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Ash’s Travel Diary

Wednesday, 07 Nov 2007

Location: Maachu Picchu, Peru

MapWell that was a punishing, if very rewarding 5 days!

Just done a 5 day Salkantay trek. Itís an alternative trek to Macchu Picchu as the infamous Inca trail needs to be booked well in advance & is swarmed with tourists.

Salkantay is a huge snow capped mountain which the first two days of trekking focused around. Iíll never get tired of beautiful snowy mountains so I loved trekking up to it.

It again illustrated South Americaís ever changing climate, as one day we were up the snow freezing our tits off in the tents & the next, we were sweating in the humid jungle. All very draining with 8 hour days of trekking up & down many hills.
Some new experiences worth mentioning include, sitting on the top bar of a local truck for an hour holding on for dear life as we drove around cliff edges & got whipped by the many trees we crashed through, and crossing a rampant river in some dodgy flying fox device (see photo).

After 4 days of roughing it, we got to a crappy little town at the foot of Macchu Picchu. The fun wasnít over though as it was a 4 a.m. hike up to Macchu Picchu the next morning (over 2000 fecking steps).
Getting up there ridiculously early proved to be a bit of a waste as it was pissing it down and visibility was at about 10 meteres. By the time the cloud did clear, there were socks & sandal tourists allover the shop.

Luckily I did manage to get an amazing experience of the 7th wonder after trekking up a nearby hill (Wannu Picchu) & viewing the place from up the clouds (minus the fat tourists). Fantastic scenery and I got a real appreciation of how this lost city remained undiscovered for so many years.

The 5 days were made all the better by being the token Brit in an excellent group of hikers, with 2 equally excellent Andean guides, Freddy & Edwin.
Last night we managed to shake of the exhaustion of 5 long days & went out for a fair few bevies. My almost exploding calves managed to make some shapes before passing out in the early hours after being awake for 24 hours.

Just mewing my groggy arse in Cusco right now, waiting for a lovely 19 hour bus to Lima. I donít even want to go to the commonly known shithole capital so itís likely to be a long ride! After that, I hope to find a beach up north to rest my limbs & sort out my farmerís tan.