Lake Titicaca, Machu Picchu

Trip Start Aug 23, 2012
Trip End Aug 20, 2013

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Flag of Peru  , Sacred Valley,
Sunday, October 21, 2012

After an incredibly long bus journey from Chivay to Puno during which civil unrest broke out over – the usual – food (fried chicken – a common culprit), we arrived in Puno, which is on the shore of Lake Titicaca. The following morning we set off for the Uros Islands ( which are pretty much floating islands entirely constructed of reeds – I mean everything – the base, the houses, the plates... The whole set-up has become incredibly commercialized as evidenced by solar panels outside the reed huts to power the tv's (not made of reeds), but it was still an interesting experience – kind of like South America Disneyland. Pen - I’m pretty sure we met the two women who are on the cover of the Spanish-English dictionary you gave us…

From the Uros Islands, we took a boat to the island of Amantani where some of us from the truck had arranged a home-stay for the night. The island itself had set up an incredible community and were very well organized despite living a very simple and hard existence. We stayed with Sabina and her family in her home, it was lovely though I have never in my life eaten so many potatoes in 24 hours. In the evening we climbed to the temple of Pachamama; not quite remembering that we can’t see in the dark, we climbed down in pitch black trying to find our homestays (think needle-in-a-haystack type odds); clearly the residents of Amantani are well experienced in gringo-stupidity as somehow they managed – without flashlights – to find us spread out across the island and bring us home for more potatoes.

From Puno we set off to Cusco to prepare for the Inca Trail; most people prepared by resting and buying supplies for the 4-day hike, Daryn and I on the other hand prepared by eating empanadas and drinking caiprnah’s. The Inca Trail was awesome – tough but completely worth all the blood, sweat, squat toilets and bug bites. I won’t go too much into the details- it was 4 days of hard hiking with amazing views of ruins/remains, scary llamas and beautiful mountains. Daryn got tired of hearing about remains so started to come up with alternative histories for many of the sites. According to Daryn, the Incas were very interesting people that had an extensive clubbing/partying history.

The last day of the hike we were up at 3am to depart camp by 4am to catch the sunrise at the Sun Gate; after unashamedly pushing people out of my way to be the first there, we were greeted with complete cloud cover… luckily we had a picture to look at so we could imagine what we were meant to be looking at. From there we headed down to machu picchu, which was amazing - the pictures pretty much sum it up.

In line with our penchant for making poor decisions, we decided that we would do the additional climb Wayna Picchu on the last day – it’s the highest mountain of the three behind machu picchu. If you are thinking 'that looks nearly impossible to climb’, you are right! – particularly after hiking over 42kms of the Inca Trail. Wayna Picchu is a perfect example of the complete lack of health and safely in Peru / South America – uneven rock stairs coupled with sheer drops does not make for comfortable climbing, but the views at the top were absolutely worth the terror. Upon finishing, we descended into the town of Aguas Calientes where we thoroughly enjoyed western food, beer and toilets - with toilet seats!

As some of you will have noted, Daryn has grown a moustache that I am not so fond of so we set the ‘summit challenge’ – one point per summit along the Inca Trail plus Wayna Picchu... After a 3:1 victory (1 tie), Daryn will be shaving his moustache very soon…

Next stop… somewhere in Bolivia.
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mom on

What an awesome adventure the two of you are having! Keeping fit sure paid off on your long climbs. I wonder if dad and I could climb Wayne Picchu? XXoo mom

Theo on

Getting Daryn to shave on the eve of Movember seems cruel. But then I don't have to face whatever nestles in the flourishing whiskers. Congratulations trekking to Macchu Picchu.

evelyn on

Hi you guys, fuuny the reed islands was just recently on TV. Must have been great to walk on them, in that part of the country you sure had a great adventure.Jana you sure have nerve of steel, to go along with all that mountain climbing, can daryn even keep up with you.

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