What a great trip!

I thoroughly enjoyed the Inka Trail and Machu Pichu. There were 16 others on the trip and they made for a great bunch to spend Christmas with. By chance, Glenn, who I climbed the mountain with, was on the trip with his girlfriend Sara. As well as the two Kiwi’s there were two Argentineans, a Brazilian, a Venezuelan, a Canadian and 9 ‘frenchies’ from Switzerland, Canada and France.

We trekked for three days through some stunning scenery and high mountain passes. It rained for much of the time which made it more challenging, but thankfully the sun seemed to turn up every day as soon as we finished which meant we could warm up, dry out and chill out.

On Christmas Eve the clouds parted and we were treated to a crystal clear moonless sky which contained millions and millions of stars. It was magical. I’ve only seen the sky like that once before, on a clear night in the Namibian desert. We were all in awe.

On Boxing day we were woken up at 3:30am so that we could make it to Machu Pichu in time for sun rise. Seeing the sun was a bit optimistic given that it was pissing down with rain at the time, but low and behold just as we got to the ‘sun gate’ the rain stopped and the clouds parted and we could see Machu Pichu in all its glory.

It is hyped up, but it is well worth it. It is huge and set in a stunning valley in the forest. Now the problem I have with most ruins is that they are, well, ruined. But Machu Pichu is immaculate. You can really imagine what it was like to be there in Inka time. That is, if you can ignore the thousands and thousands of other tourists that are there (why does there have to be so many bloody tourists at tourist attractions?)

While I was sitting there I couldn’t help but think that the Inka’s had it pretty good. They had plenty of food, stunning scenery, magnificent buildings to live in, sunshine, water supply, security (at least, till the Spanish turned up), family and friends in the hundreds and music, sport and beer. 1500 years later and I’m not sure that we have much that’s better. Apart from healthcare. And X-factor, obviously.

(and, now that I’ve had longer to think about it, they didn’t have sausages. Or mustard. Or HP sauce, the Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, Bill Hicks, QI, Ipods, roast potatoes, Barber: Adagio for strings, books, electricity, lasagne, coffee, ted.com, gravy, BBC iplayer, Trois Gymnopedies, the Idler magazine, blue cheese or red wine. So, ok, there are some other good things that we have, but you get the gist of it)

After soaking our tired bodies in hot springs we headed back to Cuzco, and from there I headed to Lake Titicaca where I am now.

I hope you all had a fab Christmas! Thank you all for the emails and messages.

Happy Birthday Adam!!


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