We have survived! The Inca Trail was way harder than what we expected. It was a 4 day trek thought mountains and jungle. We reached altitutes of 4200 meters above sea level and walked for 42 kilometers up and down Inca made steps.
The trip started quite well. We had a good sleep, took the bus to our first destination which is kilometer 82 from Cusco. We had our walking sticks and our sleeping bags attached to our small bags and I asked Rebecca to take a picture of me with all the gear. As she tries to take a picture of me, the camera does not turn on! Apparently after I charged the camera battery during night, I accidently put the battery and charger inside the wrong backpack, the one staying in our hostel in Cusco! We would like to thank the two British girls (Hayley and Kirsty) for taking pictures of us and lending us the camera the last day.
As I was saying, the trek was a bit though. So much that it also made Rebecca cry from exhaustion.
As it is summer it was the rainy season. And we did encounter a lot of the wet stuff.
We were super impressed and amazed with the ability of the porters that carried 20 kilos on their backs up and down the mountain at and incredible speed. We were carrying about 5 kilos and it was a struggle!
The culmination of the trip ended at Machu Picchu. This incredible place untouch by the Spaniards when they arrived in Peru. They did destroyed most of the other sites but this one was well hidden in the vast mountains.
It was and incredible adventure that we won't forget.
We are now at the Lima airport waiting for about 14 hours for our midnight flight to the city of Sao Paulo, Brasil.
No gracias. This is the number one spanish phrase that I use most. Street vendors are relentless and sell just about everything from souveniers to first aid kits to shovels to drugs.
In the last week, we made it to Puno, Arequipa and trekked the Colca Canyon.
The best part about Puno was our visit to the Uros (floating) Islands. There are groups of families that live on man made islands from reeds and their entire livelihood uses this material. One little boy invited me into his home where his parents and two more siblings live. It is hard to imagine that five people slept in a house the size of a queen bed. (Check out the Puno pictures to see for yourself).
Our next stop was Arequipa - the nicest city in Peru that we have visited. We loved the colonial architecture and peacefullness of the city. From here we decided to test ourselves and we went on a three day trek of the Colca Canyon, the second deepest canyon in the world. Our accomodations were rustic, to say the least, but it was all part of the experience.
The trek took us through villages in the middle of nowhere to an incredible oasis at the bottom of the canyon. We ate exotic fruits that we picked ourselves and mingled with the mountain folk.
On the last day, we had to climb out of the canyon which was 9km, uphill, over 1100 meters verticle. Gadi made it out in two hours and I took about three, which is still better than the average. I was just happy to make it out alive.
We are now back in Cusco where Gadi met another close friend from Junior High, Amit Stein. Yesterday, we spent the whole day hanging out with Gadi´s friends and recuperating from our journey.
Tomorrow we leave for our Inca Trek. Wish us luck!
We have left the busy and noisy but well maintained city of Lima to come to Cuzco.
The view of Cusco from the plane on the way in was really amazing. The town is situated in a valley enclosed by mountains on all sides. The architecture is a mixture of Inca and Spanish. Like Ernesto Che Guevara said in his trip to Cusco when the was talking about the walls of the building "call this one the Inca wall and that one the wall of the Incapables, those were the Spanish". You can really tell the difference.
For the first time in our lives we experience the effects that altitude can cause on a person. We had to climb a few steps to get to our hostal and it was one of the hardest things we have done in a long time. We had headaches and were exhausted. It is now day 2 and I think we are way better.
We haven´t seen much of Cusco yet but we were able to obtain our tickets for the Inca Trail (one of the most famous and popular options to get to Machu Picchu). This will be a 4 day trek through the mountains to finish up at one of the 7 Wonders of the World. We feel really good about ourselves because we were able to get our trek for about 1 half of what other travellers have paid.
Last night we got a surpise email from a girls we met in our hostal in Lima. She is a fellow Couchsurfer and invited us to a Couchsurfing gathering in the city. We had a blast, meeting Couchsurfers from all over the world. We hopped from bar to bar from disco to disco. It was really a fun experience and we hope to go to more of these kind of events in the future travels.