Time starts to pass really quickly now. We are on our way to Santiago de Chile and leave Peru behind with a weird feeling as if the holidays would be over. Peru is really a great country, they have everything you need for a great vacation: beaches, mountains, jungle, desert, ski resorts, big cities...everything ... And we did only have the time to discover a very small part of it even if we saw a lot.
From La Paz we took a night bus to Cusco, the base camp for everybody who wants to do a trek to the Machu Picchu. A really nice city with a lot of Inka sites and historic churches etc. The city is full of tourists and you can tell that they do a lot to make them feel safe and enjoy their stay. It is clean and the traffic is not that bad. Our guide told us that the city even offers classes in civilised driving. They should do that also in Lima and la Paz and...well everywhere else.
So we started the four day Lares Trek at 4:30 in the morning and it turned out that we would only be four people doing the trek (Christian, me and two American girls Lindsay and Sarah) and five people taking care of us (two wranglers, two cooks!!! and our guide). The first aventure was the local bus we took to our starting point. It was so charged on the top that it tore apart an electrical cable that was hanging a bit too low over the street. A lot of shouting and discussing and half an hour later our driver had somehow convinced the owner of the house that we needed to continue our way. I hope the poor guy is not without electricity for the next weeks. The bus also informed the passengers on a sticker, that if you had colera, that wasn't the fault of the driver but it is because you don't wash your hands...we didn't touched anything in the bus after seeing that.
We started our hike in 2800m altitude and we really enjoyed it for the first two hours until it started to rain heavily. We had a great lunch break with hot coca tea to recover for another couple of hours of hiking downhill. We camped in a picturesque valley with a small river and snow covered mountains around it. After a soup and trout!!! and banana flambée for dinner we went to bed at 8:00 pm because we were to continue our trek at 5:30 in the morning and the mountain we were supposed to hike up really scared us. Weather was better next day because it didn't rain for hours. But anyway we had snow, hale, rain and sunshine, everthing during a couple of hours. We hiked up until 4010 m and than had another great lunch break. I don't know how they managed to cook that well in this small tent. The food was far better than we had in any restaurant so far. And after cooking the poor guys had to clean up, pack everything, do the same hike as we did charged with their stuff and in sandals passing us on the trek, unpack everything at the next campside, cook and clean up again. Wow, what a job and they did so well. They even brought us coca tea to wake us up before breakfast so we could stay a little longer in our sleeping bags.
On the third day in the afternoon we took a bus to Aguas Calientes from where we were supposed to go to Machu Picchu very early next morning.
The sacred Inka city really met all the expectations we had. Breathtaking views and very interesting ruins. Chanis, our guide, really knows a lot about it. But Machu Picchu wasn't enough for us, we wanted more ;). So we took the stairs to Death up the Wayna Picchu from where you have the best view in Peru! 500 uneven stairs without anything to hold on to for the most of the time and quite a lot of metres of bare rock beside them. Kind of scary! And it is so exhausting going up! I felt like telling everybody... Please hold on to the rope or please watch the steps because I was really scared that somebody could slip. I literally saw people falling down. I guess my father gave me that fear of heights and that imagining of a catastrophy coming. Nothing happened though and we got down safely with very nice pictures on the camera.
It turned out that our two American friends also wanted to go to Ica because they also had to go back to Lima and Ica is on the way. Ica is a city in the desert and it has a natural oasis a couple of km away where you can relax and feel like in the caribian sea. We thought it would be a good idea to recover from the trek before going to Chile. It wasn't so relaxing in the end. We did a buggy tour with sand boarding which was sooo much fun! And at night we had a wine and pisco tasting tour aka drink as much as you want for 20S (5€). I'll never have Pisco ever again in my life! we met a lot of other backpackers and had a little taste of what our journey will be like in the caribean Sea.
Back in Lima we had to say goodbye to Sarah and Lindsey who invited us to come to see her in Los Angeles.