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Peru Week One

Hola from Peru! We have been quite busy, so we haven’t been able to update. Since the last time we wrote, we completed the Lares Trek. It was four days and three nights of hiking through the Andes (the Urabamba range) and camping. The meals were delicious, starting with our first night in Wacawasi (literally cow house in Quechua), all the way through our last night in Aguas Calientes. On the first day of the trek, we woke up at 3:00 AM and had a five hour bus ride through sleet and snow (with no railings), to reach our starting point at the hot springs. After a relaxing swim, and a delicious pancake breakfast, we began our trek through the mountains. On the first day, we hiked for about three hours and reached Wacawasi. Here we conversed in Quechua with the local children and awoke to a frosty morning. On our second day, we hiked through the snowy mountain pass and summitted at 4300 meters. Many of us suffered headaches due to the change in altitude, but as soon as we began to descend, we sprinted down the snowy mountain side. We enjoyed a hearty lunch and began another four hour downhill trek. Along the way we learned a lot of Incan history and practiced our Quechua. On our last day of the trek, we took the Peru Rail to our campsite at the base of Machu Picchu. Since it was the 100th year anniversary of its discovery by Hiram Bingham, we enjoyed a lightshow on the mountain. We awoke at three AM the next day to take a bus to Machu Picchu. When we arrived, we were first disappointed to find out the tickets to Whuayan Picchu were sold out (the tallest mountain behind Machu Picchu), but our disappointment was immediately gone when we saw how beautiful Machu Picchu was. During our tour of Machu Picchu, we ran into the President of Peru (Alan Garcia) and managed to get a group photo with him! Several of us even shook his hand! Part of the group hiked to Sun Gate on Machu Picchu mountain, the gateway to the Incan trail. There were many steps and they were very sore when they finished. The entire group also got to socialize with the friendly llamas that roamed the terraces of Machu Picchu. After a short bus ride back to Aguas Calientes, we enjoyed a delicious lunch and waited for our train back home. Brad, Connie, Sadie

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