29 October 2012

Day 8 - On the cusp of Machu Picchu

"Good morning! Hot water and soap for you! Do you want tea?" This is our final morning being woken at 6am by our amazing guides Jamie and Nilo, who welcome us to the day with an offer of warm beverages and everything we need to wash up. It helps get us out of our sleeping bags despite the cold and the rain.

By 6:45 we are sitting in the dining tent and chowing down on an ensemble of Philadelphia cream cheese, peanut butter, crackers, and, today, pancakes with llamas and happy faces drawn in dulce de leche. To say we are "glam ping" (glamour camping) is a bit more accurate!

Again, we are off on our trek with blue slides above. Today is more of a cool-down following three fairly intense days of summiting numerous passes as we criss crossed Peru's awe-inspiring Lares Valley. Still, the that of rain looms above and by snack time we are packing on the rain gear!

Another hour and we reach Ollantaytambo, the gateway to the gateway to Machu Picchu, so to speak. This is where we will board the train that takes us to the MP and my goodness, we can't wait! After exploring the Incan ruins and having a brilliant history lesson from our head guide Jamie, we devoured yet another fantastic meal and did a little shopping in the local market.

Sadly, we also had to say farewell to our out-of-this-word camping crew, without whom we would not have been able to complete this fantastic journey. From our cook Alex to our driver Isaac, the entire team were helpful, professional, and above all else, quite funny! Each goodbye elicited a "que se quede!! Que se quede!!!" which means "get them to stay! Get them to stay!" Believe me, I think we would if we could!

We are now on our Velodrome luxo train churning closer and closer to our ultimate goal - casting our eyes on a genuine wonder of the world - Machu Picchu! Only one more sleep to go. Hurray!

Go team!

P.S. How creepy is this mask? Thanks Lizzy!




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