Friday, October 26, 2012

Salkantay trekking!

We planned to be in Cusco for the three days, and I was so glad. It gave us enough time to adapt to the high altitude. Marco was the only one not experiencing any symptoms, but as soon as Johan and I started walking down the streets the thin air got to us. The third day we were great, and we had our meeting with our Tour Agent and the rest of our group. Johan found our tour agent via Internet, and Trip Advisor! Bioandean are the people we are giving our dream too!

We met the young couple Sarah and Gordon from Canada, and Srie from Singapore, but now living with his wife Jude in London! We were delighted being a small group of six people! Groups are usually a minimum of nine to maximim of fifteen people!

Rider, welcomed us, and together with our tour guide, Elber, or as we got to know him, Jabu, they briefed us on what was ahead of us for the next five days. Marco was bubbly, not knowing how to handle this excitement! He was as far as we know the youngest foreigner ever walking the Salkantay. The age restriction is actually 14 years, but for some reason we never thought of asking, to us Marco was good enough to do this with us!

We received our maps, not that we were going to use them, and our three red duffle bags. We negotiated to get the walking sticks to rent for the five days for cheaper, but eventually we had to pay 15US$, ( still too much) instead of the initial 20US$ per pair. It was rediculously expenxive for something that is not going to be ours, and we found a pair of the same quality to purchase at 35 Soles. But we still had to get all our stuff back to Trinidad, and eventually SA, so we paid the price.

Luckily we had a couple of days before to get the very important Mozzie juice, the best you can get with the most Deed content. We found a flash light at one of the markets for almost nothing, and only used that at night when we crept into the dark tent. I had enough sunblock, and this is vital! The last thing we needed was rain ponchos! Remember our thin colorful rain ponchos from Dominica? Well, two of them survived, and the other one went with Joe to the Appalachian trail. Johan needed one, but he didn`t trust our flimsy ones, and bought a thick and heavier one, for five times our price!

Oh boy, talking about prices! I was amused at how our `poor` tourists are exploited to get all our dollars or in this case, Soles out of our pockets! Don`t be overwhelmed at your tour agent and don`t buy your batteries, your rain coats, your mozzie juice or anything at them before going down a couple of streets. You will find whatever you need at less than half the price, and you can even haggle for more discount.

Anyway, we left Bioandeans offices with our red duffle bags. These bags were for our sleeping bag and matress, included in our tour price.  We bought some snacks and drinking water, and carried these with our valuables, like money and passports, and warm clothes in our day packs. The rest of our clothes and toiletries we placed into the duffle bags, which would be carried by the horses.

We were ready and too excited, and the next morning after very little sleep we were fetched by the taxi and the rest of our group just after five!

Sarah and Gord's Blog : 

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