Uyuni – Day 1

 After waking up early to catch a taxi to Uyuni, we arrived at the airport where our guide was waiting to pick us up. After a quick drive to town, we dropped off our bags and took a walk around. The town mainly caters for tourists, as it serves as a gateway to the Salar. The day we arrived it just so happened to be a public holiday, All Souls/Saints Day (Bolivians like to really celebrate) – the street market was even larger than usual, selling special candies amongst other items. We kicked off our tour at 11am, joined by 4 other people. Our first stop was the train cemetery, Colchani, salt museum, Incahuasi Island, Phia Phia Island, watching the sunset to Pink Floyd, staying the night in an salt hotel, and stargazing over the Salar at night. Did I mention we had apple pie for dessert after lunch? Heaven.

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La Paz – Day 2

 La Paz has me spewing. Not sure whether it was something I ate or the altitude, but it hasn’t been kind to me. Attempted to join the free walking tour today which ended up getting cut short due to me spewing on the streetside markets alongside llama foetuses. Not pretty. Have been feeling really ill – hopefully it’ll clear up in time for Uyuni. Have really been looking forward to seeing the salt flats.

La Paz

 Missing the tour group already, best bunch of humans ever. They made the experience infinitely better. Loved Peru & looking forward to chilling in Bolivia (quite literally in Uyuni).

Lima

 Our last group dinner at Panchita was mindblowingly awesome. Such great food and even greater serving portions. Bliss! Fantastic food & company, what more could you want?

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Puerto Maldonado/Amazon Basin

Welcome to the jungle.

After a 4 hour flight delay in a tiny, over-crammed Cusco airport, we had finally made it to Puerto Maldonado. Then began the journey of busing through lots of potholes and obstacles to get to the Amazon basin, scoffing our packed lunch on the way. Seeing as our flight was held up, we ended up voyaging by boat to our ecolodge in the dark and didn’t arrive until night. It was a bit disconcerting sitting in a boat in the dark & seeing flashing lights (I have heard stories of guerrillas hiding out in the jungle) & being told to turn off our lights… Though it turns out that this was so the driver didn’t get confused with directions. Managed to get there in one piece & the ecolodge is sweet. Listening to the sounds of the jungle is calming & we have mosquito nets to protect us when we sleep. Heading out to the lake the day after was an unforgettable experience… Haven’t seen many animals but lots of mozzies. Practically walking through swarms of them. That and being over ankle high treading water. Guess they call it a rainforest for a reason.tambopata ecolodge 37 34

Cusco

Cusco is a beautiful city, touristy, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. Went horse riding around Sacsayhuaman which was awesome & provided a great view of the city. Had a superbly tender alpaca tenderloin steak & got to see fireworks walking back from dinner. There are a lot of religious festivities around town. Also went on a shopping spree & purchased a charango (a gift from me to me for completing the Inca trail). IMG_4767

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Inca trail – Day 4 – Machu Picchu

The final day! Woke up at 4am to set off at about 4:30am… thank goodness for headtorches. Most useful item brought on this trip. Arrived at the checkpoint at about 5:30, joined the queue and waited to begin the trek… to the Sun Gate. After another 45 minutes we had arrived at Machu Picchu. Hooray! Photos don’t do the place justice. After regrouping, having a bite to eat at the cafe, and most importantly, using REAL SITTING DOWN FLUSHING TOILETS (elating/liberating as heck), we began our guided tour, learning about the history and some theories as to the purpose of Machu Picchu. Fascinating. A lot of speculation and theorising, but one thing for sure is that the Incas were very forward and progressive in their thinking. What do you think was the function of Machu Picchu during the time of the Incan empire? 

After spending a good couple of hours exploring the site (and really just chilling out, it was hot), we caught the bus to Aguas Calientes. Couldn’t wipe the smile off my face the entire bus ride back. Definite feeling of elation and accomplishment. I had just done the Inca trail (42km) and made it to Machu Picchu. I think I enjoyed the actual trail more than anything but seeing Machu Picchu was the cherry on top of a very high cake. I don’t whether it was the sheer detail, architecture and beauty of the place or whether it was because it signified the end (probably a culmination of both factors) but it was pure bliss. Simple as that. Best cooks, guides, porters, and company. Huge thankyou to everyone. Loved it. Exceeded and went beyond my expectations.

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