Inca Jungle Trek - Peru {Traveldiary}


After my time in Bolivia I decided to leave for Peru to meet up with Sean and Timmy, the two Irish guys I met while working at Milhouse Hostel Buenos Aires. 
I took a night bus to Cusco and arrived early morning. Timmy had given me the name of the hostel and the street name but no direct address. After the cab driver dropped me off I started walking up the street but could not find the right place. Everyone told me something different and I started getting frustrated. It was six in the morning and I had to carry two big bags with me. The altitude was killing me. At some point I gave up running up and down the streets like an idiot and knocked on different doors to ask for wifi. I called Timmy who picked me up and showed me the right way. As I found out I had been at that hostel, just nobody opened me, because I knocked instead of using the bell (that was way up so I could barely reach or even see it...). 

The hostel was not yet open for public, but the guys met the new owner in the bus and decided to give it a try. The view of the hostel was amazing, it was just extremely cold and there was basically no hot water. So we were constantly freezing or packed up like burritos in blankets on the couch. 
We spend two days at that hostel and decided to do a four-day jungle trek afterward. Two Danish guys and an Argentinan one decided to join us. 
One day before we left, we went to a market to get some trekking clothes. 
We all ended up buying "real" north face jackets, nike shoes, trekking pants etc. We looked like a North Face Sponsoring team. 
(I still do not know how to pack all that stuff in my backpack...). 
Now we were ready for some serious trekking. 


Day 1 


We left Cusco early morning at six. Our day would start with mountain biking and end with wild water rafting. We booked the budget version of the trip and saved nearly 130 dollars! (It was basically the same tour, just that our accommodation was a bit more rustical and easy than the one of the other travelers). 
We drove three hours to the mountain where the mountain biking would be starting. The view over mountains was incredible. Unfortunately it started raining right after we got dropped off on the top. Within ten minutes we all were soaked wet. It was incredibly cold and uncomfortable, but that did not stop us from enjoying the ride. We got protectors, helmets and jackets and started riding the forty kilometer ride down the mountain. I started understanding the quote "life starts outside of your comfort zone". There was for sure nothing comfortable about that ride. 
Our shoes were soaked. Evey step made a weird disgusting sound. We were freezing and our could not feel any of our fingers any more. Our trip ended after forty kilometers. The altitude was not that high anymore and it started getting warmer. It was still raining most of the time. 
Our group separated because we had the budget lunch version (...that ended up being a four course peruvian meal... Still wondering how many courses the other ones got). 
As we found out, the rafting was not included and so the six of us decided, as budgeting as we were, to skip it. We went to our hostel instead, played poker, drank beer and relaxed. 
Our first day ended very early, because we had to get up at six again the next day for a 25k hiking trip in the mountains. 


Day 2

After a rough start in the morning we had breakfast at the same place we had lunch the day before. We got some eggs and Pancakes and started hiking at eight. We picked up the other group that had a jungle lodge up in the mountains and started our hike. The weather switched between rainy and sunny. But the temperature was good for a trek. The trail lead us through the jungle up into the mountains of Machu Picchu. It was exhausting. It started easy and ended up in a trail going deep up into the mountains. At midday we arrived at a eco lodge. Our guide told us about the culture, the incas and a lot about the food! We started drinking inca Whiskey (...with a dead snake in it. Jummi). 
We countinuied the trek. Two more hours uphill. My legs were killing me. Do not remember the last time I had such a workout. 
But with the incredible views we had and the fun talks and time we had together, we forgot our "pain". 
We had some lunch at another lodge and half an hour of nap time (Thank good). But it soon we were back on our feet for more two hours of hiking. We passed so many different landscapes. It was incredible. I could keep on walking for hours. It got easier at some point and we started walking downhill again. We passed an old brigde and had to go to the other side of a river by an old cable car. 
Our day ended at some hotsprings were we could relax from the long day. The water was incredible nice and it was such a great thing to do to end the day. Sebastian, the Argentinan guy and I had some deep talks while totally chilling out in the hot water. 
At around eight we left the hot springs to get to our hostel. 
We had a six bed dorm. Smoked some Flores and went to bed early again. 


 Day 3



The third day started with Zip Lining! I was always a bit scared of heights, so seeing the up to 900m long cables spanned in an insane height over a raging river made me a bit nervous. The guys and I got our equipment and a Minibus drove us to the first Zip Line. We met up with other Zip Liners and when it got serious Timmy and I started as the first ones. I started to freak out a bit. But there was basically no time to think about it because the instructor pushed us on the same time on two separate lines down to the other side. 

There were five zip lines in total. On the last one we changed our gear so we could fly in the "superman" position. We got tightened up from the back and had a view directly to the ground. The guide spun me around when he pushed me and for some seconds I thought I'd be dying. I looked down, still spinning, holding my gopro and screaming my heart out. 
After that adrenaline kick it was time to make our way to Machu Picchu. A minibus drove us to a place called Hidroelectrica. The place the Machu Picchu Train and the hike starts from. We had another three-hour hike in front of us. It was a fantastic walk. Next to the railway in the middle of the jungle. I started listening to my Music and felt a bit like out of the "into the wild" movie. It was nice to have some "lone time" to think about everything and nothing. 
When we arrived in Aguas Calientes, the place where every Machu Picchu tour starts from. We checked into our hostel and had a very, very good dinner at a Restaurant. Timmy and one of the Danish guys started drinking Rum and Tequila and went  out while the Rest of us went to bed. The guys came back in the middle of the night, drunk and loud (... I guess they forget that we had to get up at four in the morning for Machu Picchu...). 


Day 4


We woke up at four in the morning. Well lets say I woke up. And I had to get the other guys out of bed. The only ones who could not wake up were of course the two hungover lads. So when they were still trying to figure out how to get up those 5000 steps the Argentinan Guy and I left for Machu Picchu. 
We met up with the other ones on the trail.  The only one that had a terrible time was the danish guy. He managed to throw up at least three times during the hike up... 
I need to say walking up those 5000 steps was a challenge. We were all dying. I counted the steps to know at least how much was missing. Still an hour of walking up steps to Machu Picchu is not easy. 
We made it all up but Danemark. We sacrificed him to the Mountains. 
When we arrived our Tourguide was waiting for us and he started explaining us the discovery of Machu Picchu. After the tour we had around two hours time to discover the place before we had to go back down for the three-hour hike back to get a Bus back to Cusco. I managed to loose everyone and wandered around alone for a while. Unfortunately the clouds were all over the place and it was hard to get a great view. But we were lucky and just before we had to get back down it cleared up a bit and we had an amazing view. After our time on Machu Picchu we hiked back down and all the way back along the Railway. I walked with the Argentinan guy, we talked about Music and loads of different things. 
As soon as we got to Hidroelectrica the trip was basically over. We got a bus back to Cusco. All exhausted and tired. But with a big smile on our lips. 


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