Tuesday, February 27, 2007

For A Few Dollars More

Guess I have to say something about Machu Picchu :)

Day 1: We got the bus up to the top of a hill in the pouring rain and had lunch in a wooden shack in the middle of high jungle which had a giant corrugated iron bus shelter by it. We left the bikes about a meter outside the shelter. The rain stopped. We cycled for mile upon glorious mile of downhill track past sheer hills and jungle and fjords. The bikes slowly broke, the guides always taking the worst ones, by the end of the ride one guide had no chain and was scooting along, the other's saddle was at a painful looking angle. Got extremely muddy. Rained on and off.

Day 2: Trekked one of the Inca trails, again through jungle and along sheer hillsides, this time just wide enough for perhaps two people. My fear of heights and I got firmly reacquainted. Made friends with a pig at lunch.

Day 3: Seemed a bit pointless, but maybe that's just because it was mostly raining, we walked along a road before lunch and then a railway line after lunch, but we got to eat lots of things along the way. And see Machu Picchu (from below) for the first time.

Day 4: Got up at 4:30am and started the final accent to Machu Picchu. I think having been at altitude for so long has made me a bit fitter, Machu Picchu is relatively low, and quite a few of the others were having difficulty climbing the steps up. Machu Picchu itself are some recent ruins in good condition in an amazing setting. There's a vote on atm for the 8th wonder, they're pushing for Machu Picchu, but I'm not sure. While on the train/bus back to Cusco a fellow Machu Picchuer suggested I fly to Lima, rather than taking the 20 hour bus ride, as you can get tickets for under $60, not a lot more than the bus. Dropped my washing and asked for it by 12 the next day.

Day 5: Had a leisurely breakfast and got to the airport to enquire about tickets at about 10, to be told that the last cheap ticket was at midday, meaning I'd have to check my luggage in at 11. Rushed back to the hostel to see if my washing was ready. It wasn't, but I could go down the road to pick it up wet. Got back in the same taxi, went down the road, jumped out to search for my clothes, once I had found them and got back into the taxi the driver advised me not to leave my bags in taxis in Cusco as drivers often just drive off with them, but luckily he didn't like doing that. Made it to the airport at 11:00, hoping I had remembered to pack everything in my haste and checked in with a carrier bag full of wet washing as my hand luggage.

The first thing that I did in Lima was to check out the markets for cameras. It actually depressed me seeing all these blatantly stolen cameras, I think I was secretly hoping that I might see mine. I'm going to have to buy one from a shop (I'm probably going to buy a compact until the insurance comes through, finger's crossed), I cannot stomach buying a stolen camera. Bloody morals.

Hopefully some of the guys that were on the trek with me will take pity and donate a couple of pictures so that you don't have to just imagine me clinging to rocks along the way :)

Something I heard recently: "It's not that I don't believe in God, I do, it's just that I don't respect him."


Anonymous said...

i´m just a stupid german... but: isn´t it "poUring" rain??!

Jamie said...

Yes probablly.