We then drove to a train station to have lunch, and from there started our hike to Aguas Calientes, the town nearest Machu Picchu
. As we made our way through the jungle, our guide Sam pointed out lots of interesting plants, like coffee plants, banana plants, avacado trees, etc, which was really interesting. Then we stopped at some Inca ruins while Sam explained the history of the Incas to us. While we had been hiking up there, a little stray dog had been following us. I kept telling her to go back, but she trotted along with us, and wouldn't leave. As Sam was talking, she went rummaging through the undergrowth and came back with an avacado the size of a football! She then settled down at my feet and ate her avacado. Then there was a noise in the bushes near us and she jumped up and started barking and growling off it. When she came back I succombed and gave her a stroke, as I thought she deserved a treat for protecting us. She loved it, and was rolling over on her back and sleeping at my feet while Sam talked.
Then we carried on our trek along the railway line, and the dog came with us, and that's when I named her Pasha, a name Sam had mentioned in his history of the Incas. So Pasha walked by my side for 3 hours, until we got to Aguas Calientes, where she went off to explore. We crashed out at our hostel, and had some long awaited showers before having a final meal together. After dinner my guide told me that although I had paid for the earlier train the next day, there were no tickets left, so I'd have to get the later one and wouldn't arrive in Cusco till 1.30am. This wouldn't have been such a problem if I wasn't getting a bus at 8am. So I was really annoyed about that, but tried to forget about it and get some sleep in preperation for Machu Picchu the next day!
Day two started with a delicious breakfast of chocolate and banana pancakes and cinammon tea. Then it was back to the van to drive into the jungle to do some ziplining. Ziplining is where you have a wire strung across something, and you're clipped onto it and zip along it. We arrived and were put into our harnesses, helmets and gloves. We had 6 lines to complete, all of them going over this beautiful river valley. They ranged in height and speed, and some you could do freestyle, where you let go of the cable and could spin around or whatever. Most of the time I was clinging on for dear life. But it was so much fun, and the views were amazing. You got a real adrenalin rush. On one cable I even filmed the trip across, which was nerve racking as I was convinced I'd drop my camera! Afterwards we all trekked back to get get unharnessed and to use the open fronted toilet looking out over the river. Probably the best view I've ever had whilst sitting on the loo.