Kathy and Melissa's Trip of a Lifetime! travel blog

Shopping in the market in Cusco

Vegetable portion of the market

Potato section, looks a lot like the San Jose Flea market

Inca ruins above Cusco City

View of Cusco from ruins

Alpaca farm we visted in route to Machu Picchu

Two men dying and preparing the wool for weaving

Women weaving the wool into blankets

Driving thru the Urabamba Valley towards mile marker 82 (highway to Machu...

Celebration to Mother Earth at Inca Ruins (always done in the month...

Stopped at a Chicha (beer) bar along the route, Melissa playing typical...

Melissa cheating by putting coin in frog´s mouth

Aren´t they cute, their someone´s dinner later

Enjoying a beer!!

Ready for our first day of hiking

Our guide, Manuel, and our porters

And off we go!!

The easy part of the trail

Melissa on the first day

The Andes

More of the Andes-our first campsite

Melissa and I making it to the highest point (Dead Women´s pass...

Now how´s this for a stairmaster!!

Relaxing before lunch

If you look closely you can see the trail we climbed

The beginning of the cloud forrest

The view from our tent on the third morning

The third day along the trail

Also the third day

More of the beauty of the trail

I think this was the fourth bottle of red wine on the...

We made it!!!!!

Machu Picchu

Resting after the four day walk

Back in Cusco, this is a parade, our fourth demonstration was just...

Well we made it!! We are now back in Cusco and have had a chance to take a shower and sleep in a bed, wow the simple pleasures in life. We arrived in Cusco a couple of days before we started our trek to Machu Picchu. I included a couple of pictures of the market place we visited. Looks a lot like the Flea Market in San Jose except of course for the meat market.

I can't remember the date we headed for the Inca trail because both Melissa and I are lost on what the date is or the day of the week. Luckily we have watches to remind us. We stopped a couple of places along the way and I have included photos and explantions.

We started the Inca trail early in the morning and hiked 18 kilometers the first day. It had rained the night before and snowed two days before that. So needless to say it was very cold. It took us about 8 hours and Melissa did a fantastic job. Climbed the whole thing ahead of me. I must say the first pass took everything I had. It was a lot harder than I remember and the altitude didn't help much. We made it to the first campsite, but it was late and the sun was going down. Everyone was wet from the rain all afternoon. We had a chance to change our clothes and then eat. We all went to bed early, but the temperature really dropped throughout the evening. I think it dropped around 5 degrees below zero (C). Luckily we had great sleeping bags we bought before we left, but the majority of the group rented sleeping bags and they were not warm enough for how cold it was so most of the folks froze throughout the night.

Not a good way to start the next day when we hiked two more passes, the highest one being Dead Women's pass at about 13,700 feet. We hiked 16 kilometers that day and it took us another eight hours which included a lunch break. We made it into camp early that evening so we had a chance to get better organized and dry out. The night wasn't as cold as the night before. The third day's hike was great, good weather and not that far to hike. That evening we had a great campsite with warm showers. A few of us ladies went up to the lodge and drank too much. We had a blast, but we're very loud (gee how unusual for us). We introduced ourselves to every other backpacker. We found a couple of folks from the US, but most were from Australia, England, France, and other parts of the world.

It was an early evening because we got up at 4:00 am the next morning to walk to the Sun Gate which overlooks Machu Picchu. Luckily for us it was clear when we arrived. We spent a couple of hours walking around and getting a tour of Machu Picchu and then ate and took the train, plus a bus back to Cusco. We are resting today and having our laundry done before we head off tomorrow to Puno for another adventure!! Hope all is well at home.

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