|Letters to Home:
"....We woke up at 5am and had to meet up with the bus at 7am. One of the guys on the trip with me, Joe, got clipped by another bus before we drove up the mountain in ours! He's okay though. It was a narrow two-way road which was very steep with no guard rails, (I thought we were gonna tumble down the cliff!), and as we got higher up, it got cloudier and cloudier. We made it to Machu Picchu and watched the sun rise. There were llamas walking around everywhere. I also found a chinchilla in one of the house ruins which Dr. Beck had mentioned are very rare to see in the wild. I didn’t get many pictures since I forgot to charge my camera battery before I went, so I was really pissed at myself. But everyone’s going to try and exchange pictures, so it’s okay I guess.
After a tour of the ruins, we were forced to hike up the highest mountain around Machu Picchu. It was pretty much nothing but tall steep stairs, no shade, (the sun is ten times harsher here by the way!), and I didn’t have too much water left. It was brutal! It took me a little less than two hours to reach the summit, but when I got there, it was gorgeous! After a rough 45-minute walk down and feeling dehydrated, we took the bus back to the hotel.
We relaxed a little, and then ate together at a place called Fortalaza around 5pm. We had drinks, and a Peruvian flute band was playing outside the restaurant. They were selling CDs so I couldn’t resist. I split the cost with Jen and Will and I’m gonna try and burn it for them when we get back home. We got to the train station around 6:30 only to find out we were an hour early. Everyone grabbed some beers and we relaxed a bit there until it was time to go. Jen kept playing with the stray dogs which was funny to watch, but I swear she’s gonna catch something bad because of it! The dogs are everywhere, all different kinds, and are very friendly, but some have mange and other could have worms and fleas so I haven’t touched them. It’s pretty sad, but it’s funny when you see a big dog being followed by a little one all over town like in the cartoons. They keep each other company I guess. We didn’t get back to our hostel in Cusco til about 10:30-11pm. We had to rush and shower and we gotta make sure all of our things are in bags so they don’t get wet.
I’m so sad I won’t be able to write to you guys for a week! I’m gonna keep typing though, and send you an e-mail telling you what you’ve missed between now and Cocha Cashu. It’s really got me bummed out. Especially since they last day I actually can e-mail you, I can’t read anything you sent because of this stupid internet connection! Makes me wanna cry. I hope you guys are all well and that you don’t miss me too much. Love and miss you lots!