Inca Jungle Trek Day 1

Trip Start Mar 12, 2012
Trip End Jul 10, 2012

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Flag of Peru  , Cusco,
Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Finally it was time to start my journey to Machu Picchu, something I'd been looking forward to for 2 years. Unfortunately, and due to me being an id iot, the passes for the Inca Trail had all sold out, so I had to do the Inca Jungle Trek instead. As long as I got to see Machu Picchu, I wasn't too bothered. We were picked up bright and early to start our 3 day trip. I was introduced to my group, which consisted of 6 boys and 4 girls, including myself. We met our guide, Sam, who told us he was naming us the 'Pumas', as it was the animal of Cuzco. We drove out of Cuzco for a few hours, crossing beautiful landscapes, and going up and up to a height of 4000 metres. Then finally we were let out and started our first activity; mountain biking. We had all the safety gear - helmets, gloves, kneepads, elbow pads, and of course our bikes. Annoyingly mine was stuck in first gear, which I didn't discover till we had started. We then spent the next 3 hours biking downhill, through this jaw droppingingly beautiful valley. It was hard to keep my eyes on the road! But you had to concentrate, as there were sharp corners, with huge drops if you went over the edge! If that wasn't bad enough, there were also huge lorries and buses coming in the opposite direction, who would cut corners. Once or twice I came around a corner to come face to face with a huge lorry. Pretty scary! We cycled for about 3 hours, descending 2000 metres, until finally reaching our finishing point. There we gave back our bikes and equipment, and had a quick toilet stop. Whilst I was waiting for the toilet, I noticed something moving at my feet, and looked down to find this tiny puppy toddling around. It was the sweetest little thing, so of course I had to sit down on the floor and play with it for 15 minutes! I can never resist a puppy.

Then we went to have lunch, and afterwards said goodbye to the 4 day group, before getting in a minivan and driving to our overnight stop. But instead of taking a normal paved road, we went on one that clung to the side of cliffs over a river valley. If you've ever seen that episode of Top Gear where they go to Bolivia and go along the Death Rode, that's what it was like. A tiny space for the car with sheer drops if you went off the edge. Thankfully we didn't meet many people the other way, as we were speeding along and if we had met another car, especially round a bend, we probably would have crashed and gone over the edge! We were all clinging to our seats, and almost kissed the ground when we arrived at Santa Terasa to spend the night. Our next activity was going to the local hot pools, but being the forgetful idiot that I am, I left my bikini and swimming costume in Cuzco. I ended borrowing a pair of boxers from one of guys, and going in those and my bra, which was a very weird combination! However, it worked, and I got go to the hot pools instead of sitting in my room doing nothing. That evening we had alpaca for dinner, and had 'Inca Tequila Shots', courtesy of our guide Sam. But an early night was needed, as tomorrow morning, we had ziplining to do! 
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