Our third day in Peru was a laid back one. We had an amazing time on Sunday exploring ruins just outside of Cusco, made all the more fascinating by the very serendipitous meeting we had with a freelance guide, who ended up touring us around the site and adding valuable insights and context for what we were seeing. I had hoped to be able to post a blog about the ruins before leaving on our hike, but sacrificing sleep just before trekking for four days at altitude does not seem like the brightest idea, so that writeup will have to wait until we’re back online next weekend.
Monday’s agenda was decidedly more low key than the day before. Jan had booked in for a massage at our hotel, so while she did that I went off in search of a bank and a shoestore that we had briefly visited on Saturday, which had the most gorgeous boots I’d ever seen. Unfortunately, since I wasn’t paying attention to HOW we got to the store the first time, it took me ages to find it again. After trying on pretty much every style of size eight shoe they had, I ended up going with a pair with brightly coloured woven detailing up the front (I’ll try to post a picture when I can upload my photos to my phone…)
UPDATE: The boots I bought:
Almost enough to make me okay with the possibility that I may still need to be wearing boots when I head back home. Though the fact that I’m writing that sentence while currently sporting a sunburn from yesterday’s walk in 20+ degree temperatures (that perfectly illustrates all the spots I missed applying suncreen) may have warped my memory a bit, as far as the joys of Saskatchewan’s interminable winter go…
After picking up some lunch from a bakery on the way back to the hotel and eating it together on the terrace, Jan and I took a taxi to a different hotel, where we met up with the G Adventures folks. We had our pre-trip meeting just before dinner, where we were introduced to our guide and the other people on our (very full!) tour, and heard about all the things that await us in the coming days. The guide’s account of the trip focused on the wonderful sights and sounds we’ll be seeing and hearing, though fellow travellers we’ve spoken to who have already completed the trail universally reported that it was utterly exhausting, their legs felt like jello–and it was the best thing they’d ever done. Seems like an apt description to me!
Our bags are packed, weighed (they must be under 6kg) and ready to go. We depart at 7:30am tomorrow for a day trip to the Sacred Valley of the Incas and the town of Ollantaytambo. We’ll stay at a hotel in the area tomorrow night, and then the following day we begin the hike in earnest. Five days from now, after a plethora of stairs and elevation changes, and a 3:30am wake-up call on the last day to make it to the Sun Gate at Machu Picchu for sunrise, we’ll be able to say we hiked the Inca Trail to one of the new Seven Wonders of the World.
Will look forward to telling you all about it! In the meantime, for those that are interested in reading the details of what our hike entails, the tour itinerary can be found here: http://www.gadventures.com/trips/the-inca-trail/SPIT/2013/itinerary/ And for a preview of Machu Picchu, this blog has beautiful shots of the area: http://crazybeautifulnature.wordpress.com/2013/02/02/machu-picchu-peru/