I haven’t written for a while as it’s been busy ever since i joined my tour. I decided that my 12 week sabbatical was a long time to plan and sort out on my own, so i’d pick a part to do with a group. In the end, i chose G Adventures and found a 22 day trip which sounded perfect. And this is what i’m in the middle of, hence less posts as we’re constantly busy!
The trip ultimately does Peru main sights (Lima, Cusco, Machhu Picchu, Puno, Lake Titicaca) and then heads to Bolivia for La Paz, Posoti, Uyuni and the salt flats, heads over to Chile for the Atacama Desert and ends in Santiago, Chile.
We’re 14 people plus Eddie (or Eduardo) our guide.
A surprising amount of British!
We have Sarah from Canada, Sofia from Sweden, Iris from Amsterdam, Eamar from Ireland, Steph from Wales, Dimitri from London (well South Africa originally), Mike & Becky from London, Mandeep & Bal from London, Richard & Jan from
Newcastle, Keryn from Australia and myself. The majority are between 26-38 with 3 of them in their 60s – but with the same energy and enthusiasm as the rest of us!! We’re all getting on well and it’s a nice easy group to spend this time with
What we’ve done so far
Day 1: So we met in Lima where we went for dinner and just go to know each other
Day 2-3: A short flight to Cusco and we went around the town and started to learn about the Inca empire. Cusco is a really pretty city and the gateway to Machu Pichu for many. So it’s filled with tourists, but also has a nice chilled vibe. There are markets to visit, cobbled streets to wander and obviously museums and churches to see if you’re so inclined.
One night we obviously had to make the famous Pisco Sours: here’s Eddie and I making our drinks over dinner… and they were delicious!
Day 4: We headed to Ollantaytambo this day. To get there you take a coach through the Sacred Valley of the Incas where ruins become more and more apparent. We visited the Pisac ruins which were stunning and got us all excited for the main event!
We also had a chance to go to a women’s weaving co-op where we see the amount of work that goes into making the wool/alpaca products that are sold everywhere. This was really interesting – plus we got to see more traditional women in their environment which i really enjoyed. And i made some friends with the Alpacas and Llamas which i just love!
Lunch was at a Community restaurant which is supported by G Adventure. The food was absolutely stunning, and we got to try lots of local food which was great to do! Then after lunch we visited the ruins of Ollantaytambo which was also really impressive. Learning about how the ruins were built, why they faced certain ways, how they got the stones up to the heights and how they planned for earthquakes and much more was fascinating. Plus our guide (Johan) was very passionate about the whole thing which makes for a more interesting guide!
A quick visit to the markets in the area is always high on my list! At one point we went to the food market and i chatted to one of the women selling meat. She was lovely and i got to practice my Spanish (Which is slowly improving!).
Day 5: We took a train from Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes- the closest town to Machu Picchu. This town didn’t exist all of 10 years ago, but thanks to tourism has been created to allow people the chance to stay close to the ruins. Our tour doesn’t include walking the Inca trail sadly as time wasn’t on our side. 3 people chose to do the 1 day Inca hike which they enjoyed. The rest of us went on a 12k hike around the area. We followed the train tracks around the mountains and into a part of the rainforest where we hiked to a waterfall and had a picnic lunch there which was really nice. An early night was then needed as we were up early the next day!
Day 6: 4.40 alarm call and we we’re off to see Machu Picchu! This deserves a post of its own (To come soon!) But an amazing day! After visiting it, we made our way slowly back to Cusco
Day 7: Final day back in Cusco. A few people went white water rafting (not for me!), a few went to do a cookery class (already done one) and so some of us shopped! We visited a silver shop where they explained how silver is made, showed us the raw materials and how polishing a stone can take it from average to stunning. I may have bought one or two items! Then a final visit to the market to stock up on a bit more alpaca wear as we’re heading into Puno tomorrow which is very high (c.4000m) and therefore very cold at night!
Already a week into this tour and it is flying! Like everything! But it’s all been great and Peru is a stunning country!