The Inca Trail, Day 30

Patallaqta, Inca trail, Peru

We chose Llampath to support our trek along the Inca trail because they are eco-friendly, pay their porters a decent wage, and provide suitable clothing.  But the 4.30 am start suggests the company's not so concerned about the tourists - ouch! … [Continue reading]

Dead Woman’s Pass, Inca trail, Day 31

Hiking to Dead Woman's Pass Inca trail, Peru

The hike to Dead Woman's Pass is Death by Stairmaster... I endure a cold and uncomfortable night under canvass.  And not once did those damn porters come by with a hot water bottle.  I say night, but the porters woke Christi and me at 5.30am, … [Continue reading]

Mt. Pumaciello, Inca trail, Day 32

Sunrise over Mt. Pumaciello, Inca Trail, Peru

The sunrise over Mt. Pumaciello this morning is sublime... The night was milder than I'd anticipated, although I did wear every item of clothing I brought with me, so that may have helped.  The view from our tent this morning of the sun striking the … [Continue reading]

Machu Picchu, Day 33

Machu Picchu, 'The Lost City of the Incas', Peru

The big day is finally here and I feel we have earned the right to view the majesty of Machu Picchu, Hiram Bingham’s Lost City of the Incas.  Christi and I are woken at 3:30am.  It’s raining and we're sleep deprived, but the adrenaline is kicking in. … [Continue reading]

Aguas Calientes to Cusco, Day 34

Fluffy llamas for sale, Agues Caliente, Peru

Aguas Calientes is nestled in a valley below Machu Picchu, surrounded by towering walls of rock and the cloud forest.  It’s located on the Urubamba River, while train tracks run through the center of town.  This is undoubtedly a huge tourist town, … [Continue reading]

Cusco to Arequipa, Day 35

Plaza de Armas, Arequipa, Peru

It’s only 200km from Cusco to Arequipa, but it’s a tortuous route through the mountains and it’s still raining.  The journey takes 10 uncomfortable hours.  And boy is there a big difference between traveling first class and second.  At some … [Continue reading]

Spanish language woes, Arequipa, Day 36

Estoy excitada - no really, Peru

Yesterday was as close as it gets to a relaxing day for us, but before we embark upon another adventure we have some chores to complete.  My hiking boots suffered more than I did on the Inca trail and we have to find a cobbler to get them repaired.  … [Continue reading]

Santa Catalina monastery, Arequipa, Day 37

Santa Catalina Monastery, Arequipa, Peru

Today we enjoy the tourist delights of Arequipa. First is the vast Santa Catalina monastery (actually a convent), which covers a whole city block.  It was founded in 1580 and mainly attracted girls from the richest families in Spain (admittance to … [Continue reading]

Peruvian altiplano, Day 38

The barren Peruvian altiplano

We leave Arequipa on our Colca Canyon tour at 9 am.  Our route takes us up onto the barren Peruvian altiplano (an area of high plateau and vast plains lying between 11,000 and 13,000 feet) which, litter aside, is starkly beautiful.  The grass is … [Continue reading]

Colca Canyon, Day 39

Colca Canyon, Peru

I forgot to mention yesterday that Colca Canyon (where colca translates as store room or granary) is South America’s equivalent of the Grand Canyon (and the Fish River Canyon in Namibia – rather obvious name-dropping there).  Colca Canyon is, … [Continue reading]