"Its 2am, I'm wide awake, I have had 3 hours sleep and can not, for love nor money get any more sleep! I run everything through my head of what I need to do, pack, prepare. I feel like I'm as prepared as i will ever be."
The 2 french girls came in from their night out at 330am, I decided to get up and shower. I took everything out of the dorm, I was as quiet as a mouse, as delicate as a flower... crash, bang, wallop! I compared my quiet skills to Ms Trunchball's ballerina skills..
I headed to the small Plaza, I was the first there, slowly people trickled along, then the bus came. Marko was no where to be seen, oh there he be, the other side of the plaza on his tod haha. We all jumped on the bus, we had an hour and a half bus journey ahead of us, there seemed to be a nice atmosphere, then everyone fell asleep apart from myself and Louis. I can't sleep on public transport anyways, even if I could I was too wired to sleep. We picked up the chef - Fernando and his 2 assistants - Denise and Felix.
After a very bumpy ride where bums really did leave seats we got off and bought some bread for the children that we would come across in the next couple days. We then jumped back on and went to Pumahuanca.
We all applied sun cream, insect repellent and got our stuff ready. Then the donkeys and horses came with the horseman, his wife and son, as well as the porter. The horses and donkeys would carry the food, tents and night bags. Meaning we would only habe to take our day bags. Table and chairs were set up and we all had an amazing feast for breakfast, fruit, bread, coca tea, it was delicious! All of the workers and us stood in a circle and introduced ourselves.
Horseman wife - Marissa
Chef - Fernando (24 years)
Assistant chef - Denis (mid 20s)
Assistant chef - Felix (mid 20s)
Guide - Marko (28 years)
Norwegian couple (early 30s)
Canadians (early-mid 20s)
The other lady didn't show, apparently shes not very well. Meaning I will be in a tent on my own, not sure how I feel about that!
The weather was a concern of all of ours, we asked Marko and he said it will be sunny and to think positive haha. I don't think you can really have an accurate weather forecast around these parts, it changes every 5 minutes.
Marko then taught us how to correctly roll and chew Coca leaves, these would be our saviour. Another one of Markos sayings "Coca leave is my best friend" haha. A lot of people don't like the taste of Coca leaves, I really do, I think I could easily quit smoking with coca leaves! Marko assured us Coca leaves don't make you high like cocain haha.
We all hit our walking sticks together in a gesture of "we can do this" and off we went. It was down hill for about 2 minutes, then Marko stopped us where it began to go up hill, he said "right, you've had the easy bit, the rest of the day will be uphill". He also said "keep strong, it's all up here (taps head), nothing is impossible". This phrase was said a lot throughout the trek, it was needed!
Off we went, no one was saying much. You could feel the angst between the group! Then little conversations would spirt out here and there. It was hard, really fucking hard! I was just about ok until midday, then I realised I didn't know what really Fucking hard was until now, the uphill gradients along with the reallllly bright sun and the altitude! I breathed a sigh of relief whenever a group of llamas, donkeys or horses wanted to get by. It meant we could breath for about 3 minutes.
I found the best way to cope was by looking at the surroundings, it really helped. If you just look around you, it's absolutely incredibly gorgeous, whatever way you turn there was something beautiful to see. It really was something like I've never experienced before.
Whenever someone was feeling unwell, dizzy, headachey, sick - Marko would get his little bottle of magic out. I then decided to call him Magical Marco, this stuck! The bottle consisted of Pisco (alcohol) and lemon, not sure what else but it smelt fucking strong. You would put your hands out, Marko would put some on your hands then you would rub your hands together and smell your hands, Marko would consistently encourage you to cough, "this makes me happy, you cough, this make me very happy" He would say. Not sure why it works but it seemed to.
We stopped for a couple of short breaks, listened to the knowledge of Magical Marko and then carried on. As soon as we would stop all jumpers, hats and scarfs would go back on. The second we started hiking again, clothes would slowly come back off. It was like this the whole trip : Warm > hot > cold > freezing > warm > boiling.
One freeeeezing momen in the tent, it got to -10.
We passed one other group of tourists, apparently on the inka trail all you would see were tourists. So pleased i didnt do that one! This made the trip even more magical! We then stopped for lunch where the other group were also set up to have lunch. We had quite a bit of time to chill out before we eat, Steffan showed off his camera equipment, I only took one lens with me. Steffan had a flash that was quite heavy and a huge camera. Throughout the trip he would give me pointers on how to use my camera. Steffan and Hege are such an adorable couple, I really really like them! Both very caring people, also really funny. Had such a laugh with them. I really do hope I meet them again, I really want to go to Norway and see them! Steffan put his flash on my camera and made it work, it was awesome! I'm seriously going to start my photography lessons when I get back!
Anyhooooo, back to lunch, so there was a red tent set up for us, it was all very mystical, what was happening in the tent?! Then a bowl for each of us came out, we had to wash our hands (this happened before every meal - nice touch I thought) and go eat. Into the red tent we went. I didn't have very high expectations for lunch, what with being on a mountain and all. There were 2 sections to the tent, our section and the chefs section, we all sat down and closed the doors, it got nice and toasty warm. Every now and then flames and a loud sound would appear from the other side of the tent, we would all cheer and clap along, in my case I would scream, jump off my seat and then cheer and clap along. It all added to the atmosphere!
Then lunch comes....oh, my, fucking, god!!! What is this?!?!?!?! How can food like this be produced on a mountain?!?!!?! I can't remember all the dishes we had but every single dish was incredible, all different types of potatoes, all fresh fruit and veg, ah man it was incredibly, the Ceviche was the best!! I am going to ask Marko for a lot of the food we had because it was just out of this world. Without a shadow of a doubt the best food I've had in Peru so far!! We kept saying what would Fernandos cooking be like if he had a real kitchen ! He was only 24 as well! Absolutely astonishing! Apparently he studied to become a chef, I think he should open a restaurant up!
I think we all indulged a little too much over lunch, forgetting we still had a fair few hours of hiking left to do. None of us could imagine hiking, we had a little rest, went for a pee - they dug us a hole and put a tent around it, magic! Then off we went again. Wow, it was really really hard! I seriously had points where I wondered if I'd make it. At one point I went so so dizzy, thought I was going to be sick amd had such a headache. Marko was incredible and noticed when someone wasnt quite themselves, he would just stop them and sort them out with his bottle of magic.
Communication was imperative on this sort of trek, we had to help each other through and Marko had to know when we weren't feeling quite right. The magic bottle didn't help so much this time, after about 20 minutes I had the dizziness, sickness but it got worse, my vision started blurring and I thought I was going to pass out, my shakes were unbearable and then tears started rolling down my cheeks, I just didn't know what to do. Luckily the sunglasses hid my tears, in my head I wished so badly that someone I knew was there. I just sat on the floor, shut my eyes and put my head in my arms. Marko comes back over with his magic bottle, makes me cough a minimum 10 times then off we went again. Marko and I walked together, he explained it can just all of a sudden take over but it passes. The altitude can do some crazy things. I then decided I was just going to walk slowly and try and make it to the campsite alive haha. Everyone was struggling but supporting each other. Magical Marko words of wisdom "nothing is impossible" kept playing through my head. Everyone was so generous, between us we had everything we needed. I didn't take any altitude sickness tablets because had the trusty coca leafs and the nurse who did my injections said Nurofen is just as good, I don't think the Nurofen really helped me. Coca leaves were incredible! Louis said he had some magic pills in his night bag and that I could have one when we got to the campsite.
The rest of the trek on day one was ok, i didn't feel 100% but felt a hell of a lot better than before. This was taken shortly after i thought i was going to faint...
We all got to the campsire and high fived. It felt like a good achievement. It's so strange how you can feel ok, then out of nowhere the altitude monster comes and bites you up the arse.
Everyone sat in their tents and had a rest, I didn't want to, I wanted to do something. I just wondered about for a bit by now it was sooooo cold then Marko said it was happy hour, don't get too excited happy hour means tea and hot chocolate! Tea was just what we needed, I was so excited about tea!! We then had another incredible dinner and chilled around a fire. It was pitch black by 6.30pm, no light apart from the millions of stars and camp fire. Everyone loved my torch (well bike light), it was the strongest out of everyones, Marko really wanted it, I nearly give it to him but decided against it haha because it cost me a lot of money. It lite up all the mountains around us. It was awesome! The setting where it flashed on and off would apparently come in handy...
The only thing that I would have changed about that evening would be to have blankets or something to sit on around the fire. Everyone just stood. Just thought it would have been cossier to sit, that's me being nitpicky and my only slight change I would have made. Plus, we had a campfire and the other group didnt (there was one other group doing the same trek, we were trying to beat them, we did as well). We spoke, well Christie spoke about aliens a lot! I talked about 'Out on a limb' and aliens in that. Marko decided to tell us about the fucking animals around. Apparently when you shine ur torch around when going to the toilet you can see the eyes of coyotes, arghhhhh. I was in a tent on my own and was not happy about fucking coyotes near me! I started freaking out. Even when everyone was still up I was too nervous to go for a piss. I thought I would just go by my tent in the night. After a little while everyone dispursed and went to bed, I stayed chatting to Marko for a bit but didn't leave it too long before hitting the sack.
I felt exhausted, only having 3 hours sleep and the hardest trek of my life had done me in! It was freeeeezing but i managed to fall asleep straight away, woke up 2 hours later at midnight where no one was about, I was seriously trying to concentrate on anything but my bladder, i needed a piss sooo badly! I put some music on and one headphone in my ear, I didn't want to block all sound out. Tried to go back to sleep, but nope we were right next to a stream, all I could hear was that. I kicked my legs in furry at my stupid fear of darkness, let alone fucking coyotes, arghhhhhg fucking Marko I thought haha. I thought fuck it, I will go right by the tent - someone will be able to save me if I stay near and something happens.
I opened the tent and Markos tent was right there! Closer than I remembered it being. I closed the tent again and thought I can't pee there, everyone is too close. Arghhhhhh! I looked at my water bottle, it was tempting, I would have to use that bottle for the next couple days so decide against that. Laid their again and thought I would try and go back to sleep. "We have to be up in 4 hours so people will be about in about 3 hours, il just wait. Or if I hear someone else get up il go then." I thought. Then I heard something bang and run. Very nearly pissed myself. I could feel my bladder about to give way. I had to woman the fuck up. So I did, shun my torch around to scare the coyotes and went for a piss. I walked with meaning but not at great speed, just to let the coyotes know who was boss haha! I got back to the tent and felt so proud! I did a little jig and got back into my sleeping bag. I felt like I had achieved something so big by walking in the dark on my own! Anyone that knows me and my fear of dark will know how much of a big thing that is to me! I was soooo happy and felt like I could take on the world. What a strange being I am!
The next morning I woke up about 430, half hour before we needed to. Felt a little bit headachey and was instantly worried the altitude sickness hadn't equalled out. We got coca tea bought to us in bed, what a great wake up call! After this I felt great. I'd had about 6 hours sleep and felt really good. I was soooo happy! I was aware this could change at any point, but what a fucking marvelous start, for now I was going to appreciate it.
We had another fantastic breakfast. Steffan casually explained how he fainted whilst pissing in the middle of the night, the way he said it was so funny, just like it was a normal thing! Thank god he was ok. He said he woke up laying down and looking at the stars. This altitude is a strange old thing! Then Phoebe told us it was Jennis birthday! She kept that quiet! What a way to spend your birthday!! Jenni was awesome, she was very accident prone, clumsy and very funny. She was the comedian of their group. She made me laugh a lot. She loved it when i called her "love" haha, she imitated my accent and by the end of it had a bit of an English twang to her voice. I got full blame haha. Phoebe was funny, apparently shes never treked before, despite living in Vancouver. All their friends were shocked at Phoebe trekking, she struggled and constantly moaned and said she'd never trek again haha. All of them were very clever, Phoebe was at Harvard studying law, Jenni and Chrissie are both at med school studying to become docs and Louis is a computer engineer.
We all got ready and off we went. Left the horsemen and chefs packing and cleaning the food - Marko assured us they will be fine. Sure enough they left a lot after us and overtook us! They must be super human! Today is a lot longer than yesterday but "only" (fucking only) the first few hours were up hill, steeper than yesterday mind, and through the snow. I was quite excited about the snow now. Crunchy crunchy snow! After that it's all down hill baby!
I don't know why or how, but I felt really fit and strong today. The altitude was most definitely there but it wasn't holding me back. I could keep going and even lead the group some of the time, which Louis ended up doing on the first day when we were struggling behind. I think a good night's sleep really sorted me out and helped me climatise to the altitude. I couldn't believe my luck.
The snow was incredible, it was so shiny and sparkly, never seen anything like it. Marko instructed us to put sunglasses on because the glisten is really bad for your eyes..
Unfortunately Hege had been unwell the night before, had an upset tummy and not much sleep, we weren't too far from the peek but everything had taken its toll on her, she nearly passed out, right on an edge of the mountain, it was so scary and everyone was worried. Louis and I were further up so didn't see it, Magical Marco sorted it, ran up the mountain and shouted to bring the emergency horse down to collect her.
Hopefully you can see the little red dot where Markos is.
It turned out to be a donkey that came and got Hege. Bless her she looked so unwell but was still smiling. The donkey kept stopping, it didn't want to budge, that was quite comical in hindsight. We all got to the top and Hege was thankfully feeling a lot better.
Once we got to the top, wow, I couldn't believe the view, absolutely out of this world. I haven't looked through my photos on my camera but I can guarantee they don't show the real prospective, it was truly breath taking, ok that may have been the altitude but still it was incredible. I never thought I'd be so lucky to see such a beautiful view. I never thought I would be so touched by a view. Again tears started running down my cheeks, I'm turning into a wet ol' hippy I thought to myself. I didn't want to take photos, I didn't want to talk to anyone, I just wanted to sit quietly, on my own and take it all in, incredible I thought! Maybe it's because I'm getting older that views like this can touch my heart so much but I don't think so, I honestly just think the Andes Mountains, at the top of a peak is incredible. To absent friends I thought as I eat my apple. Then I realized how soppy I was being and felt I needed to stand up and shake myself.
It was then photo time, everyone took everyone's photos, selfies and such like.
It was then time for the decent, I was feeling a little anxious about this but not too much, its how I broke my ankle previously but I'd learnt from my mistakes, I wasn't gunna rush, in fact I did the oppsosite, at first I probably moved about the pace of an 80 year old. "I will not break my ankle, I will not break my ankle".
I then became interested in all the different stones, they were really pretty, we were walking on them, many of them were glistening, they didn't look natural but they were. I asked Marko many questions, it fascinated me. Apparently there was silver and quartz on the mountain. I'd walk through and ask Marko what every stone was, it's a mountain full of treasures, I wanted a little bit of Rose Quarts for mother dearest, it being her birth stone and all. I picked up a few bits, but who knows. Apparently people have been coming over to mine, in years to come I expect it the mountain will be taken over by people mining.
It was lovely had a great chat wit Chrissie on the way down, it started with stones ha! She's so young but so knowledgeable, very clever and always thinking about those around her.
As time went on going down hill did not get easier, walking along the edges of the mountain with a sheer drop, I put my hand down on what seemed like nice soft grass to support myself, but noooooooope, they were needles of grass. I quickly grabbed my hand back and there were about 100 thistles in my hand, it looked a bit like a hedgehog, I pulled most of them out but have about 8 left that I can't get to.
Steffan was speedy-gonzally going down, he said the trick is to go quick, its better for your knees, so I did and I slipped and fell about 4 times ( not when there was a sheer drop), the last time I skidded quite far and we couldn't stop laughing, Marko was quite far back, he saw me go this time and started sprinting down, everyone shouted telling him I was ok, bless him, thought that was very sweet. I just wanted to roll down, too many stones!
We stopped and had lunch, Marko told us that we were way above schedule and were actually at our camp site, we were all so shocked and happy! We had a decision to either carry on and make it to tomorrow's destination or stop here, tomorrow's destination there were hot springs, absolute no brainer for me, but obviously it was a group decision. It didnt help the skies opened and it pissed it down. If we went today it would mean
1- we would be the second fastest team
2- we get to sit in hot springs allllll night and morning
3- we don't have to fucking hike the following day
4- we fitted a 3 day hike into 2 days
Then the sun came out and we all decided to go woooooo. Before we went we had to give some presents out to the children, we were in one of the mountain villages, it's crazy to think people live on the mountain and that there are little villages! We had come across a few women, the women work so so hard. Marko had the gift of the gab with them, he knew what to say make the little old ladies laugh and smile. One lady we came across was just hugging a chicken, then she let go and it just stayed there on her lap. It was a proper pet chicken. We all had a photo with her and gave her some food and coca leaves. Pretty much every local we came across we gave something to. I was so intrigued by this. A lot of them didn't have toothbrushes and led extremely simple lives on the mountain. It just made me realise how materialistic us westerners are, of course I already knew this, we all know it but it really hits home when u look at yourself, smartphone, smart watch, top of the range camera, walking boots etc, then you look at these ladies all in similar colourful clothes, the same sort of open toed leather sandals, all their toes are scraped up and filthy. I asked Marko if they're really poor, he said they don't feel poor because they're happy and have everything they need and know no different. This instantly made me think of back home, we're in a whirlwind where technology is easily taking over our lives, we entertain ourselves and our children with ipads, we freak out if we leave our phone at home for a day. The generation of the inpatient technos! If we want something we can order instantaneously and with the help of Amazon Prime we can get them the next day. When is the madness going to stop? Will it stop? Does it matter if it doesn't stop? I mean, it's not all bad, with science and technology I think one day we will find a cure for cancer. I don't know, this is a topic I could go on about for ages!
I was on a mission to get there, and get there quick! I stayed at the front the rest of the way, Marko and I were way infront and chatted about pretty much everything, his family, my family, marriage, kids, work, computers, development, future plans. It was really nice. Along the way we would stop and meet children, give them bread or a present (bread, toothbrush, ball). The rain helped my shoes grip, I was able to not slip, this made me very happy. We had the emergency horse with us just incase, the horseman son (kicking myself for not remembering his name) was in charge of him. He was only about 12 and followed his dad's every steps. He has the nicest smile and was sooooo cute! Very strong and hard working. I couldn't believe how hard the horsemen, his family and the porters worked. When we were walking along the workers were all running passed and I asked Marko why they were running, Marko explained they had to get to camp before us to set every thing up and to get cooking. I couldn't believe it. I felt so bad. Marko explained that it's their job and they enjoy it, they know they have to work hard because they didn't go and get an education, therefore their job is manual. Bless them!
The sun was setting and setting quick, everyone was walking at a quicker pace than normal. Then the heavens opened, we all got our ponchos out and put them on, the horseman son had nothing, he was in shorts, sandals and a jumper, bless Hege she gave him her rain coat.
Marko was picking up his speed, so I started picking mine up, but watching every step I took. I had moments I got a bit cocky but just thought "don't get over confident, it's how ankles get broken, mistakes are made and concentration is lost when you're tired" so I tried to be cautious as well!
We made it!!! We got there!!!!! Ahhhhh it was the best feeling EVER!!!! THE HOT SPRINGS LOOKED AMAZING!!!!! There were 6 different pools in total, all different temperatures. From freezing to boiling.
The very first thing we did was jump in the hot springs, oh my giddy-fucking-god, what more could we ask for?! Right then at the moment life felt absolutely perfect, after the last couple days, we were able to relax in the hot springs, absolutely incredible. I couldn't have been happier. Well maybe with a beer in hand....
I asked Marko what the chances are of having a beer, of course he sorted the beers, the horseman went and got them, then snuck them in threw the straw roof. It scared the shit out of us all, we thought the horse was eating the roof haha! We had dinner and a beer, it was the best beer ever! Hadn't had a beer for a few days and had done the hardest trek ever, god the beer tasted good!
Another absolutely amazing dinner! Then a birthay cake came out for Jenni, apparently made on the mountain, what the fuck man?! Incredible! We all sang happy birthday again
The Canadian guys went to bed. Leaving Marko, Hege, Steffan and myself. We chatted about a lot of things, I realised there are some things I really should know about England and my hometown but just dont, for example population of shoreham, my estimate was 5,000 pah!!
Hege and Steffan then went to bed, started chatting away to Marko, I had finished my beer (we had a ltr bottle each) but there was one left, Fernando Denis and Felix came and sat with us for a bit but then went and got in the hot springs, we nearly did but decided not to. We got onto the subject of the herbal stuff, went for a walk up the mountain, where there was a sheer drop, I wasn't sure this was such a good idea in flip flops ha! Figured Marko knew what he was doing, we sat and smoked some herbal magicals through a carrot, what a strange experience! Ah man, what a perfect day! Just looked at the stars, watched the people in the hot springs. I started thinking about home and how lucky I am, it's been a common thought this holiday, then i thought about how i will never be here, in this moment again, like this, with these people, woah! Now that is a strange, strong feeling, nothing and no one would ever be able to take this moment or memory away. I think it's natural for most people (those that aren't arrogant cunts anyway) to compliment themselves, I felt proud of what I had acheived in the last couple of days, silly things like going for a piss in the dark, for actually turning up at 5.30 am on the first day, I could have so easily not, for completing the first 2 days.
We walked up to that viewing shelter and then up the zigzag path.
Right enough of that shit, I had to then somehow get down this part of the mountain, in the dark, flip flops on and a tad cross eyed, Marko led the way, I was independent Gemma at first until I nearly fell, then I grabbed onto Marko, got down fine, damn I was going to sleep well that night. I was sooooo happy I had the tent to myself (things like that that have made me change, I didn't want to be in a tent on my own at first).
The next morning we all got up, had our last meal cooked by Fernando, incredible, obviously it was incredible! He baked us another cake! We then all jumped into the hot springs again, we went into a cooler, bigger one this morning. It was the size of a swimming pool. I raced Marko a couple swimming and won, wooooo! We all just had a laugh and chilled out. It was nice not having to wake up at 5 and having to hike. We stayed in for ages!
After this we got dressed, packed up and said goodbyes to the horsemen. All jumped on the bus, got a tshirt, took a selfie and off we went towards Machu Pichu.
(From back left Jenni, Louis, Marko, Chrissie, Phoebe, Me, Hege, Steffan)
The roads were really windy, I was loving the journey, it was so interesting, the roads were like something on top gear, windy with sheer drops, it was pretty freeky! You drive over waterfalls, it's weird, the waterfalls on the road, then drops down again. Very strange! Chrissie chundred in a plastic bag, so she sat in the front for the rest of the journey. We dropped off the porter and chefs and continued. Got off the bus at the train station in Ollantaytambo and got on the train to Machu Pichu, the train journey was about 1h 30m and it pissed it down the whole way. We got to the Machu Pichu city, sun came out and off we wondered to the hotel.
Oh.my.frig! It only just clicked we were staying in a hotel, not camping, no holes in the floor, a proper toilet, not a hostel with cold showers, a fucking hotel!!!!!! Had the bestest, longest shower ever, had clean towels, ah it was sooooo good. I then went to brush my hair but couldnt, I'd burnt it I'm the sun. Doh! It's now peeling, it's really attractive, when im around and it's windy people think it's snowing ha!
We had an hour and a half before we were meeting in the lobby, I was ready in good time so went for a wonder. Bought Markos twins some sweets - he apparently has to take them back something after each trip. Machu Pichu city was obviously full of tourists, it was ok! We then all met and went for dinner, had a laugh, got a bit pissed. It was nice! Then Louis, Steffan, Marko and myself decided to go for more drinks. Went to this weird snooker place, it was very strange, there wasnot a bar just snooker tables and a dart board. It was very rastafarian. Met a group of lads and 1 girl, they were really nice. You could smoke inside this place which was a first that Id come across (although note - I didn't smoke, hadn't smoked tobacco for 4 days).
Marko was incredible at poole, apparently he was a champion. I said I had a pool cue and instantly regretted it because they thought I'd be good, I explained I wasnt, hoped for some south American luck, it didn't really happen haha! I blame the table, it rolled like fuck! Plus pockets were different haha. Excuses
I was better at darts though, which is a first. I played against some of the italian guys. Marko had never played and was fucking awful, I think he got the board once. Everyone was in stitches!
After this place shut we headed back and then Marko and I decided to smoke the carrot again "everything organic" as Marko would say! This was no where near as good as before, too pissed and it's just not the same as being up a mountain, still it was fun. Got to bed about 2.30 and had to be up and ready to get a bus to Machu Pichu at 530am. I passed out fully clothed, contact lenses still in and without setting an alarm. Thank fuck I woke up in time. God I felt rough! I was sooooooo tired and my eyes were so sore. Especially my right one.
Everyone grabbed breakfast apart from me, I couldn't eat that early anyways. I thought I was going to chundred on the bus, I didn't, it was fine haha! Got there and out into the fresh air and remembered i had to do a hike, oh fuck me I thought! In all honesty after what people were telling me about Machu Pichu, I wasn't looking forward to it one bit. Apparently it's sooooo touristy, unlike our trail had been. This was confirmed when we got there, before that even - the queue for the bus was so long.
I had blisters on my feet, a hangover, sore eyes and the sweltering heat was not helping. Got on with the hike and it made me feel so much better, Steffan was feeling the beers as well. In general Machu Pichu exceeded all expectations, it was incredible. The hike was the best, not too many people did the Sun gate hike. Got to the top and a rainbow appeared, it felt so magical. It didnt take my breath away like the top of the Andes Mountains did, I think the hangover and the tourists are the reason why. None the less it was so amazing. Also, a rainbow, how fucking idyllic and perfect!
(Spot the rainbow)
Apparently rainbows means it's good for fertility, get bumping and grinding if that's ya thing guys and gals, if not double up!
Marko then gave us a guided tour around the most important parts, it was really interesting, I learnt a lot! The incas are so strong and talented! By this point my eye was killing. I could hardly keep it open. I feared I had infected it whilst on the trek and not having the cleanest of hands when putting contacts in. Everyone was very quiet by this point, I think Marko was disappointed in the lack of questions we had. Haha!
After Machu Pichu, I was so ready to sleep. We all got on the bus, then stopped and had lunch in the same place we had dinner. By this point my eye was unbearable, Jenni gave me somedrops, that just stung, so just did my best to keep my eye open. We then got the train then bus and I slept. Another thing I seemed to have overcome - sleeping in public places!
We arrived back at wonderful Cusco at about 7pm. I was really regretting booking the Copacabana trip for the same night. I just wanted to sleep. Everyone went their separate ways and Marko took me to a pharmacy to get something for my eye. Then we bumped into Mariana and all decided to go for some grub. After this I said bye to Marko, I was really sad to say bye to him, think I made a good friend there.
The anticlimax of the trek had really hit me. I missed being with everyone, I missed the challenge, I didn't want to leave Cusco. I was exhausted and Cusco made me feel safe, I have to go to stupid Copacabana I thought. In all honesty I'm still feeling that way a bit but that's part of travelling. I feel lucky to have found somewhere I love. It was just nice being with Mariana, when you're a solo traveller and you click with someone, it's so nice, you got each others backs. She sure had mine, I couldn't open my eyes at all now so Mariana had to sort everything out for me/us. I don't know what I would have done without her. That was just the beginning of my trio of illnesses!