April 9 - April 15
09.04.2010 - 15.04.2010 21 °C
Ya ya I know we haven't updated the blog in about 2 weeks, and I am writing this without an internet connection so hopefully I wont have to change that two weeks to three weeks... Here we go!
Friday, April 9th
Laurel left off on our bus ride from Puno to Cusco. The 'tourist' bus stopped at 4 tourist stops the only one worth mentioning was the stop at the Inca ruins, mine and Stephanie's first Inca ruins, we both thought they were very cool. When we arrived in Cusco the bus dropped us off very far from the town center, and we didn't ave enough Soles to catch a taxi so we hoofed it about a half an hour, and it was lightly raining. After reaching the town center and finding our hostel, up some seriously steep stairs and at 12,000 feet climbing them was hard, we eat dinner nearby and settled in for the night.
Saturday, April 10th
Today we are headed to Aquas Calientes then to Machu Picchu!! We start off with breakfast on the terrace at our hostel (the stairs may have been worth it). We don't need to leave Cusco until 4 so we have some time to kill, which we mostly spend in internet cafes, 3 to be exact... sorry Stephanie! . And then we have trouble picking a place for lunch.... we settle on some authentic Peruvian McDonalds, again sorry Stephanie . At 4 we catch our cab to Piscacucho, which is where we board our train to Aguas Calientes (at the foot of Machu Piccu). Our Taxi driver is crazy and I'm not sure if he thinks we are rally racing or what! We make it to the train and on to Aguas Calientes in one piece. We check into our hostel and Laurel is beat so she goes to sleep, Stephanie and I head out to have a late dinner, we settle on some pizza, which end up basically being a pizza made on a tortilla, not as bad as it sounds. Bed time.
Sunday, April 11st
Up at 4:45 to catch the first bus up the hill to Machu Picchu! We are all very excited, and a little nervous because we are planning up hiking Huanui Picchu (the mountain in the background of most Maccu Picchu pictures) which Laurel has made out to be very difficult. Once up the hill to Maccu Picchu really lives up to its name, of being the city in the clouds. It is cloud covered and has mystical feeling, I liked it a lot. We are scheduled in the first group to hike Huanui Picchu (only a certain number are allowed to hike it each day) so we wonder a little bit then begin out hike. The cloud forest scenery and the hike are amazing, I think coming down was harder than getting up, it takes us about 2 hours round trip including the time we send at the top soaking in the scenery. The view from the top is absolutely amazing, and I would recommend the climb to everyone who goes to Maccu Picchu!! Once down we from the mountain we explore Maccu Picchu for several hours. It is absolutely amazing!! Once finished we head down the mountain to check out the thermal baths (hence the name of the town), which are grungy looking pools, with murky water, not what I imagined. We head out to a restaurant and get some dinner and then hit the sac as we are all very tired, from all the activity today.
Monday, April 12th
Today we catch the train/taxi back to Cusco, our taxi driver today is much more relaxed today. Stephanie and Laurel decide that they want to get massages, manicures and pedicures. While they're doing that I relax. After they're finished we head into town and try some Chifa (Peruvian Chinese food), it was pretty good, and didn't taste nearly as greasy as our Chinese food. That's it for the day and Tomorrow we head to the Jungle.
Tuesday, April 13th
This morning we catch a flight to Puerto Maldanado, board a motorized canoe for a 45 minutes ride down the Rio Tampbopta, hike for 2 miles, then board another canoe for a ride across Lago Sandoval, we then arrive at our jungle lodge. The weather is near 100 degrees and 100 percent humidity. The Jungle scenery is absolutely amazing. Our first excursion into the jungle is a night hike on which we see several species of spiders (including tarantulas), leaf cutter ants, fire ants, a tree that will temporarily paralyze you if you touch it and some amazing jungle fauna. Our lodge is pretty rustic, we only have electricity certain times a day, no windows in the rooms (only mosquito netting), but the service is first class and the food is excellent. The three of us are sharing a room, with a private bath, but the walls don't go all the way to the ceiling so there is not much privacy. Overall the place is very cool, and it is a good mix of comfort and jungle feel.
Wednesday, April 14th
Up at 5:00 AM for a 2 hour canoe ride around Lago Sandoval looking for monkeys, birds, rier otters, and other animals. The sunrise on the lake is beautiful, we see many different types of birds, howler monkeys, but since the river is full from the rainy season the otters aren't out and we don't get to see them. After the canoe ride its time for breakfast, then a jungle hike. On the jungle hike we learn all about the different plants and trees that can be used for medicinal purposes, see different types of jungle (primary jungle and secondary jungle), some really interesting and big trees, try fresh Brazil nuts and we see more monkeys! After the hike we have lunch and watch a documentary on the family of river otters that live in the lake. Around 4 we head out on the lake for a sunset boat ride looking for monkeys, caymans/crocodiles, and more monkeys. We see two more types of moneys, a lot of caymans and some more birds. The end of the boat ride is in the dark with our guides using flashlights to point out monkeys and caymans. After the boat ride its time to have dinner and relax, tomorrow we leave the jungle. It was a short trip, we would have loved to stay longer, but even as it was the cost really was way over what we could afford for such a short time.
Thursday, April 15th
Two days until Stephanie leaves . We do our boat-ride/hike/boat-ride/bus-ride this morning to get back to the airport, and say goodbye to the jungle. Laurel is going to continue from here. I hope everyone is well and I'm looking forward to skypeing the family tomorrow!