Cusco Puquio, Peru
15° 10' S 71° 45' W
Aug 23, 2005 01:00
Distance 375km

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Heady Heights!

Arrived in Cuzco yesterday morning after a delightful fourteen hour bus journey along winding roads accompanied by fellow passengers puking up which is not the best way to arrive in this town. After a shower I felt tip top so we went for a wander, being Sunday it was fiesta so the local plaza was teeming with tourists and locals. Children were dressed in traditional costume and danced down the streets. We were harranged constantly by locals who were selling postcards, finger puppets,pots,paintings etc etc. They were very persistant!!I actually succumbed to postcards for 5 soles ( I bought three!!) whilst Fran bought a lovely llama finger puppet for 1 sole. Who was robbed??I obviously am a soft touch. Was nearly robbed by a lad who undid one of my zip pockets with my camera in but I got wise straight away and moved off because I thought he was acting suspiciously. Apart from this one incident everyone is really friendly but it is definately more touristy here.

After a mammoth sleep we decided to go on a hike up to some inca ruins. I suggested the bus up and then walk down, obviously nothing to do with me being lazy.It was of course due to the high altitude. Anyway Fran gently persuaded me to walk up....I still have the teeth marks!!It was terrible going up steps. You got so out of breath so quickly and my heart was going ten to the dozen. But good training for the Inca hike. We set off at about 9.30 and didn't get back till 3. I pretty much had jelly legs on the way back. Caught the sun though!Wayhay!The ruins we saw were Sacsayhuaman,Quenko,Puca Pucara and Tambo Machay.

Had a brilliant time rafting for three days and camping overnight. However, the trip was plagued with accidents somewhat. First of all the bus broke down so we had dinner at the side of the road and had to go back to the previous town to get on another bus.Then on the second day of rafting the boat that was carrying all the camping gear capsized which is unusual because it was so heavy. All our things got wet.However the valley we rafted through was beautiful and stars at night were great. We saw a couple of condors and an otter and what a surprise I was the first person to fall out of the boat!

Its 13th September today and I am very behind with this journal so I am just going to fill you in briefly on what else we have been up to.We spent a day in Pisco, wandering around the market and hiking up to some more inca ruins, then we went mountain biking to Moray and around the salt pans.

Finally we did the 4 day inca trail where our final destination was Machu Picchu.The total distance was only 33km but it was a killer because of the steep passes around the mountains. However, the views of snowcapped mountains and high cloud forest were awesome. The second day was most difficult, a three hour ascent up ¨Dead Woman's Pass¨ which was 4198 m above sea level.

 

Photos / videos of "Heady Heights!":

Anything beats walking. Never work with kids or animals! Does my bum look big in this? Inca Trail M.P. The final destination.We climbed the hill in the background. What am I sitting on?