28th April continued:
I think Michael was even made physically sick by the acidic strength of the liquid.We then headed outside for a little round of an Inca drinking game, which involved throwing gold coins at a special table and scoring points according to where they landed. I was shockingly good at this, and came second only to Jose, but I was still allowed to win a glass of everyone's fave vomit-inducing beverage, chicha. Yey.
Eventually, we arrived at Ollyntaytambo and the sacred valley for some serious trekking practice. But first, we headed to our last hotel for a while to check outselves in. We had only just strolled through the gates and dumped our stuff down in the leafy garden when Ruben just casually popped put from behind a bush and bowled on over to us. Rach and I responded to this with 'Er, Ruben, how are you always just there waiting for us?! Are you like a time-lord or something?' We left him chuckling away, dumped our stuff in our room and headed out to meet Jose and the others for trekking practice around the Sacred Valley. This practice involved mainly walking up stone steps and leisurely checking out various ruins and Inca stuff whilst we were at it. However, we all still became out of breath incredibly rapidly during the climbs, and so, rests for Jose's informative talks were frequent.
Once we had completed the Sacred Valley tour and Rach and I had incurred alarmed stares from the rest of the group after girating behind a French g-rent crew during a talk from their guide, we headed back to the hotel for a rest. As usual however, Rubes was on hand straight after to take us out for dinner times. During this meal in a hearty and modern restaurant, me and Rach, after seating ourselves next to Ruben, enjoyed a blow-by-blow recount of every major event in his entire life, complete with dates and everything. I literally felt like I should have been taking notes.
Most of the crew headed back after the meal, but Rach and I decided to make the most of our location and access to the Internet, which after that night would not be available again for a good four days. Once we had found an ample Internet place and had been tapping away for a while, Rach went to the loo. A fairly innocuous action you may think, and since she had not instantly informed me of any problems upon her return, I decided to take a trip myself. I cannot describe, through the power of language alone just how skanky this toilet was. Basically, it lacked every basic function that would mean it could be called a toilet. It was really just a ceramic container of crap. On returning to my computer I angrily said to my commerade, 'Rach, you didn't bloody tell me it was Satan's own toilet!'
Eventually, we were done on the computers and headed up to pay our dues. I did not expect to end the night having this conversation with the Peruvian man that owned the place:
Owner: 'No, no 'finito!'
Me: 'Er si, lo siento...'
Owner: 'Donde vives?'
Owner: 'Ah, Ingleterra, muy bien! Y hablas espagnol?'
Me: 'Si, un pequito'
Owner: 'Oh, you are a very, very beautiful girl!'
Me: 'Oh, gracias...' I was then forcibly yanked into a hug and kissed on the cheek by this insane man, and only just managed to wriggle free and drag Rach down the stairs after me before he got more amorous. We climbed into bed that night fully petrified, partly of intense Internet cafe owners, but mainly of what the Inca Trail the next day would throw at us...