Cannot believe this is the first chance ive had to attempt to finish this- now a year behind!!!
At 6am on Friday 8th April 2011, we arrived in Cusco, Peru. Im still suffering from altitude sickness and breathing/walking is difficult. My main concern now is how my daddy will be affected by it...he arrives tomorrow and I cannot wait to see him! Just hope he feels ok.
Steven and I visited the tour office for the company we booked to do Macchu Picchu with- we've been worried about it as its been confusing to deal with them with the language barrier.
Really enjoying cusco, its a beautiful city- full of character. The day before dad was due to arrive, we ran out of accessible money- none of our cards are working in the atms here and we were down to our last £5 of change we'd scraped together- thank God for good timing and thank God for dad!!!
We got to the aiport and bumped into our friends Jo and Justin again- great to see them. We weren't allowed to wait inside the airport so we stayed outside for ages waiting for Dad to land. So excited and emotional about seeing him at this point...and finally I saw his wee amazing face and we cried and hugged- lovely reunion! Literally could not believe he was here, in Peru, with us. What an awesome man!
We got a taxi back to our wee hotel- and then wandered around the lovely cobbled streets. Dad was dealing fine with the altitude- so relieved. He also came armed with gifts from home- toiletries, short bread etc...
Dad's cards are not working either- so thankful that he brought dollars or we'd all be stuck.
Tuesday 12th April 2011- the day had finally arrived to start our trip to Macchu Picchu- I have been dreaming about seeing this for years. We got up at 3.45am and our guide Roger picked us up at 4.30am. Lovely man. In the freezing cold, pitch black of the night, we walked down the hill to meet our transport. The car drove us for 2hours to Ollyntatambo. We walked to the peru rail station and boarded the fancy Vistadome tourist train. Pleasantly surprised with the quality of the train and breakfast was included- bonus. Just over an hour later, we disembarked at KM104- the starting point for our trek along the ancient Inca Trail. We crossed the bridge, showed our permits, used the banos and off we set.
It took us a while to get into the swing of the tough trek- the first hour was full of stops to adjust clothes, add layers, remove layers, apply suncream, insect repellent, water etc...And the whole day was HARD! 16km, predominantly uphill, literally thousands of tiny, steep steps and all made more difficult by the altitude and the difficulty breathing, the heat and the backpacks weighing us down.
Of course- it was entirely worth it. A real highlight was Wina Winah (forever young) runis- just breathtakingly stunning. An the proud wild llama standing in the middle just added to it.
Eventually, after around 8 hours of trekking, we made a final push, on hands and knees up the steep steps to Itipunku - 'the Sun Gate'- stepped through the ruin and had a literal jaw drop moment- the first sight of Machhu Picchu- and it was simply spectacular. Perfect view, clear weather and we sat down for food with a view that money cannot buy.
I was so proud of dad- not an easy day for a man of his age but he looked so happy to have fulfilled a dream of his and I was thrilled that we could help him achieve that. A day i'll never forget - me, my two favourite men and Macchu Picchu.
We spent a couple of hours wandering around Macchu Picchu and taking lots of pictures and then we got a bus down the windy road to the town of Aguas Calientes- not a nice place and probably the worst food ive ever eaten.
The following day, our train was due to head back to Cusco at 3pm but due to a landslide on the tracks, we were delayed by 4hours. We were exhausted when we arrived back to Cusco at 11.30pm.
Next stop Lima....