Samantha's Around the World Adventures 2012-2015 travel blog

We were woken by one of the porters with some coco tea at 5.30am. The coco tea is made from the same leaf that cocaine is made from but you need litres of it to have the same effect so I'm told. It's good for the altitude and digestion again so we are told. Hannah and I slept fairly well, it rained during the night but I didn't hear it. We got ready for the day in the dark. We had this great plan and it was a tough day ahead, we all loaded our main bag with as much stuff as possible (the ones the porters would be taking) and have light day packs. Unfortunately the porters have seen this all before and it was so embarrassing as they weighed our bags. One by one we were named and shamed just like at weight watchers after the Christmas period. So they are suppose to be 5, mine was 7 and Hannah was 8.5 haha dam it. Along with everyone else we had refill our daypack. The guide said the tourists do this everytime - whoops.

We had breakfast at 6, porridge and pancakes which were yummy then we were on our way to hell. Today we go from 3000 metres to 4215 metres. I was dreading this going up walking is not something I am good at. It was a 6 hour hike today, and was split into 3 two hour blocks.

The first 1/3 was hell, like on Everest I was at the back, moaning away why the inca's made such a stupid route through the mountain. I mean I understand that they didn't want the Spanish to find it but really such the amount of steps was ridiculous. Luckily I walked at the same pace as Maive from Ireland so we had a good natter and moan.

The 2/3 was also hell! This was walking up thousands of steep steps, it was impossible. Well obviously not as we all made it but it was tough. We met other groups on the way and everyone was having a tough time. The air was getting thin and the altitude makes you dizzy so these steps isn't what you need!

The summit is called 'Dead Woman's Pass', luckily it's only called this as there is a profile of a lady on the mountain not for more morbid reason. It is 4215m which is over a 1000m less than Everest. I had never been more pleased when we reached there and the guide checked our oxygen level. Mine was low at 90% it's suppose to be 94% and above in normal air but was reassured this is ok for the altitude. At this point I'd had enough, we were standing in a cloud which is pretty cool in every sense of the word - I was freezing but awesome at the same time. Now the final but 2 hours down, to think we had to undo all that good work we had only just done and descent to 3500m is soul destroying. Luckily I was much better at this bit and coming down only took us an hour.

When we got to the campsite all the porters clapped us in. I switched my shoes, my dad would be mortified at how smelly my shoes and feet are. So I gave my feet a baby wipe wash.

Lunch was ready and we had Quinoa Soup and then beef with chips and rice so yummy these porters are truly spoiling us! They are so cute they run ahead even up those amazingly steep hills so when we arrive our tents are up with all our stuff inside and lunch is served what superstars.

The afternoon was just chilled one and we had a presentation of who the porters were the eldest was 59 and youngest 19 most were married with up to 5 children. It was an early night at 7pm but everyone was shattered. Today we has walked 12km. We were warned it may be chilly as we were high up and practically sleeping in clouds.

I didn't sleep too well last night it was fairly cold sleeping at 3700m. Again at 5.30 we were woken by our little porter with coco tea. I was cold and achey. Today we had a long day of walking ahead of us. We had breakfast, which was a yummy omelette with a cup of coffee set me up for the day. The walking wasn't too bad to be honest and it was on/off sun. My left thigh was feeling really tight and going down hill was a killer. Maive and I just stick to our position at the back and had a really good natter. She is Halarious and so lovely. We say to each other when it's tough 'little by little, step by step. We saw a few people with injuries, twisted ankles and upset stomachs. We had reached 3700m by lunch.

At lunch it was freezing we were in a rain cloud but again we were clapped in and lunch was delicious - we had chicken kebab, pasta and fried chicken. Then for desert, which is was not only yummy was impressive was a marble cake iced with 'Magnificent 7'. This was our team name for the whole trip. Our chef made this last night at 3700m and it was so fresh and yummy.

The rest of the day was hard core down hill. For the first couple of hours I kept up with the group, then I slowed down a bit as my big toes were hurting and Maive joined me. We again had some random but funny conversations putting the world to right and took our time taking in the scenery. The steps were so steep and big, the depth sometimes is pass my knees. We arrived at 16.00 at an inca site, set on the side of the mountain called Phiyupatamarca or 'towns above the clouds. It was amazing, I really can't image what tomorrow is going to bring. We sat in silence looking at the vast mountainous landscape and our guide played on the queni, a sort of Perivian recorder, it was an amazing moment but really feeling a million miles from home.

As we arrived at camp, we were clapped in my our porters, sad as this would be the last time.

We're almost at Maccu Piccu. Each night we are given a bowl of hot water to wash usually I don't use it, more hassle then it's worth and today I put some Pantene in as this was the only wash I had on me. I literally dunked my feet in. They were so grateful, they absolutely stink. Little

did I realise the porters were laughing at me. But I was a trend setter as the others followed suit. As I dried my feet, Tea was on the table and biscuits. We are being spoilt rotten what am I gonna do without these amazing porters/cooks. We had our photo taken with them, and they were loving it!

At dinner, we had soup again and this time it was seminlena and it wasn't nice! The guide was telling us a story about some lesbians he had on another trip and I was holding the bowl to my mouth careful not to spill in. Instead I dropped the whole bowl in my lap, it was hot and gross! Everyone was laughing. But I had put my pjs on for bed and now everything was soaked through. I was so embarrassed but at least it got me out of eating it. After some spaghetti bog. We said thank you to the porters and cooks for all their hard work, they had truly made the trip. They said a chant back to us that said 'it was lovely to meet you and we hope to meet you again whether it is in this life or another'. It was a bit emotional but then they added 'the ladies are all very beautiful' cheeky boys. At 19.30 it was time for bed. It makes me laugh that we are ready at this time. But today we has walked 16km. Tonight I was a perfect temperature and fell to sleep quickly.

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