I was invited to stay in my friend’s cabin in Hunter Mountain on the weekend that coincidentally was my birthday weekend. Her cabin was so cozy and with the snow I had a chance to try out my car’s brand new tires (birthday present to myself – our presents tend to be more practical as I get older).
View of Hunter mountain
Well stocked fridge with booze, snacks and desserts
We were hanging with musicians so our evenings were full of live music as well as lots of game time.
During the day we did a snow hike. I brought my poles but was too lazy to put on my yaktrax. I sort of regretted that decision but I survived. We had a great view of the almost frozen Kaaterskill Falls.
Our our way home we stopped at Woodstock. It is a charming little town that gets to capitalize on its hippie past.
Day 2 in the amazon and my cold still won’t give up. I can’t miss out on the days activities so I take some medicine and go out. Today it is a boat ride to a nature walk to a lake where we do some fishing.
During one of our hikes we finally see a sloth. He is way up there hanging out.
We go on a boat ride to do some fishing. We see some birds, butterflies, and otters during our commute.
A piranha is what you will find. We are getting a demonstration of those teeth.
The women on the boat trip tend to be the excellent fishermen. This is me with my catch.
The chef cooks up our fish to enjoy. Not much meat but most of the fish is edible. It is like a crunchy snack.
Later in the day we do a hike to see the tree canopy from the fire tower. It is so peaceful from the top.
What breath taking views!!
Lastly before bed we do one more boat tour to see caiman (the amazon version of the alligator/crocodile). They are just sitting around and being lazy. I am sort of jealous.
This is pretty much the end of my trip. I start feeling progressively worse during the trip back (long boat ride, mini-bus ride, and flight back to Lima).
Once I got to Lima things got progressively worse. I tried to get some medicine but pharmacists weren’t very help. I think they ended up giving me a random antibiotic but only two of them. Plus my eyes was starting to get swollen and difficult to open. I was wondering how I was going to navigate the airport the next day if I was blind as well.
Last meal that was very difficult to eat.
Fortunately I was able to get home again but it took me about 4 weeks to finally beat this cold that I picked up. Oh what we will go through to travel!!!
After our day at Machu Picchu we journey down to Aguas Calientes or Machupicchu town to meet for a celebratory meal and get our bags. I arrive early because I am beat and a cold is starting to take me down. I look around for some medicine and water and find a nice place to sit after wandering for only a few minutes.
Luckily where I chose to sit has a great view of a parade coming through town.
Soon it is time to meet up with the group again. There are pisco sours and there are congratulations.
We try some guinea pig. It is amazing.
For my meal I chose the trout. It was very good as well.
The tour leaders just discovered that we have a newly engaged couple (at machu picchu) in our midst. We toasted this adorable couple!
A couple drinks later and we are running with our bags to catch our train. From the train we take a bus back to cusco. Many got beers but of course I had a headache and was already buzzing so I skipped getting more drinks. Music was playing on the ride. We sang aloud. So much fun and great way to wind down. 2200 Steps
The next day in Cusco was a waste. I am so tired and so sick at that point. I did almost no sightseeing. Another one to add to the “I must return” list. We are now off to the amazon.
Last day was a 3:30 am wake up. This is to ensure a sunrise view from the Sun Gate. Fate had something else in mind for us. The rain from the night before continued throughout the 3 hour hike. We walked through puddles; I fell on wet rocks. Luckily it was no more than a little soreness as a result. Right before you get to the sun gate with that first view they play a huge cruel trick on you and make you climb these “monkey” steps. The steps are large odd steps that require your hands. I cursed like a sailor and climbed up the last challenge to get to the reward. However at the top there was no view really (see photo above). It was foggy and rainy still. No photo moments for me so we continued on to the next vantage spot where the view was a little better.
Everything about me is wet at this point
Finally when we get inside it clears a little. Just in time for our tour.
Everyone stops to wring out their socks.
The fog lifts more and more and the day turns out to be beautiful. What a great reward!!
After our tour we have some free time to wander around. Some climb back up to the sun gate. I am spent so I just wander around a little bit then go to the bus to take me to Aguas Calientes. I vow to come back and next time do the train option so I have the energy to do extra exploring of Machu Picchu.
Yesterday was a rough day. It was a shorter hiking day but still took a lot out of me. Luckily we got lots of rest that night because the next day wasn’t going easier on us. Today was a long day. Started with strenuous uphill to the first peak. We more Inca sites. Still, we were rewarded with some beautiful vistas and some archaeological sites.
Lunchtime was fun. We had some fun with “fanny” and an onion ring plus Lomo Saltado!
This last day I finally spent some time hiking with part of the group. Some of them may have been sick thus the reason why they were at my pace, but I was grateful for a little companionship while it lasted.
At points it felt like I was walking in the clouds.
Today was hard on the knees. I ended up skipping the last Inca site due to lateness and exhaustion. And we are done. The hardest is supposedly behind us with just a short hike to machu pichu in the morning.
This part may gross some out but I sometimes like to talk about BM (bowel movements). I think bowel movements are an important indicator of health. This third day of the hike I finally went poo poo in the potty. This is an accomplishment not only because my routine was all screwed up but also because I didn’t talk about the bathroom conditions before (and I have no photo of this). Our bathrooms most of the hike were a privacy tent with two buckets and some deodorizing powder. One bucket was for peeing and one bucket was for number 2. It was an art to do the switchover with sore legs and not have body parts touch things if you don’t want body parts touching things. It was gross somewhat but it was kept up really nice by one of our porters. He broke it down and put it back together a couple times a day (especially days we had a lunch setup). We tipped him really well at the end. When I do strenous exercising I tend to wake up and pee a lot during the night because my body goes into detox mode. If I didn’t have this challenge my sleeping would have possibly been more rejuvenating.
This last night my tent is scary close to a ledge, luckily I didn’t fall over a cliff during one of my many late night potty visits. It also started raining in the middle of the night – should make a fun morning. I also had heartburn or acid reflux every day of the hike. I am wondering what I can do to counter act that when I am doing strenuous activities. 16500 Steps today