They say adventure is in the journey–Welcome to my journey of Peru.
Day Uno: Mountain biking down the back roads of the Amazon. I have to admit this day started with driving for what seemed like FOREVER in a Peruvian taxi to get to the starting point. That was the moment I started to pray for my life and not rolling off the side of the roads due to the intense driving, slamming on brakes, backing up to let a bus go by, and flying up and down the gravel roads.
Then we got on bikes to ride down the SAME road with these crazy drivers! I continued to pray for my life and every person on a bike. I did some serious talking to Jesus.
The ride wasn’t all fun and games, the first section–I struggled. I couldn’t figure out the gears and I was so afraid of getting hit by a car, I almost didn’t take in the beauty of what surrounded me!
In between talks with Jesus, I had a blast sailing down the road. We went in three different sections through the Amazon, and it was an experience like none other! Here I thought the Amazon was nothing but anacondas roaming around. Sadly, I only saw banana trees and mosquitoes, no wild animals.
After biking majority of the morning, we stopped to have lunch and then continued on our way to a hot spring and our first hostel. But of course it didn’t go as smoothly as you would think! We had to use a local’s van to get to another local’s car to get to our destination. See inside van below.
Lastly, we ended up at our location: the Hot Springs.
The hot spring was surrounded by mountains and completely out of a movie!
Fun fact: to get in the hot spring you have to take a “cold” bath before you get in…I have to say it’s very COLD! Needless to say, I got in the hot spring with the least amount of people, closest to the cold bath and watched the faces people made as they rinsed off–priceless. A good laugh at the end
Not bad for day 1, huh?
Day DOS—Zip Lining.
Our tour guide consisted of us 4, 6 zip lines, 1 bridge, and a climb up a piece of rock.
SO. MUCH. FUN. It may sound crazy but I was less scared of zip lining through the Amazon than biking down the roads— and the fall is much shorter biking.
Our tour guide company offered this as an “extra”, and I highly recommend you to step out of your comfort zone to try it!
After our zip line adventures we hiked for almost 20 km, and no, I don’t know off hand how many miles that is but all I remember is wanting to drink a Coca-Cola.
The hike in was just a warm-up for our hike on day 3.
To note: backpacks get heavy after awhile and the Inka bathroom is open to everyone.
Day TRES: Machu Picchu.
-Wake up: 3:30 am
-Leave hostel by 4 am (after waking the guy sleeping on the couch because we were locked in.)
-Walk 20 minutes through Aguas Calientes in the dark
-Get to first gate at 4:20 am-ish, wait in line until 5 am
-5 am get into first gate and hike blind in the dark with all the others up the stairs for 45 mins to an hour
-6:15 ish am get to second gate of Machu Picchu, get ticket stamped
-6:30 ish am See Machu Picchu
-6:45 am Clouds cover Machu Picchu, can’t see it from the ledge so we decide to explore the ruins
– 8ish am- it starts to rain, sit under one of the ruins for 30 mins while it pour
While it was still raining, we left the ruins and went to get coffee and warm up. After about an hour we decided to start our adventure back into the park and hike the lovely Machu Picchu Mountain, Montana…………
And you thought the adventure was over.
It took us over an hour to get to the top, over an hour of climbing rock stairs…talk about leg day. We met a lady on the hike up–she kindly told us we have 50 more minutes of hiking–I was convinced she was a liar, THERE WAS NO WAY. I was wrong, very wrong.
And this is what Machu Picchu looks like from a mountain top:
Don’t worry it only took us 45 mins to get down and explore the ruins again! A little fun fact about the ruins: they really do not know what it was used for–legends say it was for farming, where the Inka farmers lived due to the climate, and the locals aren’t even sure an Inka king made his way to the ruins. Kings were not allowed to touch the ground and the Inka trail is full of random narrow pathways that may not allowed him to be carried to the ruins. It is also thought that about only 45% of the ruins are actually visible and the rest is under ground! And Lastly, the ruins were not “lost”. The local farmers (and children) knew it was there but no one lived there. It wasn’t until an American explorer came and explored it with the children that it was “discovered”, or so the legend goes.
-4:30 pm get on train to go back to Cusco
-4:45 pm train breaks down…..then it does 9 more times
-7:30 pm (the time we were suppose to arrive to city), take an hour to go what was suppose to be 30 mins to a town to get on a bus
-8:45 pm become part of a Canadian family we met at train station so we can stay with “people we know” and get on bus after finding a bus driver that would actually take us two hours to Cusco
-9 pm get off that bus to get on another bus (train company gave us a bag of chips and a bottle of wine, winning)
-9-10 pm figure out which way bus driver is going, People in the back of bus were scared (clearly not drinking their free bottle of wine)
-10:30 pm Make it to Cusco and walk to hotel. Sleep.
Looking back at this trip–I am so excited to say I have witnessed this Machu Picchu in person. I caught myself a few times thinking “wow, I am actually here seeing this history in person, how amazing and surreal”.
Thanks for reliving this adventure with me. ROAM freely.
**Food Post coming soon.