|We arrived in Cusco after 24hours on a bus that had climbed 3500m in altitude. To add to our altitude headaches the woman in front had talked non stop and changed her babies dirty nappies on her seat. It took us all of 30 seconds to decide we would fly back to Lima after our trek - saving $40 is definitely not worth 24 hours of pain. We got to our hostel to find that they had not been able to reserve our room so we were not happy campers and ended up in a dorm room and in bed by about 8pm as we both had altitude sickness.
The next day we sourced some Coca tea and decided to book some day trips and try to sort out our flights to Rio. We were feeling a little more alive so decided to have a couple of drinks at dinner - which turns out is a terrible idea when you have altitude sickness.
Our third day we slept in and did the Cusco City tour in the afternoon. It was freezing cold and raining so we both decided we needed silly beanies. On the tour we met an American who lived in Rio and worked at the Consulate (Marc).
The fourth day we did the Sacred Valley day trip.
Our last day before our trek started we wandered around Cusco in the rain attempting to prepare for our four day jungle trek. That night we had a meeting with our tour company to chat about what we would be doing.
The 23rd Feb we left bright and early (730am) for Day 1 of our jungle trek. We spent the morning on the bus through the Peruvian Andes before being dropped off at a high point for a couple of hours of down hill mountain biking in the rain. Unfortunately the tour company didn't have a bike small enough for me (devastated!) so I had to sit in the bus behind the bikers. We had an amazing bag of junk food for lunch before heading to Santa Maria for the night.
Day 2 of the trek we started at 6am for a 23km jungle trek (mostly up hill). It was pouring rain and heaps of the roads we had to use had partially collapsed or had been covered over by landslides during the night. We managed to sneak onto part of the actual Inca Trail (closed in February) to get some amazing photos. We finished the day in Santa Teresa where we went to the local 'night club'...
Day 3 we got a sleep in and left for another 20km trek at 730. Most of the day's trekking was on local roads and railway tracks as the river was too high for us to walk along and many of the paths had collapsed due to the rain. We finished the day early in Aguas Caliente where our hostel had hot water (luxury!) and spent a few hours relaxing in the natural hot pools before dinner.
Day 4 we were up at 330am and walking to Machu Pichu by 4am. We powered to the top in under an hour. Around 6am we started our tour of Macchu Picchu. We were lucky and got some sunshine so were able to get some amazing photos before other tourists arrived. After our tour we did a bit of looking around on our own before heading back down to Aguas Caliente for another dip in the hot springs before getting our train to Ollantaytambo, and the death taxi back to Cusco.
On the 27th we flew back to Lima so that we could finally pick up our passports and hopefully visas for Brazil. Unfortunately the night before we both came down with food poisoning so I spent most of the day struggling through a fever daze until we got to our hostel in Lima where I slept it off over the next 3 days.
The 28th we picked up our passports that contained our Brazilian Visas - yay! Then went back to bed.
On the 2nd we were both feeling almost back to normal and flew business class to Rio for Carnival!