Friday, June 15, 2012
Well, I guess I should start from the beginning. Do some eyes exercises and get ready to read! On Sunday night we left Cajamarca for Trujillo (6 hours). Once there we stayed in a cheap hostal ($10) since we arrived at 4:30 AM and couldn`t very well just sit in the street until dawn. Then we went to pick up my laptop which Cèsar`s friend Rafael had fixed for me. The problem was that my antivirus expired a year ago and the thing had so many viruses that you could`t use it. Now I can use it. In return I translated his systems engineering homework into Spanish. Fair trade right :) although it was very complicated homework! When at Rafael`s house we ran into Wesley who was there to pick up a car to drive back to Cajamarca. He said we should all go to pick it up, so we did. The car was so bad. I mean, we drove a block and then had to get out and push to make it start again. I was a bit scared because there was a lot of traffic but luckily I survived to tell the tale! At one point it stopped altogether and the men were pushing it for a few blocks so Wesley decided to go and visit his girlfriend while Rafael and the car`s owner fixed the problem. We went with Wesley to see baby Adrian who is now 7 months old (doesn`t time fly!) and very cute. We took him for a walk and had some cheap lunch ($2) and said goodbye to them as Wesley had to take the car back to Cajamarca. We then accompanied Rafael and his mom to the main square and the market and back to their house which was about 1.5 hours of walking but it wasn`t too hot or too cold so it was good. Then we hung out with Rafael`s mom while he was studying and had a really interesting conversation with her until 10 when we had to go to the bus station to catch our bus to Lima. The journey was 9 hours long but I slept all the way so it wasn`t bad. We arrived in Lima at about 7:30 AM and decided to hang out in the bus terminal instead of spending cash on a hostal and bought our tickets to Cusco. We left our bags there and went for a walk in the lovely contaminated city of Lima and remarked on the beautiful layer of contamination and how it hurt my eyes (Cèsar said I was overreacting but later his eyes hurt too so ha!). We went to the Expedition Park which I nicknamed the Chinese Park two years ago but I CANT REMEMBER WHY?! Anyway there were all these photos of Lima and it was really sad, you saw the rich parts and then the really poor parts and it was kind of sick actually. Then we had really cheap strawberry juice (obviously fresh because it`s Peru) which was very nice! I apologize for the lack of paragraphs in this blog entry, but my fingers just say, go go go because the time here is costly (not really but when you are tight it is). Then we had to sit in a bus for 22 hours to arrive to Cuzco. It was cool at first to see the nice landscapes and all that but then I felt nauseous so I drugged myself up on gravol and went to sleep until the next day. We arrived in Cusco at 1 p.m. and I saw a bunch of cheap hostels by the bus station so we went to one and they only charged us 10$ again (nice!) and I was happy because I was told that going to Cusco with less than 1000$ a person is impossible and that`s all Cèsar and I have for both of us. The problem was that the water was ICE COLD, I mean not just cold but freezing. Plus Cusco is at 3326 metres above sea level and it`s quite cold there! Cajamarca is only 2750 so it`s quite a bit higher. It is okay having a cold shower when it`s hot outside but not when it`s cold! You couldn`t help but scream like madmen! Anyway we had to shower because we hadn`t since Trujillo on Monday and we arrived on Wednesday! Then we tried to walk to the main square (because I told Cèsar, I am sure it`s this way) and then we asked a local woman and she said we`d been going the WRONG WAY so whoops! She said to take a bus which was only 50 cents so we did. Then we basically spent the afternoon eating and walking around the really beautiful city centre and getting bombarded with tour agencies. Cusco is obviously super turisti-cized (new word) but it`s neat because walking down the street you can hear so many language. Sometimes we play identify or guess the language but obviously we can`t very well ask the people if we are right so it`s juse speculation. At night we went to the highest Irish pub in the world, and then a British pub where I made Cèsar drink Old Speckled Hen on tap since it`s from Bury St. Edmunds where I was born. Then we went to another random bar and played darts but then I got tired so we went to bed. After checking out all the tour information we decided not to take any tours since they were all more than 100$ each and instead go ourselves. The next day we got up early after a very cold night in Cusco and went to the bus stop for Urubamba. There we took a bus for about 1$ and travelled for an hour. On the bus we met a backpacker from Argentina called Nicolas and he said he was going to walk to Aguas Calientes from KM 82. We hadn`t considered that since it is 30 KM and that`s quite a walk. We were going to take the train from Ollantytambo. When we arrived to Urubamba we took a cab with Nicolas to Ollantytambo which was about 20 minutes away for 4$ so the 3 of us. Not bad so far. In Ollantytambo there were awesome ruins. On one side the ruins cost 70 soles each to enter which is so expensive so didn`t go, but on the other side of the village there were other ruins with a sign saying DANGER: not cross, but we saw various tourists up there so we crossed anyway and it was really cool and not really dangerous unless there was an avalanche but really, it was wasn`t raining and everything was quite stable so don`t worry! We got some great pictures on the up mountain climb to the ruins and then returned to the villlage, it was only about 2 kms so we were still good. We bought some fruit and found a combi to KM 82 and travelled there in an hour. There we met a bunch of kids jammed full into the combi and Cèsar gave them an apple to share and they chatted about soccer while I took pictures of the snow peaked mountains which are much more impressive than the mountains in Cajamarca. When we arrived to KM 82 we headed down to a hut which I didn`t know was the start of the Inka Trail and walked down to it where the warden told us we couldn`t continue for many reasons and after half an hour of trying to bargain we turned back disappointed. It was 2:15 and we went back up to the train track where the combi had left us and asked the guy if the train would pick us up there. He said the train might pick Cèsar up since he`s Peruvian but it wouldn`t take foreigners so Nicolas and I would be stuck. We decided that wasn`t an option. Then we saw another Argentinean backpacker heading our way down the train tracks and he said he had come from Aguas Calientes without any security problems. He had left at 5 AM having done the hike in 9 hours. He said the biggest problem would be that night would catch us and then it would dangerous unless we had a lantern. I had on my cellphone, but I wasn`t sure, but then I got excited and we decided we only live once so why not go for it! We went following the train tracks where there were paths above and below where the locals must walk because there were cows and bulls (luckily not angry bulls but I sent the boys first just in case). The first four hours were great because the views were AMAZING and it was so peaceful. We didn`t meet any other backpackers and we didn`t stop because we wanted to walk as far as possible before it got dark (at about 6:10 it was impossible to see anything). I was surprised at the number of trains that passed but none of them went faster than 40 km/h. A train ticket is more than 70$ for foreigners by the way, so we really saved money by walking! Oh, and Peruvians have to travel on a different train from foreingers as like, a different class which made me ask if we were in 1930 still. No way am I travelling in a different train from Cèsar! When night fell we decided to stay close to the tracks to avoid getting lost. The boys had much more facility peeing than I did and went like 10 times but I only went once because I thought a spider might bite me or something! The train tracks were filled with sharp rocks which cut our feet and I twisted my ankles. Cèsar got bitten by something and now has a HUGE blister, the biggest I have ever seen! I have blisters too but you know, normal size ones. There were lots of bridges to cross which were a bit scary but obviously they were safe since they took the weight of the train. Sometimes you had to balance though as not to fall through the cracks but that is part of the fun. After about 20 kms it got really hard for me. It was surreal because the sky was beautiful and full of stars and the river (I forgot to say we were also following a rampant rapid river) was so loud it was like we were there with nature where nobody else was. The scary parts were when the train passed because sometimes there wasn`t much space to stand between the train and mountain face. One time we were so close my nose almost touched it. Haha, that`s a joke, but we could feel the tug and I thought Nicolas was going to die at one point because he swaggered a bit. I always sat down because it`s harder to get tugged that way! We chatted lots and I suggested we sing but the boys didn`t want to. I felt like the seven dwarfs and wanted to sing, Hi ho, Hi ho it`s off to work we go, because I was carrying our water on my shoulders like a hammer. Well after 25 kms I was pretty much just walk like a zombie because my legs were hurting so much! Ohhhhh I have to go my time is up, today we went to Machu Picchu and it was awesome! I will write more when I can! Loveeee!