I've been in China for over a month now, but I wanted to do a quick post about where TBB West was after we left Ecuador but before we arrived in Kunming.
In short, we hiked Machu Picchu!
Also, we learned to spell Machu Picchu.
But mostly the hiking part.
I've trekked before, at summer camp, but I've never trekked like this. Of the mountains along the Inca Trail, Andrew F said, "this is where the gods are", and it's easy to see why:
The ruins at Machu Picchu were by far the biggest and most complex, but they were also the most touristy, and after the relative solitude of the mountains (the Peruvian government limits the number of people who can hike the Inca Trail at one time), the city was too jam-packed. Still, it was impossible not to be impressed by the scale and intricacy of the place.
As far as the physical difficulty of the hike, it was tough, but the experience was so worth it. I would go again in a heartbeat, and only partially because of the delicious food waiting for us at the campsite at the end of each day. The whole week was amazing, and the hike was more fun than I ever thought I could have trudging up stairs. There were lots of smaller Inca ruins along the journey, and whenever you got tired of admiring those and the Andean scenery that surrounded them, you could strike up conversations with other hikers on the trail.
That's about it for our week in Peru-although during our days in Cusco, we did get to go to a chocolate museum, where we made our own chocolate and sampled an unhealthy amount of delicacies. Andrew K and I also stumbled upon some Inca ruins while wandering near Cusco one morning, and got a tour from a local stone carver.
What's that you say? You also want to see a picture of two grazing llamas from behind? Well, if you insist.
Farewell 'til next time.