OK technically this blog is also a lie as im actually in Arequipa (which is nice!) and not Machu Picchu but as you may have guessed they havent got as far as putting internet cafes on the inca trail yet (although on the third campsite there is a bar!) so im writing this one from afar!
Well it was absolutely fantasmagorical! and totally amazing and i loved every second! We set off with our newly bought hats (which are the dorkyest things ever but you saw my face after the last "face in the sun too long incident!" and it also held my fringe which is way too long now out of my eyeballs so i could actually see which was quite vital in the not falling down a steepo cliff to my death way! so anyway the first day wasnt too taxing but was dam hot and the sun was strong! it was mostly fieldy mountains and lots of them! at the end we hiking up a quite steep hill to our camp site which was away from the others and had the most amazing views of the mountains opposite! it wasnt even too cold at night as the sleeping bag i rented was a -10 one as it gets to about -5 at night! i was actually even almost too hot! which is a first for camping for me (two words - april wales! nuff said!)
Day two is reknowned for being well tough as you climb to the highest point on the whole trail up a steep mountain and the down the well steep other side! but i literally went at jordan and jabia walking home speed (which is just faster than being stopped all together!) and so didnt find it that hard and wasnt even out of breath at the top which is called dead womans pass! it was all misty and dead womany looking at the top too and freezing but i was still only in a t-shirt and a big dorky rain poncho as hiking is hard work! actually my poncho was gangster as it had a penguin on the back but anyhoo! we got to the top and what got me up there was singing "oh the old grand duke of york" in my head all the way up, its the right speed for walking and breathing and did me good! its called dead womans pass because its evil and mainly because when at the bottom if you tilt your head you can see the outline of a womans face and boob! (thats a general observation by the way im not just a perv!) everyone agreed that going down was way worse than up as it jolts your knees and kills your calves and thighs!
Meanwhile we´re hiking this trail at dead snail speed and struggling carrying a small day bag the porters who carry all your camp site and food etc are literally jogging carrying the biggest packs ive ever seen and which are way bigger than they are and apprently weigh 25 kgs but thats a blatent lie those things are absolutely huge!!!!!! i swear i was in total awe of these guys they were amazing! what they do sometimes 4 times a month would be literally impossible to you or I and yet they do and make it look easy! and whats worse is they clap YOU when you get into camp having left way before them in the morning and carrying way less than them! for a group or 10 of us plus 2 guide and 2 cooks we had 16 porters who were amazing and really lovely!
The third day was definitely a highlight! the scenery all changed from scary big ol mountains to almost jungle and pretty rainforestyness! (yes thats an offical term for it!) its the season for orchids too of every shape colour and size so the trail smells really nice and flowery too! this day was a really nice walk and again like all of it had amazing views and scenery which the pictures wont even do justice but you will get the idea! there was also the first opportunity for a shower when we got to the campsite o the third day but we all decided whats one more days stink! and to be honest the showers smelt like the toilet so i think i would have been dirtier after it! (if that was possible because we did all stink lol!) To prove how much i did enjoy it i even opted for the extra long way walking part on the third day to another ruin thing which was also cool! As you would guess there are only "inca bio toilets" on the way which is basically peeing in a bush but there is no where to go as its mostly cliffs either side of you so when kelly and I were dying to go we found an old ruin up a bit of a hill and used that instead and it was better and cleaner than any of the camp toilets which were china styly squat ones which is always nice when your legs are shaking from going downhill for 2 hours!
The fourth and final day was the day we got up at 3.50am to be on the road for 5am to get to the sungate to see the sun rise on machu picchu but when we got there it was too cloudy and misty so we only caught glimpses of it which i think made it more cool actually! then we walked down a big old hill trail stopping at some more ruins to catch our breath and get more cloudy views! then we arrived!!!!!!!!!! you get there and theres loads of well groomed llamas or alpacas i still cant tell the difference! and you walk a bit further along and then see "that view" of machu picchu which is on all the post cards and the pic for this blog! and it was everybit and way more as amazing than i expected! if im honest this was the part of my trip i having been waiting for the most and i loved it! we took loads of pics and group pics and then headed down to start a 2 hour tour of the place with our inca trail guide hose who was very nice and good along with the assistant guide enrique, it was well sunny and hot again which made it great once the mist cleared which it did very soon after we arrived!
After our tour and saying goodbye to machu picchu we headed down the mountain to the little town where we had lunch then caught a train back to ollantaytambo to catch our bus back to cusco. The train was very scenic and lovely and then got very odd when the train staff turned into catwalk models modelling alpaca clothes and some guy dressed up in loads of colours and a crazy devil mask popped out and dances up the aisles! twas very amusing though!
We spent one more day in cusco then flew on a DEATH PLANE! to arequipa! i swear i thought we were actually going to die, before we set off the lights and electrics were flickering on and off then we had loads of turbulance and it was a little scary shall i say! but we survived and were hear now! arequipa reminds me a bit of santaigo, its a big massive flat city surrounded by mountains well techinally here some are volcanos which are cool and havent exploded yet! we took a little 24hour trip to colca canyon yesterday and today we saw some condor which are like flying seals i swear they are huge! actually theyre birds but they do look a bit like a flying seal! anyhoo have go on lots and lots and someones waiting for the pc now so have to go ooh and have uploaded to facebook the inca trail pics but have run out of time to upload the machu picchu ones sorry! will do very soon promise!
lots of love and see you soon 10 days and im home how crazy!
Nat (hiking genius!)