Sunday, November 6, 2011

Peru & the Inca Trail!

I conquered the Inca trail YEAH!!

Because it was definitely a challenge. Four days of crazy hiking. It was a lot fancier than I thought it´d be though - the food! We had like 3 course meals and tea time at 5 every day! We even had pancakes with dulce de leche one morning YUM. Plus we got hot water to wash our hands/feet/faces which was amazing.

But what was REALLY amazing was the porters! Our group of 12 had 18 porters carrying all our tents, groceries, sleeping bags, propane, everything. And they literally RUN up the mountain with so so so much stuff on their backs. They´re incredible! We also had two tour guides named Socrates and Jesus, no joke. They were really funny. We played bananagrams with them one night. I learned a ton from Socrates about the Incan culture and architecture, like the Andean cross or chacana which is really complicated and has a symbol in it for just about every part of Incan life. Crazy.

So seeing those porters sprinting up the mountains in FLIP FLOPS was especially awe-inspring because we were strugglin´ hard core. Day 2 was for sure the hardest, even though it wasn´t the longest, because we had to climb over the highest pass. It´s called Dead Woman´s Pass because from the bottom it´s supposed to look like a dead woman or something, but also because once you have climbed over it you are dead. And your legs are shaking and your face is frozen off because it has been raining all day and the wind is cruel. Day 3 was the longest but at that point we were all going a bit crazy which made it easier. Karelle, Sarah, Conner, Arden and I were bringing up the rear and dubbed ourselves the mountain goats. This mental strategy was literally the only thing that got me through day 3 because mountain goats NEVER get tired. Jesus stayed at the back with us the whole time and probably thought we were insane because we were singing and making animal noises and laughing hysterically. We decided that we need t-shirts that say ¨Mountain goats want s´mo¨. Also if we had a band it would be called Jesus and the Mountain Goats.

When we finally got to Machu Picchu on day 4 I was dead tired but it was still beautiful! We visited a ton of the temple ruins and saw where the Inca (king) lived and all the fountains and places where they´d do sacrifices and stuff. It´s amazing that the Incans had to move all those rocks to make their buildings. HUGE rocks. And we thought we had it bad hauling rocks on our mountains in the ´Walp!

Then we took a bus down to the town Aguas Calientes where we gorged ourselves on a buffet lunch. Later we took a beautiful train ride back to Cuzco. Did I mention that none of us had showered in the past 4 days of trekking. So we reeked pretty bad.

Then we had today to recover in Cuzco (DO LAUNDRY YAY) before we leave tomorrow for the longest day of travel - Peru to South Africa. I think it is like five flights or something. W0o0o0o thats all I can write now because the internet here is awful and this has to post so I can go pack hokay sorry bye

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