13.08.2015 - 13.08.2015
So I had an amazing breakfast that included cooked eggs, rather than just a bread roll like the last hostel! It was so good! The staff are so so friendly and really helpful, highly recommend this hostel to everyone!
I met the other girls in my dorm, Jaime from USA and Mariana from Brazil. Lovely ladies! We decided to do a city tour which was great. Really nice hanging out with 2 other solo travellers, exchanging stories and such like. First we had a wonder around Cusco, I still loved the city soooo much! Mariana was saying about a trip she wants to organize, very similar to a trip I wanted to do (lake titikaka) apart from she wanted to go to Cobacavana (in Bolivia) as well. I wasn't sure about that until we went into Peru hop and the young Irish man was saying about it, I was sold, looks like an awesome trip!!
We wondered the streets, looked around the shops and the sites and a weird museum that was somewhat different (there were Jesus Statues in all shapes and forms, I cant really describe it, photos will explain better but they are on my camera and I will upload all of them when I'm home - only photos from my phone on the blog so far). We then realised the time, decided to have a quick lunch - ended up being a 3 course meal for only 10 soles (£2.50), it was tasty but we had to rush it in 20 mins and run back to the hostel.
The city tour was great saw some really great sites, started by going to Cusco cathedral where we saw some very interesting points of view of religion (a skinned guinea pig laying on a plate at the last supper). Made me laugh how many interpretations there are of all the things in the bible. What a loada turd is all I am going to say, interesting none the less, if you like that sorta thing.
Anyways, yawn! Next we went to a tower which, in all honesty, the tour guide lost me, I can't remember what it was about, the tower wasn't even there haha! Then we jumped on a bus to Q'enqo which was very beautiful, on the drive up you saw a lot of Cuscos poverty, this in itself was quite overwhelming.
When we got there the view was amazing. The ruin means 'Zigzags' - when the tour guide started talking about limestone I thought 'Tommy should be here, he'd be in his element'. There's ambiguity around what the site was used for but there were lots of stones and caves, it's said to be part of some sort of ritual, in the cave were a set of stone table and a chairs. Very interesting listening and reading about the different opinions on what it's used for.
We then jumped back on the bus and went to Saqsaywaman, Which of course everyone calls Sexy woman - much to my approval! This site was amazing, probably my fav out of the lot, it's the historic capital of the Inka Empire. The whole site was incredible! There were llamas, the stones that the incas made, GREAT HUGE stones, apparently they were made else we and taken down, it just doesn't make sense because they all fit together so perfectly. Each stone looks purpose built/moulded, like a jigsaw, perfectly snug next to each other, yet all different shapes and forms, it was amazing seeing what the Inkas had built! Who would have thought they'd get me chatting about riveting things such as walls?!
We then jumped onto the bus again and went to Tambomachay, which was nice, we walked up to 3,800 meters to see a little waterfall. The views were great. Some of the tour people didn't walk up with us because of the altitude. Then 4 of us went further to reach the highest point, just for a selfie ya know.
(Nice blurry one of Jaime, Mariana and myself)
Then we headed home but not before stopping at a shop where we got a lesson on real Llama and clothes. I bought head band that I fell in love with
Then we had a wonder around town, we went to the Peru hop place for me to book my spot on the bus to Puno where we had a boat trip around lake titikaka and then heading to Copacabana, back to Puno. All booked, Mariana and I were going to meet up on the monday after my trek. A little concerned I will be cutting it fine with arriving back from the trek and heading straight off, i figure it will be fine!
We then went to the Llama Path office (who my trek is booked through), I remembered i had to go there before the trek but couldnt remember why. The staff reminded me I had my orientation meeting / welcome meeting the following day at 4pm (thank fuck I did go in I thought). After speaking to the dude at Llama path, I was officially bricking it, I just thought it would be like the jungle trek tommy and I did. Apparently not, it was a lot more official and there was a lot more room for error. I thought I was totally prepared for it but now I felt totally unprepared for it and started freaking out. I was concerned how the altitude was going to get me, also that I was going to hold the whole group up. I asked the age range and it was 22-34 so everyone was young! I was convinced I would be the most unfit and would probably try and kill myself trying not to be last. I then realised that that's the competitive side of me coming out, possibly one reason I broke my ankle, I will have to remind myself on the tour being last is better than dying haha. Anyways I may not be last, bahhhh who am I kidding of course I will. These are all the things that kept running through my head over and over again.
Anyways to take my mind off it Marianas, Jaime and I went and eat guinea pig (Cuy), it's a delicacy in Peru and Mariana and I felt we should try it. Once I got passed the fact it's a pet and the fact I used to have 11 of them, then mum texting me the name of hers, it was actually really nice, bit chewy, but really nice.
After this we got back to the hostel and this happened...
It was a lovely evening, although it didn't help get rid of my angst regarding the trek! Particularly when the guy behind the bar asked what trek I was doing, when I told him he pulled that face, you know the one, the one that says "oooohhhh, shit, really!?" Then he went on to talk in Spanish very quickly. I had started mastering the art of understanding people in Spanish, but not right now. Jaime translated for me, he explained it will most definitely rain, it's higher altitude than the inka trail and a lot colder. Bahhhhhh!! What have I let myself in forrrrrrrrrrrrrr?!?!!?
Today I woke up instantaneously anxious about the trek, I felt sick, nervous, worried and upset. I felt guilty feeling these things, I could be at home working but I'm about to embark on an amazing adventure, I was desperately trying to snap myself out of it. So I messaged mum and she was very supportive and helped me realise it will all be ok. I then said bye to Jaime, she was about to head home, Mariana went on a tour and I decided to wonder around and sort some trek things out. For some reason today the altitude was really getting to me, more than it ever had, no doubt the fact that the air is thin and I'm panicking, I need to chill the fuck out, now I'm annoying myself! I bought myself some coca leaves, a fleece, some thermal leggings, a rain poncho, toilet roll, water. I decided I was all set, I had walking boots, waterproof coat, torch, new tankini Mumma and Nighy bought me and warm clothes. That's that, it's done it will have to do!
There were 2 new french girls in the dorm, they seem lovely although I didn't chat much, I was too busy flapping about.
So I headed back out of the hostal, went back to the Peru hopl placr amd extemded my trip with them. Decided i will travel with them around Peru and back up to Lima after my trek. I then sat in the drizzly rain, just looking around the main plaza and taking everything in. I thought about going for a drink but I didn't fancy it! What is wrong with me I thought?! People came over to me trying to sell the typical touristy things, I entertained them but didn't buy anything. I then headed to my orientation meeting where we all met.
Everyone seems lovely - there's a norweigan couple and 4 Canadians, and little old me, the other person didn't show up. So quite a small group. I cant remember anyones names! Good start Vincent! The guide Marko (woooo one name rembered) seems like a legend, this made me feel a little more at ease. He explained everything to us and said we would work together as a team and reiterated a few times it's not a competitive - phew. Then.....He says there's been quite a lot of snow on the peak and decent, and its still snowing, my heart starts pumping hard and I feel like I'm going to shit myself! I just think back to mount Snowdon and hear the cracking of my ankle breaking, that wasn't even in snow! Marko assures us all will be okay! Yeah - cheers Marko!
So plan of action, we need to put no more than 8kg in the red duffel bags that have been provided (this includes our sleeping bags), this will be our night bags (horses will take it in the day), we need to pack our day pack with essentials (sunscreen, sunglasses, camera, poncho, waterproofs, bog roll). We will be meeting at 5.30am tomorrow morning in the small plaza, where we will be picked up by a bus, pick up the chef and his 2 assistant chefs, then drive to Pumahuanca where the trek will begin! Yikessssss!!!!! We all said our goodbyes and off we went, only to be reunited in about 12 hours!
I popped back to the hostel, Pisco and Soul is at the very top of about 10 flights of steps and a few huuuuuge hills, I figured going back again to come back out shortly is only helping with last minute practice and fitness training! Pah, yeah sure, that will keep me alive in the mountains!
Anyways I went back to the hostel and packed everything ready to go. My main backpack isn't packed very well, heavy things on the top because I'm going to need these in the morning - for my last shower for a few days, Nig says never put heavy things on top but it's gunba have to do.
I then contemplate going straight to bed, I wasn't the slightest bit hungry, figure I will need to eat ready for tomorrow. So here I am, a lasagne down and ready to go back to the hostel for an early night.
I hope to be writing my next blog post will all limbs in tact!!
See you on the otherside of it all! Djdjcbdbejakacufhrbejskakalcdncudne!!!
This was what I wrote before the trek - I apparently didn't publish it!