Sunday, November 9, 2008

Cusco and the Sacred Valley

So we´re on our last day here in Cusco, Peru. Its a beautiful city, if not a bit too touristy. What can you expect from the biggest city closest to one of the worlds wonders though. We spent the first couple days not doing a whole lot as Jaseon and Way-Jam were getting acclimated to the altitude change before heading off on the Inca Trail.

While there are many routes to take, we booked long in advance and took the most popular route that takes you past multiple ¨lesser¨ruins on the way. In all, its a 4.5 day hike, covering about 26 miles and about 3 miles in altitude change. The 26 miles over 4.5 days isnt the challenging part. Throw in vertical hikes of 1,200 meters in a day and it gets rough (especially if you are fighting a stomach bug which Jaseon and C were). That on top of the fact that all four of us came to the realization that we don´t really like hiking the day before the trek and one completely overpacked backpack you have all the makings for a miserable trip. That said, the scenery was amazing and reaching Macchu Piccu was all the more gratifying for the difficulties.

We´re off to Buenos Aires (BA) tomorrow where we´ll be for about 4 days before heading up to Iguazu falls. Then back to BA to regroup for our overland trip down south to Patagonia for some more hiking at Parque National Torres Del Paine ( for some more natura wonders. Looking forward to meeting up with Cecilia´s college buddy Camilla and her boyfriend Eric in Mendoza around the 15th of December and Russ from Seattle around Christmas before heading to the Uruguay coast for New Years.



(Signs we were picked up at the airport in Cusco...¨Jaseon and WayJam¨

Jaseon took the liberty of making our sign as they arrived a couple hours before us...Ceece and Brad ¨the Donkey¨Albright

Insane halloween festivities the first night in Cusco. If you had candy, you were a target.

Amazing fresh juice stands at the market in Cusco.

Happy before the trek. I won the biggest bag of the group award. Not the award you want to win before a 4 day hike.

On the trail the 2nd day.

Llamas passing us on the way.

On the trail....

Well deserved mini bottles of wine after the 1st day.

Day 1.

Our guides at 5am last day of the hike, 1 hour from our first sighting of Maccu Piccu (MP).

The group at the MP. We hiked with a group of 16, some Americans, Brits, Aussies, a Frenchie and Quebecois guy.

7am at the Sun gate, our first sight of MP.

On the bus from MP, exhausted from the hike.


Russ Twoey said...

Yeah beard! How bout it! C'mon!

Schraepfer Harvey said...

Awesome. I'm breathless, my brain is swelling. Altitude sickness? I think I'm suffering from trek envy.
Can't wait to hear about the tango.

Linda said...

Is your back killing you with that backpack, Bradley???

Chris said...

holy wow!

Chris said...

holy wow!

David Armstrong said...

I can't believe I am finally getting around to reading this. I'm so jealous.