We left off with the vaccines in Heredia. The next morning Laura and I boarded a plane to Lima, Peru where we met our guide and the other people we were hooking up with from the Ecuador volunteer/adventure tour group. We got to Lima, Peru pretty late so we were all taken by coach bus to a hostel for the night. It was a basic nice hostel. Some of the people, well most decided to head out to eat but I was tired and decided to get a jump on sleep, we were getting up to board a plane to Cusco, Peru in just a few short hours.
We were up early the next morning to catch our flight. We got to Cusco and checked into our hostel and dropped our stuff off. We walked around Cusco and got to have a traditional dinner with a dance show from some locals, that was nice. One thing I distinctly remember about that first night is freezing while I slept! We had just come from warm Costa Rica then we crossed the equator into winter!
And we were off, in the AM the next day we boarded a bus to take us out of the city, since we had a limited amount of time they drove us part of the way up the first day and let us off the bus around lunch time where the cook (yes we had a cook) made us soup I think. After lunch we started our trek up the mountain.
Let me take a little break here and say that before I ever left home for Costa Rica I had been working out and eating well but I had not been a big hiker.
Nothing could have prepared me for hiking at that altitude (not true I am sure something could have but I certainly hadn’t done any prep work for hiking up a literal mountain). The entire way that first day I though, oh crap what have I gotten myself into. We just kept climbing up. I think we hiked 9 miles that day then camped under a glacier. Yes a GLACIER! I thought last night was cold, oh just you wait, I slept in my hiking shoes. I also got altitude sickness meaning I drank a little broth that night but that was it. My tent mate Laura had some Peruvian version of fruit loops so I had a few handfuls of those but I got up in the middle of the night and threw everything up. Oh boy, this is going to be rough.
We hiked in between those mountains
The summit night 1
The next day dawned early and was still super cold. I still felt terrible and today was our longest day. And we headed up the dreaded switchbacks. Probably one of the hardest days of my life. I refused to get on a horse or let my guide carry my pack, I was going to conquer this dang mountain! And when I did make it to the top it was one of the best feelings ever! We summited the highest point amd made out way down to the otherside.
No lie i teared up coming back down. We got back down to level ground by lunch time on day. But i also got sicker and sicker. I still wasn’t eating or drinking much amd expelling so much energy. I slept at lunch and woke up with a terrible headache. My guide finally convinced me to ride a horse the last 2 hours to our camp for the night. I had made the summit so i caved. He brought me a gatorade which helped sooo much.
Day 3 i was back on my feet and at the front of the pack because it was fairly flat hahaha. I bought a gatorade anywhere i saw one and some candy bars. On day 3 we were descending into the cloud forest so it was warming up as well.
Overall i don’t look all that great but you must remember at this point i am ij my 6th week of traveling with no normal access to a shower and i was recovering from altitude sickness and dehydration. But it was a great day to feel strong and well again. The night of the 3rd day of hiking we reached Aguas Calientes, the closest town to Machu Picchu. We double bunked in a hostel and slept hard!!!! Oh and i had a pizza for dinner hahahaha!!!!
The next day we were all bussed up to Machu Picchu where we had a guided tour then we were on our own and just had to be at the hostel ready to go at 9pm.
I think we were delirious at this point
The clouds in the morning were amazing!!!
And for the iconic shot
We left on a bus at 9pm to take a train to another bus to another train to another bus to a hostel for about 3 hours where i repacked my stuff, showered and got about 1 hour sleep. Then it was another bus to the Cusco airport to the Lima airport to Guadalajara to LAX. I was so happy to be home. And this trip will forever be in my heart.
I hope you enjoyed hearing about my trip! Soon to come is my adventure in Europe!!!!!