The bus journey from Lima to Cusco was long, and I was probably awake most of the night, but managed to sleep in the daylight. To be honest, it can be a bit like sleep torture: a noisy film ends and they give you some peace and quiet and turn the lights off until about 15 minutes later when they stop somewhere for (unprepared!) people to buy drinks. Then another quiet bit then they wake you up to start another film. At some point they suddenly turn on the air con so you wake up cold. The next morning, ok fair enough they wake you for a breakfast/bathroom stop, but then 20 mins after getting going they wake you to give you a snack. An hour before the destination: now we need your blanket from you. 20 mins later: now we need your pillow.
Can you tell that night buses are not my favourite?!?
In Cusco the taxi driver didn’t recognise the name of the street of my hostel (this happens a lot!) but we found it and then I carried my bags up the steep long steps to reach the hostel overlooking the city.
From there, the next day I dragged myself to the hotel where I was to meet my group for the Inca Trail: very different from a hostel, lots of rules and regulations, and beforehand I had no idea who I was going to meet. Georgina was sharing the room with me, and also not feeling well! But we got on well so that was a reassuring start. However, it turned out she was doing the Lares Trek, a different trail, but we would be meeting up again afterwards. These maps show the different trails and challenging elevation changes.
Next I met 5 of my companions for the trek, we went out for dinner, my body rejected the simple soup, I woke up the next morning very worried that I couldn’t do this after not managing to consume anything substantial for almost 3 days. I felt upset! The rest of the group went for a tour of some sights around Cusco, the Sacred Valley and Ollantaytambo, while another unwell lady and I paid for a taxi straight to Ollantaytambo to the hostel there, to see if we would feel better the next day.
Even though I felt dodgy, this ride was a revelation: I had no idea there are snow-capped mountains in this area!
The next morning, after wise advice from David, our guide, about what to eat and drink, the purchase of some sleeping tablets and other medicine, a breakfast of dry bread, and a lot of compassion and amazing moral support from lots of people from home/on facebook, the Inca Trailers and the Lares Trekkers, I decided I could go for it. You only regret the things you don’t do!