01.03.2009 - 14.03.2009
Arrived in Peru after 10 hours on a bus from Copacabana. The border is only about 20 mins from Cpoacabana but I was headed for Cusco. Got to Cusco late so headed straight to a hostel. The next day got organised for the inca trail, when at the office to pay the balance of the trip I met Melissa who had gotten her luggage lost at the airport, the poor things. Met up for dinner that evening with Melissa and Peter (who had helped her haggle for underwear!!) in the fab Fallen Angel restaurant. Cusco is very much so geared for tourists, lots of decent places to eat but some are a bit pricey compared with what I'm used to.
Started the trail the following day and had to go to the campsite by the trail entrance the night before as there was a strike planned for the next day. Had only a few hours sleep before starting out on the trek, it was raining and was hard to get into it. Stopped for breakie so that was a nice rest and then more uphill towards lunch.
We were getting into it towards the afternoon and our muscles had broken in. Day 2 turned out to be the toughest with dead womans pass in the morning, climbing up those steps in the rain and not being able to breathe wasn't easy. Had a good bit of downhill walking after that so that was fine for the breathing. Had some rum flavoured tea after dinner and it went down very easy. They view for the campsite in the morning was fantastic
, got to see clearly the snow capped mountains. Day 3 was ore up and down and were pretty used to the altitude walking so it definetly wasn't the worst. The campsite that night had a bar and showers (almost warm!) so we were happy out.
Day 4 was a very early start to get to the sungate for sunrise over Machu Picchu, unfortunately the fog was pretty heavy so couldn't see much. Arrived ar Machu Picchu before 7am and the fog had pretty much cleared by then, was amazing to see it for the first time. Did a tour of the ruins and climbed to the top of Waynu Picchu which was fantastic.
After the inca trail had a night in Aguas Calientes and hung around the thermal baths and got a fe souvenirs and headed back to cusco the following morning. The train took abut 3 hours and then got a taxi bus the rest of the way, had a few close shaves so was on the edge of my seat without a seatbelt for 2 hours.
Met Melissa later that evening and decided to head out for dinner (a feast of guinea pig) and then go to Paddys the Irish pub for a few drinks with John. Dinner was interesting but we both wouldnt be eating again, headed off to Paddys and had a few drinks there. Then our tour guide Paulo arrived and we all headed to Mama Africa club and partied there until late.
Next morning was quite rough as we were up early to do white (or more brown) water rafting which is not the best idea after a late night. We survived it and embraced the hot sauna afterwards and chicken dinner. Had a massage that evening with hot incan stones, Melissa loved hers and I got the tickles majorly
Said goodbye to Melissa the following day and had dinner with Pablo and Daerek in a fancy rooftop bar. Got ready to go to school the next day in Tika Tika. Got a cab to school with the rest of the volunteer group, met some of the children and gave the kids that were moving to public school some supplies like stationary etc. They were totally chuffed and got their photos taken.
Got the new kids settled in, found out their names and ages, sang some songs and brought them outside for a game of soccer. The week flew by and the kids get to know you a little bit and all call you Professora, its pretty funny.
Picked up a bit of spanish fro them and taught some of them some sums and heads shoulders knees and toes!!! Took in some sweets into school on my last day so they were delighted. Helped out at a couple of fundraiser table quizzes during the week in cusco so learned lot of useless facts!!
Had a power cut in the hostel on the last night, luckily we still had gas so dinner was going to be ok, had to make banoffie pie with a torch though but it turned out ok.
Headed into town for cocktails and lots of dancing until the wee hours. Flew to Lima the following day and met Pablo for lunch and a tour of Larcomar (trendy mall just off the ocean).
Headed back to the airport by taxi and experience Limas crazy roads for a second time that day, then it was on the plane for the big journey home. The 11 months had come to an end, was gutted that the adventure was over but looking forward to seeing everyone in Ireland again