytambo we then continued in our bus to the famous Km 82 where we were to start from. Here we sorted ourselves out with Ponchos and wlaking sticks for the days ahead. We then proceeded to the first checkpoint where we had our passports stamped to prove that we were doing it. The first day was going to be the easiest of the 3 days as it was the flattest of the three. We started walking at about 9 and we walked until about 12:30 when we had lunch. During this walk we had to be carefull becasue all of the porters set off after us and had to get to camp before us. This involved them running along the trail, so we had to keep ducking out of the way. When we arrived at our lunch site we were welcomed by the porters and we were given fresh water and soap to wash our hand and face with. After this we sat down to the first of many really good meals. We had soup to start with then a main course and then hot drinks to wash it all down with after. And all of this was done sitting ina tent with a dining table and chairs, it was very well done and no0t what any of us had expected. After lunch we had 30 mins to rest and digest our lunch before heading of for the second leg of the day. This was more uphill than the first part and was a taster of things to come. But we still had to be carefull of the running porters who were passing us to set up camp for us by the time we arrived. We arrived at our fisrt campsite at about 4. It had been drizzling on and off all afternoon but when we got to camp it cleared up and we had the most amazing view over the valley that we had walked along and up. We were then suprised to find out that afternoon tea was waiting for us in our dining tent. it consisted of Popcorn and crackers with a selection of jams and hot drinks. After tea we reasted and waited for supper which turned out to be a three course affair which was really tasty. It was amazing how the chef could provied such good food from a tiny tent and just two hobs to cook on. After supper we retired to our tents because it was going to be an early morning the next day. I slept really well until about three in the morning when it began to pour down and make a rally loud noise as it hit the tent. On friday we were woken at 6. And again we were all suprised as when we were woken by a porter he immediatly offered us a hot drink which went down really well. After a breakfast consisting of porridge and pancakes we set off for what we were told would be the hardest day as we had to go over two passes one of which was calld Dead Womans pass and was at an altitude of 4215 m above sea level. immediatly we realised that it was going to be harder than the first day as we started climbing steeply very quickly. Like the first afternoon it drizzled on and off all day and at times we were engulfed by cloud. The group spread out quite quickly but it was nice that there were a couple of people at the same pace as me so we could move off infront. The final acsent of Dead Womans pass was an hour and a half up with a couple of thousand steps thrown in for good measure. It was a tough climb but was worth it when we got to the top. At the top we waited for the rest of the group which meant that we had about an hour of recovery time. It was then all down hill to the lunchsite. Me and the Canadian called 'Big'Ed took it on ourselves that if we got down to the bottom quickly then we would have more time to rest when we got down. So we pretty much ran down the mountain and the decsent that wea meant to take an hour and a half only took 45 mins. This meant we were able to have a quick snooze before the others got down. Lunch again was a 3 course affair with really good food. We were told that after lunch we only had to cross the other pass which was not as high as Dead Womans pass, to get to our camp site. We were not told that this pass was twice as steep on they way up and on the way down and that all the way up were stairs of differing heights. This climb really took its toll on the legs whic were even more damaged on the 3 hour decsent down yet more steps. We finally reached camp at about 5 to be met again by our porters offering hot water to wash in. We then again had afternoon tea which this time consisted of toast and jam and popcorn. This was shortly followed by yet another really good 3 course meal. Saturday was our meant to be our shortest day. We had walked 12km each on the first 2 days and we were only meant to be walking 6 on the third day. But becasue the landslide had still not been cleared we were going to have to walk from down to Aguas Calientes which was an extra 6km down steep hills. The third pass of the trail had to be passed on day 3, and it was quite a nice climb up. What we had not been told was that from the top to the lunchsite there were over 2200 steep steps downhill. After day 2 all our legs were a little stiff and it really was quite tough coming down the steps. But myself and the 2 sweedes decided that going down quickly was the way forward as you could not feel the pain as much. So we ended up practically running down the steps passing other groups who you could tell thought that we were mad. After our lunch we had to walk for 2 hours down hill to the railway which we had to walk alon to get to Aguas Calientes. It was a real relief when we finally reach our destination at about 4 and found a restaurant that served cold beers. This was to be the start of a very boozy celebration of the end of the trail in which we had one final meal from our chef and we than had the chance to say thank you to our group of 18 porters. I ducked out to bed at about 11:30, back to the hotel that we had booked before setting off. I found out the next morning that the few remaining people who were still going when i left had not finished until 3 and thay were feeling really worse for wear. All i can say about Machu Pichu was that it was absolutly amazing.we were a little unlucky with the weather but we had times when it cleared up to be able to take a photo. You will see from the photos what an amazinig place it is. we are off to the jungle tomorrow and we get back to lima in Friday. I will write when i get back. Speak soon.