Friday, September 28, 2007

Flight from Miami to Lima, Peru

May 17, 2007

After 2 plane changes in San Jose, Costa Rica and Bogota, Columbia, I finally arrived in Lima, Peru about 7 pm. I caught the taxi to the hostel, checked in and walked around Lima for a few hours. I only got a few hours of sleep since I had to get to the airport by 4 am to catch my 6am flight to Cuzco.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Cuzco, Peru

May 18, 2007

Checked into my hostel and headed for the Plaza de Armas, the center of activity for Cuzco. I checked out several local travel agents for prices for the Salkantay 5day/4night hike to Machu Picchu. I found one which included cooks, porters, guides, entrance fee to Machu Picchu, accomodations for one night in Aguas Calientes and the train ride back to Cuzco for only $166.00.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Cuzco City Tour

Saturday May 19, 2007

I took the city tour to see the Temple of the Sun and Sacsayhuaman. I was the only one on the tour bus that did not speak Spanish, so it was a little embarrassing that the guide had to repeat everything just for me. Later that evening I found a little pizza place with only two tables, a wood oven and just locals. Even though I spoke no Spanish and they spoke no English we seemed to communicate just fine.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Sacred Valley

Sunday May 20, 2007

The Sacred Valley was beautiful. Went to Ollantaytambo which is the best preserved Inca site.
We also went to the Sunday market in one of the small towns. The terraces on the side of the mountains were almost unreal. How the farmers work on these steep terraces is a wonder.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Salkantay Trail

Monday May 21, 2007

Left at 4:30 am to go to Molepata to start our 5 days hike through the Salkantay Trail to Machu Picchu. In our group were 2 English, 1 from Netherlands, 1 Scottish, 1 Irish and me. Deirdre{Irish} and Sam{Scottish} are married and have traveled all around the world. I loved listening to some of their travels. The first day we climbed to 3900 meters. It was cold that night and there may have been a bear roaming around the tents. The Salkantay Mountain was beautiful.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Salkantay Trail

Tuesday May 2, 2007

Woke up at 5am and left at 6:15am. Today was very hard, almost straight up. We finally reached the Salkantay Pass which is 4653 meters. Then we walked down to 2900 meters. I forgot suntan lotion and my face is starting to burn.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Salkantay Trail

Wednesday May 23, 2007

We had to get up early to catch the bus at 12pm. {so we thought} Found out later it was just so the guides and porters could all meet up and play soccer at the village at noon. After we finally got to eat , we got in the back of the bus and rode on a very narrow road along some very steep cliffs. Later that evening we all went to the hot springs to get a well deserved rest.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Salkantay Trail {last day}

Thursday May 24, 2007

Today we had to cross a river using cables and a pulley chair. We then walked along the railroad tracks all the way into Aguas Calientes. Dierdre had some great interaction with the local school children. It was one of those special moments which we unfortunately do not get to be a part of often enough.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Machu Picchu {One of 7 Wonders of World}

Friday May 25, 2007

Stayed in a hostel in Aguas Calientes last night. We left at around 5am and arrived at Machu Picchu at 6:10am, hours before the tourist buses get there. To walk, you must climb 1000 steps straight up the mountain. A task hard enough by itself but leaving my water at the breakfast table made it a bit more difficult. The view was spectacular especially since we were the only ones there at the beginning. Just us and the llamas. About 7:30 the clouds rolled in and Machu Picchu essentially disappeared for about 2 hours. About 10 am it cleared up again. I walked to the Sun Gate and the Inka bridge which both are an additional 1 hr walk each. After lunch I walked down the 1000 steps {all to save $3}, caught the train to Ollantaytambo and then switched to the bus to Cuzco. We got back about 7:30 pm. Later that night I met up with all of the group at the Irish Pub and we closed it down. Great day.