Trekking Machu Picchu & Flying to La Paz – Days 5 – 7
We’ve not long got off another overnight bus again, this time from La Paz to Uyuni, and not quite as long as last times trip through the mountains. We got back to Cusco the day before yesterday, after our 2 day Machu Picchu trek (which is actually just one day of walking haha thankfully). Here’s how it went…
Having had a few (surprisingly strong) pisco sours the night before I wasn’t feeling my finest for the walk (rookie error on my part, don’t feel sorry for me haha).
We booked through Wayki Trek so we had a guide, Miguel and all our transport (trains, buses etc) had been organised for us which was fab. We took a bus to Ollantaytambo and met with the rest of our group, Michael, Amber & Jen, who by chance were all Canadian!
The train from Ollantaytambo station took us through the mountains to km 104 where we were to start our trek! We literally just jumped off the train into the trees haha no platform needed here! The first two hours were hard hard work – up the side of the mountain zig zagging and (obviously) pretty steep. We eventually reached a halfway point where we had some lunch and took a look at Wiñaywayna – another incredible Ica farming settlement!
The rest of the trek was flatter with some ups and downs as we weaved our way through the mountain to the sun gate, which gave us our first glimpse of Machu Picchu – literally breathtaking. From here on we were on the home straight heading towards it. The mountains and scenery is incredible – we couldn’t quite believe we had been in the desert just a couple of days before!
The following day, having stayed in Aguas Calientes (at the bottom of the mountain) we took a bus back up the mountain to explore the ruins and learn more about the incas from our guide. We had the chance to take a look around ourselves too; Michael, Rach and I kept trying to find quiet spots away from everyone to just enjoy the surroundings!
After a full on two days, the three of us met in Cusco for dinner at Cafe Morena. Having perused the menu, we were encouraged in by Chris and Theresa who had just finished eating an amazing meal and didn’t want us to miss out – we joined their table, got chatting and ordered – they hadn’t lied, it was delicious Peruvian / Asian inspired food mmm!
Few drinks, a boogie and limited sleep later, Rach and I got to the airport blurry eyed only to be spot checked by the Police! We got taken to a back room and our bags emptied out and rooted through. All of our belongings strewn (yep everything) onto a table and the police keen to try the British sweets we had haha! Once they were happy we were legit we repacked and headed to board our flight.
For the rest of the day (having accosted two British guys from our flight to share a taxi) we hung out at Loki Hostel and planned to leave our big bags there whilst we headed to Uyuni for the Salt Flats!
We did a great (but pretty long) walking tour around the city this afternoon. Our guide knew literally everything – from stories about rituals and witches to telling us about the prisoner led approach to San Pedro prison (which for those of you who have read Marching Powder will know it’s a crazy place there).
Edit 23/05: Get even more info on La Paz from Helen who I met today!
After some pizza (and what we thought was nachos, but turned out to be pizza with Nachos on) we got sorted at the hostel and headed for the bus! Bring on the salt flats guys!!