Trip Start Jul 09, 2011
111Trip End Jul 09, 2012
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Up at 3:30,there is a bar in the hostel and it was rocking all night so sleep was hard to come by. When we were leaving, there were people coming in from the club! We met Manuel our guide and took a 2 hour bus to some small village, jumped onto a big bus and made our way to Lares The bus went through Sacred valley and the views were amazing. Along the way, children ran down to the bus and people were throwing bread and sweets at the children. People talk about the recession in Ireland and the country being in dire straits, seeing families living in mud huts and living on next to nothing makes you realise that Ireland will be fine. We got off the bus in Lares, met an Italian girl called Barbara who was on the trek with us, had breakfast in a small restaurant and then started with a 30 minute trek up to hot springs. The hot springs were amazing, there were 6 pools all with different temperatures ranging from scalding hot to freezing cold
We were woken at 6 am by Manuel who knocked on the tent and gave us two cups of Coco tea, which was very welcome considering it was freezing all night and there was frost on the ground. We packed up, had breakfast and set off at 7 am. It warmed up quickly and there were more amazing views of the Andes mountains with the snow on the top of the peaks. We made good progress but we were held up a lot by Barbara who was a notoriously slow walker. We nicknamed her the handbrake! We made it over the highest point in the morning which was 4600 metres above sea level. Annie struggled a little with the altitude but we made it through. At the top, Manuel made us perform an Inca ritual of covering 3 coco leaves with stones and chant some phrase a number of times, very enlightening!!
All along the way we were met by children looking for sweets, we got some nice pictures with them
We had dinner and another early bedtime, 5 hours all downhill tomorrow to Ollyntaytambo, not too bad!
We were woken at 6:30 by Sirilo with Coco tea, it was not as cold as the night previously thankfully. The trek on this day was just stunning, every corner we turned, there was scenery more beautiful than the next. About an hour into the trek, our guide Manuel arranged for us to visit a school to see the local children. We stopped off at a shop and got a couple of bags of sweets and got to visit two classes and got pictures and chatted with the teachers and the kids were delighed with the sweets. of course, as were the teachers!! We arrived into Ollyntaytambo at 1:15, we would have made it an hour earlier if it were not for the Handbrake! We had lunch in the town and then Manuel gave us a tour of the town which was stunning, with the Architecture largely untouched from the Inca period. We then had dinner in the evening and caught the train to Machu Picchu. Some woman had music blaring in the carriage which made for a painful two hours on the train.
When we arrived in Machu Picchu, we went straight to our Hostel, met our tour guide for Machu Picchu, Walter, said our goodbyes to Manuel and had another early night as we had to be up at 3:30 the following morning!
Up early and we went to meet Walter at 4:15 in the centre of the village, and from there we walked for 30 minutes to the bottom of the mountain
We got dinner in the village, chilled in the main square, collected our bag from the hostel, had a beer and went and caught the train to Ollytaytambo at 6:45; from there we got a bus back to Cusco, checked into the hostel at 10 and slept like babies!!!