Well, the whole time on the trail I was wondering why I repeatedly choose to take three or four day strenuous hikes here in Peru. It´s crazy really, because I am not even a big fan of hiking. BUT, nonetheless, it was tons of fun.
I lucked out in many ways...Jackie decided to cancel her trip and not go with me, for one! Then, another person dropped out of our group because they were sick, so we were down to 4 people in our group when usually it is 14 or 16 for the Inca Trail. On the second day, two people left our group and went ahead because they needed to hike it in three days not four. SO it was down to me and Anthony, a nice guy from London, and our guide.
Needless to say, with only Anthony and myself on the trail with this young Peruvian guide, who does he fancy more?? By the end he basically ignored Anthony´s presence, not acknowledging anything he said or did. I didn´t think it was very nice, and I didn´t appreciate the repeated invites to dance the night away in Cusco and then sleep at his house. What the hell? Oh, but this was supposed to convince me: "I don´t live with my parents" Good, because you are like 35??
Other than that we had a really nice time. Lots of interesting scenery, of course some hills of death to walk up, the Incans love their stairs and their mountains! It was really fun to race my guide down the 5,000 steps on the third day...we were passing porters left and right, and we even beat our porters to the campsite. Of course, my guide participates in the annual 48 km marathon through the mountains to Machu Picchu every year, in which he placed 5th out of 26 international competitors, so he beat me to the campsite. Haha, I shouldn´t have expected much less. The campsite on the third night was like, this plush place with a cafeteria and electricity, so we mingled with the other hikers. Anthony, myself, and our guide were playing cards and I invited the porters to play with us. It was lots of fun and a good way to practice spanishhh!
The hike was very different than hiking to Choquequiaro...very tourist oriented. Every campsite had small stores and stands and was grossly overpriced. Awesome service though, we had our own porters and a cook, and the food was great. Tea time every evening, and hot tea brought to our tent in the morning! High living out there on the Inca trail...
Machu Picchu was really awesome to see though, and we could explore the whole thing as we wished, and there were some llamas randomly hanging out in the main square.
Now I am just hanging out in Aguas Calientes waiting to catch the train back to Cusco. I decided to leave after the hoards of tourists arrived later in the morning at Machu Picchu...its funny how we don´t consider ourselves tourists, and we (the volunteers) complain about them, but truly, they are ridiculously embarassing to themselves.
Can´t wait to get to Cusco tonight, eat a salad, take a shower, and sleep in a bed! I will be going back to Urubamba tomorrow morning and my family may have moved houses. I have to call my mom and check so I go to the right place...