Camicancha to KM82

Trip Start Oct 01, 2009
Trip End Oct 27, 2009

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Flag of Peru  , Cusco,
Thursday, October 22, 2009

Got up this morning at 6am, woo hoo a lay in at last.  Today is only a short trek so no need to rush about as normal.  I am feeling very excited as we only have one day until we get to Machu Picchu, the final part of our trek.

The views around are the best yet, the sun is shining and everywhere I look I can see mountains, glaciers and rivers.  There is a small village in the distance and the group are wondering around camp catching up with each other after a good nights sleep.

This was the last time we would see all of the porters that had been transferring our tents from one site to another, therefore we presented them all with tips to say thank you for their hard work.  They were a great group of people, full of smiles and appreciation.

The walk today is fairly flat taking us through a mixture of terrain, we started by walking through a small village, there appeared to be some preparation for a festival or a party, Max, our guide spoke briefly with the locals putting up speakers to find out what was going on, he returned to the group to tell us that there was to be a celebration that evening due to electricity being switched on in the upper village, wow I thought, we take electricity for granted every second of every day, how would we cope without electricity, how would I be writing this blog and how would you be reading it.  Just imagine how different life would be without something that we use so frequently that we forget it is there.  It's hard to believe that on the 22nd October 2009 these people would be switching on for the first time.  Like many things on this trip this was another reminder of how different we all are and how great life is when you strip down all the materialism we are so sadly accustomed to.

We moved on from the village and headed towards the woodland, for a short while we followed the fringe of some woods, it was a strange environment with desert mountains on one side and lush green trees on the other, we stopped here for a few minutes to take a breather before moving on.  The day was hot, the sky had been clear but there were clouds in the distance.  Although we had dropped down to 2,960 meters, we were still high up and when the weather changes it really changes, it can go from roasting hot to freezing cold in minutes, but for now it was all good.

We set off again, moving away from the trees and heading instead for vast amounts of huge cacti,  they were so big they towered high above our heads.  They were very impressive to see and scattered around the base of a few of them was a large amount of animal bones, I couldn't help but wonder what lived in these areas.

After only a few hours of walking we arrived at camp, the sky had darkened at this point and spits of rain were falling, looks like we made it just in time.  The camp site was pure luxury and most welcoming after the past few days.  There were hot showers, a sauna (that I did not use) and as always brilliant views across the mountains.  We were quickly told to go and find a tent and return for lunch to the dining room.  This place really was a luxury, there were more tents than normal so a few of us could have one of our own, I took home in a spacious silver tent, I managed to make more of a mess than I had on previous nights but hey who cared.

At lunch we made a new friend, a horrid spider, covered in black and brown fur, not nice, not nice at all.  Dee discovered our little (huge) friend sitting on one of the blinds when she asked me to take a look at something she could see behind me, at first we weren't sure what it was and now after the realisation that it was the biggest meanest spider I have ever seen I wish I never had.  I quickly put this to the back of my mind as I didn't want to think about how one of them could get in my tent or that I might find one in my boots.

After lunch I wanted to chill out and enjoy the return of the sunshine, but a group of people wanted to go over to the local village, a village by the way that did not have a name, they simply called it 84km, and it marked the start of the well known 4 day Inca trail.  I reluctantly agreed to head across to the village and take a look around, I was feeling very tired and I was missing my partner lots at this time, it had been 4 days since I last had signal on my phone and as much as I don't like to admit it, I was missing this little piece of technology and the link it gave me to my loved ones.  The trip over to the village would be a good distraction and I wanted to see as much as possible of the local culture.

On the walk to the village we walked along a steep cliff path dropping down to a raging river below, the village was on the other side of the river and it soon became apparent that we needed to cross a very bouncy and wobbly suspension bridge.  I let the rest of the group go first and watched them sway as they attempted to cross, my fear of heights returned and a few missed heart beats became apparent, sod it I thought and hurried across the bridge, phew I thought until I realised that I needed to go back that way and that tomorrow I would be crossing it again.

In the village we found the one shop and took a look around, it was a small space that was crammed full of Peruvian groceries and the odd souvenir, I bought a hat for my partner that had been hand knitted, was he ever going to wear it, who knows but I liked it.

Next to the shop we found a little bar serving coffee, now as I may have mentioned some days back I have a need for caffeine, and the more the better, the thought of a real cuppa was so exciting, sad I know but hey I had spent nights in a tent and now I wanted coffee.  When we went in and we asked for coffee the bar man said fine but it will be 30 minutes, it didn't take long for all 9 of us to say fine we'll wait.

Whilst waiting for my coffee I stepped outside and watched local life going on, there was a train track running through the street and several white bags filled with rubble, a group of young boys had turned the bags in to a playing area, they were laughing and joking, watching them was intoxicating, the pureness of their play was so great to watch, a complete contrast to how children play at home, an innocence that I hope that we have not lost.

Eventually we drank our coffee and headed back to camp, I tackled the bridge without any issues and welcomed the sight of my tent.  I was desperate for some rest time, I quickly pulled my mattress out of my tent, laid it on the grass, crashed out on it and plugged in my earphones, I just got lost for a while in music and my surroundings, perfect.

Now for the biggie, a hot shower, by this point I had been deprived of a hot shower, a proper clean and good scrub for 5 days, it was great, I loved it, it felt good, I don't think I can say much more than that, you can imagine how good warm water feels on the skin after a few days, pure joy, pure bliss.

The day came to an end fairly early, after our free time we had a meal and headed to bed, tomorrow is Machu Picchu, something we had all been waiting for, the final part of our trek and an end to a huge personal journey.
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