It was 22.00 when we went to bed. 4.30 a.m. when we were out of it again – I started to doubt if I would seriously ever have normal waking hours again after that. And when we left at 5.00 a.m., we were almost on the late side. What awaited us that day was ooooone looooong waaaaay up and out of the canyon again. It didn’t seem that high at first. And then I remembered the Machu Picchu mountain and how distances can be deceiving when you look at them vertically instead of horizontally. When I think about it now, I am actually amazed that I survived my time in Peru. It took me a little bit more than 3 hours and 15 minutes to make it to the top. After that, either you get the perfect butt or you’re a hopeless case. I got 15 minutes to rest. And then we were back on track again, for about 30 minutes. But I knew that, at the end of that road, breakfast was waiting for me. Food. It does keep you walking.
The village looked like a deserted place, until I realised that there were some hidden places, packed with tourist filling their stomach from 7.00 to 10.00. Then those places closed and it seemed nothing more would happen in the whole day. There we waited for the mini-van to pick us up again. I saw some ladies with adorable hats and I tried to find out where I could buy one. I was already imagining how to combine it with some nice pieces from my wardrobe at home. I never found where to buy them in the end. Which is a pity as I am sure I would have made a breakthrough in fashion thanks to a wise combination of traditional and modern outfits…
Yeah… You’re right. It’s probably best I never found them.
The way back to Arequipa was rather long, so it was good that we made a few stops. Amongst others at the thermal baths. I think I have visited more thermal baths in those 7 months in South America – and especially in the last two months – than I had in my entire life before that. It was hot and relaxing. In combination with the early morning, the walk and the breakfast, it was the ingredient to make me fall asleep in an uncomfortable mini-van. Another stop included a typical local handcraft market. Understand “tourist trap” full of industrialized products. I did get the chance to taste the cactus fruit our guide had been telling us about. It looks like a kiwi, only that it tastes a lot more bitter.