Friday, August 14, 2015


This post will be guest transcribed (from my notes) by my lovely sister- it's a rough recap of our machu picchu tour- enjoy!

Quotes of the Day:
"I feel like I'm in a bike gang or something"
"I don't think we have hot water in this hostal..."
"The fruit is made up entirely of seeds...kinda like a passionfruit- our guide told us it is the female fruit of the passionfruit or something like that

6:00am- bus to breakfast buffet while we kind of get to know our fellow tour mates
9:00am-2:00 pm: cycled down beautiful mountainside (p.s.-we had knee pads, chest suit of armour thingys, and fancy neon jackets (all the rage fashionwise if you ask me-dc)) across streams (where waterfalls intersected with the road), through clouds, and luckily finally into the sunlight. We somehow ended up racing another tour groups as they did their bike ride too at the end- and we won, of course (:
3:00pm- delicious three course lunch (the food just kept comin')
afternoon- explore teeny town called Santa Maria, shower sans hot water (and die a little while figuring this lovely fact out), play cards & chill
7:30 pm- end the night with three course meal and pisco sours-clutch

Quotes of the day:
"There is the option of hot showers, cold showers, or freezing showers"
"The snake isn't killed-it's put into the liquor bottle while it is still alive" (the secret touch to incan liquor)
"Do you want to see the guinea pigs in the kitchen?"

6:00 am- breakfast, car ride to the start of the hike
7:30 am- hike for 3ish hours- stopping at various houses, buying water, hearing stories, and eating snacks. Two of the 15k hiked were part of the original incan trail
We did it!
See us??!
12:30 pm- another four course meal per usual
3:30-5pm- a little more hiking till the hot springs. We also crossed a bridge that had probably been there since the 1800s (and seemed to never end, especially with one of the boys bounding across shaking it), a wire cable car to cross back over the river, and met two monkeys, one badger, and many dogs along the way.  Also tried inka licor (the aforementioned one made with the live snake), 
7:30 pm- four course meal (again) and snacks after dinner to make up for uneaten, gross french fries :)

Quotes of the Day: 
"We should have a competition to see who has the most bug bites"
"You're going to need the baby harness" "Babies zipline?!"
"We finally have soap!" (In context to the pattern of no soap in any of the hostels or restaurants along the way, hand sanitizer became a lifesaver)
"It is the truth.." one of our tour guide's favorite phrases
*we may have stolen an avocado from the forest...
Moustache monkey!
7:30 am- Breakfast, drive to ziplines, ride across 6 platforms over a beautiful valley on the longest zipline in South America
12 pm- delicious meal of chips/guac, quinoa soup, chimichurri chicken, and some sort of drunken nectarine dessert
Machu Picchu town Group Shot
1:30-4:20 pm- hike with our heavy-ass backpacks to the city of Machu Picchu 
7 pm- Dinner (fancy), pack for the next day, and make sandwiches with the avocado the size of my head that we stole from the jungles of the zipline plantation before setting alarms for 4:15 (!!!) and crashing hard

Quotes of the Day:
"Danielle, I found the tunnel!" (referring to the tunnel that Ronald told us we had to cross through to get to the peak of Huayna Picchu)
"It is not impossible, but ex-tra-met-ly* difficult" -referring to the Huayna Picchu climb (with the pronunciation of extremely given by Ronald)
"Top 150/2500 ain't bad at all" -we arrived at the Machu Picchu ruins when the gates opened after hiking from the base in under an hour at 5 am

4:10 am- alarm, eat banana, fix hair, put on shoes and head out
4:30 am- flood the streets with all the other tourists in the pitch dark to reach Machu Picchu bridge and the path up to the city itself
6:00 am- meet up with tour guide (Ronald) at the garden house, freeze a little (but get amazing pictures without 1000 other people in them) and eat a lot while listening to his speel on the history 
9:00-10:00 am- explore Machu Picchu
10:00-11:30 am- hike/struggle to hike Huayna Picchu without falling off the steep cliff, getting stuck in the tunnel, or dropping our cameras, we finished in record time, about 45 min to the top (according to Ronald it should have been at least an hour)
12:00 pm-1:00 pm- hike back down to Machu Picchu town
Scary and narrow tunnels are just a part of the Huayna Picchu hike..
1:00-2:50 pm- lunch and wait at the train station for our train back to Cuzco

Tour Group 411:
1x French and Belgian
1x England (Will and Nic(ola))
1x New Zealand (Laura and Archie-the docs)
Friend Groups-
3x France
3x Ireland


Tour Guides:
Ronald (Head Guide)- always said things were "nec-es-ssary" to remember and follow

Anthony (Tony-hilarious trainee, had the tendency to whine/wail the few english words he knew)

Final Thoughts-
The only two other memorable events in the rest of this trip was our agitating encounter with the Peruvian customs offices (see below for my entire account) and then our horrible taxi ride to the airport to return the the US which consisted of a late transfer, an unmarked vehicle (usually it has the Transvip icon on it and the driver has a uniform...), an incredibly impatient driver who ended up buying us candy bars at one of the stop lights on the way to airport and eventually got us there on time. 

Play by Play of the battle between the Peruvian authorities and Carly Clark:

6:30am- we attempted to pass thru security in the Cusco airport,  but apparently the airport is so small that they do security on a flight by flight basis (as in everyone on the next flight has a set time frame to go thru and only they can pass thru to where you then immediately board the planes)
6:35am-6:55am- spend the rest of our Peruvian soles on toast, yogurt, eggs, coffee and snacks that were supposed to get us through a long day of traveling (two flights later we would be arriving in Santiago at like 5pm)
7:00am- this is when the feud began. It all started when the dude asks me if I speak a "little" Spanish so that he can proceed to lecture me about what is in my bag that shouldn't be. This right here is one of my biggest pet peeves- when I speak in spanish to another human being who also speaks spanish and therefore we converse in spanish for a minute when they ask me if I can speak spanish...YES I CAN. I hadn't spoken a word of english the entire time buddy. 
As he is questioning me he is simultaneously removing some of our newly purchased snacks, an opened pretzel bag, some cereal and our precious peanut butter jar. He puts them into piles and at this point he repeats over and over, as he points to each item- "this cannot come on the flight", "this neither". OKAY BUDDY i get it. Although it's just about the most absurd thing I've heard (mostly because when we came into Peru they didn't give a crap about our luggage or their contents, yet when we leave it seems to be a big deal that we may be bringing goldfish into another country) I accept the fact that we will lose most all of our food (except the food they hadn't found in outside pockets and underneath jackets that I was not about to inform them of) and I politely ask if it is okay for me to eat my yogurt and drink some of the rest of my water right here, right now so that I don't have to waste it. At first I don't think this lady who began 
'help' me shortly after my other frand lost interest in arguing with me (oops) really believed that I was truly going to pop a squat in airport security and scarf down my yogurt and granola snack that I was going to eat later on. If there is one thing I hate in this world- it's food waste and therefore I was completely and entirely serious. So when she hesitantly hands it to me- at this point I'm real agitated about losing the rest of our food- so I'm all like "bitch please" I'm sitting on this floor right now and you can watch me if you like but just give me the damn yogurt. (cool your jets, this was not the exact dialogue). 
Next thing ya know our flight has apparently arrived and thus the lady seizes the opportunity to snatch my waterbottle out of my little paws literally as I'm reaching the bottle up to my mouth to take a sip (I KID YOU NOT). I was just about to bite that lady's head off when some of the other security guards begin ushering us out towards our plane. I think that is the most upset I have ever been with an airport official and I actually have a series of past stories that almost reach that potential...
So this little rant is silly because in reality all we really lost was a jar of PB, sandwiches we had packed for lunch, some pretzels and some cereal. After the incident I wrote down this detailed account so that one day I could look back on it and laugh. Nevertheless, the truth is that the whole thing was uncalled for and completely unnecessary. They acted like I didn't understand what they were saying (probably because I reached for my food and yogurt (to eat as much as possible in the next 5 min) in response to their speel about not bringing food or drinks on the plane) even though I responded in Spanish and what's more, she ripped through my luggage without an ounce of concern for what fragile items might me in there *cough* my camera!! *cough*
I could have said some really inappropriate things but instead I bit my tongue (contrary to how it appears) and gave those workers the death glare because they were truly less than amused by my attempt to salvage as much food as possible. With some luck my charade did end up distracting the officials from our Incan chocolate bars in Danielle's bag so there is that(:

Thanks for sticking it out with my rants, hope you enjoy the pictures and don't hold your breath for any more posts anytime soon cause I am hitting a major writers block but I'm glad I chronicled all the adventures thus far (: 
xoxo <3

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