Saturday, 28 December 2013

Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas from the Puerto Inca Hotel, a beach resort next to ancient Inca ruins, many of which appear to be burial sites with the bones still very clearly visible.

These aren't my photos (I've just stolen them from the internet) and we don't actually have internet access (this is posted a day in advance from the nearby town of Chala) but you can see that Puerto Inca is very lovely, and just a little creepy. Adding to the creepiness - we are the only guests in the entire resort.

We're back to civilisation on the 27th, when we go to Arequipa for New Year. If the ancestral spirits of the Inca warriors haven't carried us off by then...

Monday, 23 December 2013

Days 273 to 276: Nazca Days

We arrived in Nazca at around eight in the morning, after a long but tolerable 15-hour bus journey. On a map, the distance between Cusco and Nazca doesn't seem so great, but Cusco is at 3400 metres altitude and Nazca is about 600 metres, with the terrain shifting from the Andes to the desert. Perhaps one day a dead-straight superhighway will be installed, but for now there is simply 15 hours of tortuously winding road. It wasn't designed for a deep and restful sleep.

Friday, 20 December 2013

Days 269 to 272: Fallen Angel

I suppose it was somewhat ironic that, after days of trekking up the steep slopes and precipitous peaks of the Andes on the Inca Trail, Danielle tripped over minutes after getting off the return bus to Cusco. To add to the irony, it was on a disabled ramp on the pavement. She went flying, and it might have been quite funny had she not emitted a genuinely pained squawk as she hit the ground. She'd hurt her foot, and the next morning it was in real pain.

We spent some time Googling foot injuries, but to Danielle's seeming disappointment it was neither broken or sprained, just very sore. As we've got travel insurance, we considered visiting a doctor, but Danielle thought she'd wait and see how it was the next day before opting for this.

Sunday, 15 December 2013

Days 264 to 267: The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

There is more than one way to visit Machu Picchu. The simplest is to simply get the tourist train to the nearby tourist town, Aguas Calienties, then get the tourist bus up to the site. Walk through the gate and there you are - the lost city of the Incas, readily accessible. Alternatively, you can take the hard route, a four-day trek along mountains and through forests, at altitudes up to 4200 metres, through fog and heavy rain, sleeping in tents and with a choice of nature or some utterly rancid toilets for your bathroom stops. This is the Classic Inca Trail, and this is the approach Danielle and I opted for. For better and for worse.

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Day 263: Inca Ruins

Today was a busy day. Danielle and I took a local bus to some old ruins called Tambomachay, and then walked back into Cusco, visiting various other ruins on the way, the most notable being Saqsayhuaman. Then it rained a lot.

But you'll have to Google them for pictures because we're getting up at 3.30am tomorrow and still have to pack for the next four days. Which are going to involve a lot more Inca ruins, as we make our way along the Inca Trail and see one of the strongest candidates for a top Seven places in my Wonders, Machu Picchu.

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Days 259 to 262: Wandering Around Cusco

We arrived in Cusco on Friday morning after a considerable amount of flying and waiting. Madrid to Atlanta at ten hours went surprisingly smoothly, aided in no small way by Delta Airline's excellent selection of films. I watched three: Pacific Rim (giant robots vs giant monsters: excellent, 4.5 stars), 500 Days of Summer (two annoying people kind of have a relationship: 3 stars), and The Campaign (Will Ferrell on form, punches a baby: 4 stars). Danielle also watched three, but I think they were all chick-flicks rated about 2 stars.

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Day 257: Part 2 Begins

I won't pretend that the last couple of days haven't been very rushed - but we're off.