Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Thurs 7/6- Salkantay Trail Day 4

Playa 2,250 meters/Santa Teresa
Well by now, our bodies hurt like you wouldn't believe and I woke up more sore than I have ever been since I can't remember when. I could barely walk and the balls of my feet still hurt from the massive blisters I got. We woke up and had breakfast at 6:30am near the family owned store where we ate our dinner and met some of the family the night before. The most notable one was Alexander, who around 2 years old and loved Fred. All the kids were so adorable and the family was so nice and gracious to have us there to socialize and of course, spend some money in their store.Luckily, after breakfast (yogurt, granola, bread with butter and jam, eggs and either nescafe' -not exactly coffee but it worked- hot chocolate or coca tea), it was time to leave our campsite at Playa. Our group had a bus waiting for us to take us to another "bus"- actually, more like a big wagon with bars around the sides and the top where we all stood with our backpacks while they took us through the mountains where we were dropped off and had to take a cable car across this massive rapid river. But this wasn't just any cable car-- it was manually pulled across, back and forth--- and if there was no one to pull you, you had to pull yourself across the river. We watched the locals do it first and then we all had a chance to do it. It was a lot of fun, except at the last minute Cyndy slings her back pack to me to hold since Ceasar told her that she was going to have to pull her legs up before we got to the other side or it would slam against the rock. But it was all good.... The terrain this day was beautiful-- lots of brooks and rivers and rolling hills, big blue skies with white clouds so white they looked like cotton in the sky. Finally, we got our bags and made it to Santa Teresa where we had to wait for a train to take us to Aguas Calientes-- the city at the foot of Machu Picchu. Unfortunately, here we had to wait about 4 hours until the train arrived. So to kill time, Cyndy and some of the others washed some clothes, others read and wrote in their journals and some of us played cards. Ben taught us how to play Egyptian rat screw and this kept us entertained for hours. Then we taught Ceasar how to play Go Fish! He loved it and it was hilarious- we played this forever and it was getting pretty fierce. I know, we're dorks. We also enjoyed the sounds of Roxette and Heart with a little old school Madonna thrown in. Go Fish, cool tunes and Cusquena (the local beer)- a heavenly afternoon.Finally our train arrived and we enjoyed a 2-hour ride to Aguas Calientes. On the way, we passed the old railway that was destroyed by El Nino in '85 by an avalanche which was pretty wild. We also saw some really cool waterfalls.
We also passed through some local villages where you could see how these homes were made with metal tin roofs and big stones on top to keep it in place. We got to Aguas Calientes before dinner time and the city was really neat. Very small, just a couple of main streets and the railway runs through it like this. There are some really great markets here and we got to go check them out on our way back. We stayed at the Presidente Hostal which was really great and the view from our balcony was amazing. These pictures don't do it justice- we had about a 1/2 hour photo shoot trying to get the background to really come through and think we finally got it in these solo shots. We were only in our rooms long enough for the laundry service to get done washing our clothes since no one had any clean ones left and then we headed to dinner with our group. It was really nice and even got to listen to real Peruvian music with their signature pipe flutes, acoustic guitar and drums. This was the last day we would see all the cooks so we said our good-byes after dinner and then a few of us decided to go get a drink.... or two. We went to a place called Cuzi-Cuzi, a karayoke bar, for some Pisco Sours and some dancing. Claudia and I only stayed for a drink and some dancing but left to get some sleep. The next day, we heard everyone got on the mic and again, enjoyed the sounds of Roxette, old school Madonna and a bunch of other 80's hits! What a long, long day and tomorrow was going to be just as long...

4 comments:

Roger Jr said...

You're doing a great job of recapping the trip! Can't wait to see how the trip ends on your blog and I was actually on the trip with you, lol. The pics look great, too!

Anonymous said...

i believe the kid's name is Anderson, not Alexander. haha!

rizanola said...

ha yes, you are right.... I couldn't read the name in my notes.. thanks!

rizanola said...

ha yes, you are right.... I couldn't read the name in my notes.. thanks!