Pre-Inca Times!!

Trip Start Sep 20, 2007
Trip End Sep 20, 2008

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Saturday, November 3, 2007

So we boarded our plane to go to Lima to eventually get to Cuzco and it was as Clive walked up the middle of the plane and turned to Conor he saw loads of lights shining back at him, these lights were that of  TV s on the back of each chair with 30 films, everything from surfs up to wall street, 15 tv shows from the OC to 2 and a half men to eTrue story on Anna Kournakova.  Hundreds of cds to listen to and 15 games to play,  we wondered would we just stay on this plane and get it back to B.A afterwards.

On arrival to Lima we got the first plane to Cuzco where we slept on this plane for the 50 minutes until we landed in the high up town of Cuzco where breathing is not such an easy thing.

To the point hostel we went where it was cold and our room was off a small court yard.  But the the beds were unreal.  Big and loads of blankets.  We slept for a good 14 hrs and woke up quite early,  To the streets we took and there is not alot to do in cuzco other than drink and get use to the altitude.  We went to SAS to py for the rest of our trip and back to bed because it was so cold and wet. That night we headed to Up Town the local club where our barman who could hammer nails up his nose brought us. Plenty of drinking was had and then back to bed.  The next day it was up for the Arsenal v Pool game, game of risk, all you can eat Barbi, the quality movie called Ghostbusters, and back to bed. Then the last day before our trip we went and bought boots, combats and rain gear. Haggling with the locals was good fun! Then to a pre Inca Trail meeting to meet our group and find out instructions for the morning. It was there we met our two legendary guides 'Sexy Legs' Hilbert and 'Mask of  Zorro' Silverio Banderos. Then of course we packed our bags and went off to bed (alot of rest was needed for this trail).  Conor thought hed died and gone to heaven with all the bed time we were having.


We got up at 5 to catch our bus to the foot of the Inca trail. It was already drizzling rain and this unfortunately eas a sign of things to come (it was the start of the rainy season here in Cuzco). A bit of craic was had on the bus. Everyone trying to make their own impression and the Irish doing it the only way they know how with a few jokes and a lot of noise.  We met the three English Girls Kristen, Becky and Cath, and the two half cracked Dutch Girls Anka Huber and Mariette the Mammy. They in return met the three Irish boys Toni D, Donald, Donal, The Lez, Don, Doni, Clive and Conor.

Before making it to the start of the trail we stopped off for breakfast. It was hear we could buy any last minute gadgets necessary for the trek. Donal bought a killer poncho, Conor bought bargain shades, Clive bought some Cocoa candy, we got torches and we all got some of the magic altitude posion our future good friend 'Sexy Legs' Hilbert had recommended we all buy.

We got to the foot of the trail that led up to the Andies and on to Machupicchu City. 'A berry berry magical place my friends'. Machupichu was still 4 days away though.  Every one seemed to have booked porters to carry their gear other than us, the Fountain of Knowledge Ozzy Keith, his wife Terry (from Ireland), and the English Girls. Packs up, Passports stamped and off we headed,  It was flat and we thought it was going to be a doddle, until it rained and then the moans came.  Clive and Conor had to get ponchos and quick, so Conor yelled PONCHO PONCHO HOW MUCH at some local lady and to his suprise replied 5soles so we bought them more to cover our packs than anything. It rained on and off all day and it then got steeper and tougher and the moans got worse and worse but it was only the three of us moaning. You might say we made friends through our moans because every one was laughing at us.  It was more us just messing with each other rather than seriously moaning, wondering why we came on this feckin trek. Comments such as - 10 minutes flat 20 minutes up what the $!&% are we doing.  The terrain was un-evan and the packs were gettig heavier.

Lunch came and never were we happier .  We couldn't believe it, the food was out of this world, a massive spread. Then it was another up hill hike to camp where we stopped to look at 1 archeological site.  Our first look at what the Incas could do.  We followed the river for most the first day passing beautyiful waterfalls and ruins along the way.  We camped at the foot of Dead Woman's Pass. After dinner which was amazing again and a game of yatzee (who knows whats going on),  papper rock sissors was played for the tents and The Don and Clive hammered Conor and the tents were picked.  This was an important pick as something entered the camp site that night. Was it a really fast wolf, Someone picking grass, a fox or a Killer donkey.  A killer donkey it was.  Doni and Clives names were called from our Dutch neighbours tent in fear and fits of giggles but we didn't move then the noise passed on.  The killer donkey moved on to Conors tent down the hill were if you were a passer by you would have seen a frantic Conor throwing clothes at the inside of his tent and flashing his light on and off whlile the donkey peeed no more than 5 yards from his tent and nibbled at the sides.  But it moved down the hill till Silvario shewed it out for the third time.

Up for breakfast at 5 and on to dead womans pass. The view in the mornings after our cocoa tea in bed were a sight to behold. There was no way we were carrying our packsthat day so we hired porters. So did everyone else bar Becky and The Fountain of Knowledge what heros. The porters as Hilbert described them were the true heroes of the Inca trail. They would carry loads of up to 35kilos on their backs and run up the trail. It was shocking to see. We were told one of the locals without a pack could actually do the Inca Trail in 3hrs 40 mins!! These men were trojans! We started to take our altitude sickness stuff! We sniffed to magic potion which gave you a bit of a kick as well. People were sniffing it for shits n giggles by the end of the trip.  We were headied 5 hrs up a hill to a height of just over 4200meters. Clive was a middle runner because he figgured stopping hurt more than moving but Doni and Conor took it easy at the back with Silvario who was the guide at the back. 

We trecked constantly uphill getting slower and slower due to the altitude.  We then had lunch beside a huge heard of Lamas and baby Packas in the sun. It was here Conor suffered a bit of sun burn as we were now so close to the sun. After lunch it was up to dead womans pass where no exageration it was very hard to walk fast or at any kind of pace.  At this stage Clive now joined Doni and Conor at the back as every one was going the same pace.  The sniffy stuff was used alot. After reaching the top it was a great feeling of satisfaction. We couldn't revel init very long though as the weather turned on a six pence! It was now freezing cold and very windy! Just enough time to take one or two photos and then retreatdown the mountain. Apparently we had completed the hardest part of the trek.All easy from here on in we thought!! It then was 1hr 45 mins down steps into wind and rain.  Sore Knees? you bet ya.

We then made it to camp where it was wet and cold and everyone had dinner and went to bed. The mood was a lot different this night. People seemed a bit depressed at the rain...  Clive lost papper rock sissors that night.Clive would be on his own through a huge lighting and thunder storm. Another great win By Doni. well played Sir. As the thunder roared Doni shouted inside his tent:

'We're all going to die' to which the fountain of knowledge replied 'Morbid Fuckers!'

Day three was a treck up and down over two mountain passes.  At this stage the Dutch were really coming into their own, just laughing uncontrollably at every thing we did especially at Toni D. We had become the D team, the Toni D team, the 5 of us. When we would have a normal conversation and they would laugh. This was our longest walk and along it Conor became fluent in Dutch. We visited a few ruins along the way and enterd the jungle.  It was amazing, We have never seen views like it.( See Pics)

Then came the 3 hours down hill with over 2000 steep steps (if your knees werent sore they were now) down to the foot of Machupicchu.  We got to camp outside a hostel that night. There were showers and although as powerful as a lama spitting on you they were warm and you felt clean. After dinner and a few beers the Fountain of Knowledge thought us how to play shakey face the funniest game with a camera you can play. You shake your face and someone takes a picture. It comes out distorted and very funny. We then tipped our Porters and said thank you for making this trip so good while Doni and the Fountain of Knowledge ran around trying to scare them in good Halloween fashion. Masks and Ponchos.

So off to bed and up at 4 to beat the crowds to Machupichu. On our way the only sight we could see was of the fog. There was murmors of getting our money back. Eventually the sun came out and Macchupichu city was a sight to behold! We had a great sense of pride after the 4 days hike we has done to get here.  We entered it about 7 and had our tour of the place where Conor had loads of clothes on for fear of being sun burnt on already sun burned skin, and it was a scorcher. ( see pic below).  There was an option to climb a seperate mountain, Wyupichu, for good views but it was a hard up hill climb for 1 hour. Donal and Conor opted out as they were feeling the sun.  So Clive Headed up with Terry and The fountain of Knowledge, Becky and Kristen. The views were beautiful and we got great pics from up there.

We didnt say goodbye to the group because we were all meeting in a bar later. We got the fast train home while everyone else was on the slow one! So It was back to Cuzco by train where we couldn't sleep despite our weary eyes because of some sort of fashion show going on with dance music and crazy guys in masks on our train.


We got off the mad train a stop early and jumped into a taxi back which only took 15 mins. We checked into a classy hotel and lay down but fell asleep and never made it to the bar.  SO ANYONE FROM THE GROUP WHO READS THIS WE APOLOGISE we dosed off.  Last thing we did before leaving Cuzco was watch Man Utd draw 2 all away from home against Arsenal.

We would like to thank Silvario, Hilbert, the Dutch, The English, The Fountain of Knowledge his lovely wife Terry, The three American sisters that weren't sisters, Jenny and her fella who's name I can't spell or prenounce and Kirsten, the crazy wont shut up Irish girl, for making this one of the most memorable trips ever.



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