Saturday was hot and we were at Machu Picchu for some unsociable morning hour. Machu Picchu, wonder of the world, mysterious, iconic…we were excited! Everyone would recognise a photograph of this famous place (except my mum who when I sent a photo replied “Where is this?”) and so the pressure was on to take the iconic photographs and all that.
We spent two hours growing steadily warmer and learning that no one really knows why Machu Picchu was built or what it’s function was. It’s surrounded by huge mountains and it is 100% worth seeing despite being a horrendous tourist trap and a sun trap. There’s just no shade. Here’s the photos:
We walked to the inca bridge, which was underwhelming, and the sungate, which was impressive but very hot. I got bitten by a very aggressive mosquito all over my legs. Machu Picchu has a really infuriating one way system so you feel like you’re trapped burning alive on all these steep steps BUT it is a very cool place. What isn’t cool is the amount of rude people pushing you out the way for their photos. May have got into an argument with a Spanish woman “You’re disrespectful”, “No you’re disrespectful”…and on it went. We stayed there for a long time and took a lot of photos and only really left because of fear of sun sunstroke. One tick off the bucket list!
That evening we got the train back to Cusco and went to bed. The next day Hannah, Eliza and I went for a gal’s day out. This consisted of eating a huge lunch and then going for a mani pedi. The mani pedi happened in the back of some market stall, where we sat together on a small sofa/bench. A woman conjured up some other women from thin air and then we got our feet washed in a washing up bowl. We got our feet scrubbed by a washing up utensil and then we got our nails painted. One of my nails was aggressively filed and I have to say it was traumatic and painful. Eliza had all the dirt picked out from under her nails. Awks. We laughed so much and so loudly that we were told to be quiet because we were ruining people’s massages. Then, for shits and gigs, we got our nails done. We were there for 3 long hours and it cost £6. After that to round off the experience we went to the Pisco Museo and had a passionfruit pisco sour. Pamper afternoon complete we then all went on a fun night out. YMCA was the highlight. There were also boys on this night out but who run the world…girls.
The following day was horrendous due to hangovers… so what better a day to go and get tattoos in Peru?! Not me by the way I’m far too picky. 4 hours later Eliza and Hannah had tattoos and I had made a dog friend.
This dog stunk and would not leave me alone.
That night we got the night bus to Arequipa. The night bus had individual tvs with films in Spanish, blankets and dinner. It was better than Bolivian Airlines (still not over that). 11 hours passed and then we were in Arequipa but couldn’t check in because it was 8am. Yawn. Arequipa is the most beautiful city in Peru and we marvelled at its western ways “Ooh a clothing store”, “Ooh a fountain” that kinda thing.
We visited the museum to see the famous “Juanita”- the mummified Incan girl who was offered as a sacrifice to the Gods around 520 years ago. We hated on the woman at the till because she threw our 5 sole coins back at us like we were criminals with no explanation. A German guy asked me about my tattoos which pushed me over the edge…please no one ask me about my tattoos ever again. Then we learnt about the morbid child sacrifices. The Incan people believed that the mountains were Gods and offered the most beautiful and purest children, from noble families, as sacrifices. They walked 160 miles, were given alcohol and then were killed. Juanita was hit in the temple as she had a fractured skull. All very gruesome and odd. Half way through this museum I became sick, threw up, and that was the end of me for 36 hours. Gross. You’re not allowed to take photos so here’s a Google image. Imagine coming across that whilst having a panoramic wee. Nightmaresss.
36 hours later I woke up in the comfiest bed in the world, in the coldest hotel in the world, in Chivay. We were here to visit the Colca Canyon, apparently the deepest canyon in the world. We wanted to see the condors; huge, vulture like birds with wing spans of around 3m. They are endangered and approximately 60 of them live in the canyon. We were lucky, we saw loads! They flew really close to us and we spent a lot of time frantically zooming in and trying to capure them.
They’re not easy to photograph but you get the gist. They were impressive, as was the canyon.
On the way back we stopped off for a condor sour- pisco and cactus apparently. It was surprisingly nice. Then I held a baby alpaca.
This was a great moment. The alpaca’s name was Angel.
And now there is just one week left of Peru! It has taken me two days to find a wifi connection strong enough to post this. Oh what fun.