That trip started at 8am the next day and we've had no Internet access until now. There is a world famous "Inca Trail" that is a multi-day hike to Machu Picchu but that is really pricey and generally requires 6-9 months advanced booking. SO: Our trip takes us on the OTHER Inca trail. Which is just as awesome, as far as I know, but less expensive... and easier to book.
The first day, we drove in vans to the top of a mountain... I think around 4,000 meters? Well, it was way too snowy and sleety and cold up there, so we drove closer to 3,000 meters (I'm making most of these numbers up) and they let us off and we BIKED DOWN on bicycles they provided. It was really fun. It was never too steep. It was cold and raining at the top, but by the bottom it was probably 80 degrees and sunny. It took a long time for the whole bike... probably 4 or 5 hours? One girl fell off her bike and sliced open her arm, but luckily one of the 12 people on our trip is a medical student from Argentina and SHE did the stiches to help the girl!
The NEXT two days were long hikes... 13 miles and 10 miles or something like that. We ended up at some awesome natural hot springs buried in the mountains last night. The trails are incredibly cool and incredibly rural. We passed a lot of native Peruvians and it's amazing to think how our lives would be different if we lived in these tiny huts seemingly hundreds of miles from civilazation. Despite being hard to imagine how different our lives would be, we've tried and here's what we came up with:
- We would watch fewer YouTube videos
- We would go on more hikes
- We wouldn't care as much about Obama being president
- Fewer facebook friends
- We would have more pet dogs and cats (they're everwhere)
- We wouldn't care as much about who will be the next American Idol
- We would care way more about who will be the next Peruvian Idol
So tonight, we're crashing in Aguas Calientes, and tomorrow at FOUR AM we are hiking up 1600 steps to Machu Picchu. (Apparently in South America they have a four AM in addition to the more traditional four PM)
I didn't bring my camera cord on this mini-trek, so this is all for now! Hopefully I'll have pictures later