Monday, 21 July 2014

Chapter 9 - Perú Loving - Part 3 - Machu Picchu

Chapter 9 - Perú Loving - Part 3 - Machu Picchu

Life In Chile

Chapter 9 - Perú Loving - Part 3 - Machu Picchu
(June 2014)

3 Months to go 

After waking up fairly early and enjoying a tasty breakfast at our hotel, we made our way through the colourful markets to the bus station in Aguas Calientes.  To be fair, the bus tickets for the journey up to the Lost City of the Incas were an absolute rip off, but we had no other option but to pay the 100+ Peruvian soles and the price was quickly forgotten once we had begun the climb.  As we zigzagged our way up the mountains, we were left speechless by the breathtaking views of the valleys and the mountains and this was before we had even reached the ‘Wonder of the World’.  The weather was perfect and with each meter we ascended, we were more and more excited to check it out!!

Half an hour later, we reached the Entrance and were ready for what would turn out to be one of the best days of our lives!!  With our map and cameras at the ready, we entered and began wandering around.  We had originally planned to get up to Machu Picchu for sunrise, but this didn't happen as our bed was too comfy, or should I say, we were LAZY ;).  However, as we walked around, it quickly became apparent from overhearing other people speaking, that the sunrise that morning was useless due to poor overcast conditions.. result!! Obviously we were then no longer bothered in the slightest that we had not woken up early for the sunrise!!  We had an hour to kill before our hike up Huayna Picchu (although half of that time I spent walking from the meeting point to the toilets at the entrance and back!! Whoopsie, where was my mum to check if I needed the toilets when we were next to them haha!!).

We started our hike at 10.00am in the second group of 200 people (only 400 are allowed to do it a day) and were pretty much the last ones to embark on the mother of all walks.  It must have taken about 1hr 15mins to reach the top.  We found ourselves stopping every so often to rest and have a drink.  It was so hot and we couldn't believe how steep some parts were.  A kind older Spanish couple offered us some crisps at one point as we must have looked so shattered!!

When we reached the top, we realised it was definitely worth all the effort.  The views were incredible.  We chilled on the side of the mountain and were pretty much alone, as everyone else had already moved on.  It was quite a surreal experience.  Obviously many photos were taken.  It was also crazy how tiny the city of Machu Picchu looked from where we were; we really were so much higher than it!!

Eventually we were instructed to make our way back down, which turned out to be a challenge in itself as the steps were steep and there were often sheer cliff drops at the sides which wouldn't be much fun if you were to fall.  It probably took us about 45 minutes to make it back to Machu Picchu as we arrived at about 1.30pm.

We stopped for a bite to eat on a ledge overlooking the main square.  Josh accidentally knocked the camera off the ledge and down onto the grass so he went off with some security guards to find a way down to recover it.. only him!!  We then used our map to follow our way around the trail and see all the main points of the city i.e. the temple of the sun, various tombs, the condor temple, the main gate coca plants (which can be made into cocaine apparently) etc.  We hadn't paid for a guide, but we really didn't need to.  Wherever we stopped, there were at least 3-4 other groups with guides so we would just stop and eavesdrops for a couple of minutes - some of the groups were so big we couldn't pass them so had to stop anyway…..what a shame haha!

With each stop we made, the views and scenery seemed even more impressive.  We literally must have taken about 3000 photos, seriously!  The city really was stunning and it was so cool to be there.

We also found some llamas wandering around too which was amazing.. obviously we took photos of them too. 

The finale for the day was up by the House of the Guardians.  The view from there was the postcard picture that everyone loves.  By this time, it was getting late and the park was almost empty.  We were so tired but it had been an incredible day.  

On our way out, we got our passports stamped with the Machu Picchu stamp - not strictly legal (so please keep it schtum haha!) but a good souvenir!!  We got the bus back down the mountain, picked up the rest of our stuff from the hotel, bought a few more souvenirs in the market and got the train (on-time) back to Cuzco.  On the train we were given a goodie bag for complaining about the first train being late which was a bonus haha.  

But Josh being special Josh got way to into telling me a story, about the Guinea Pig that he ate, he knocked over his Inca Cola drink all over his lap so it was an average journey at best!!

Finally we thought we were going to make it back to Cuzco without any hiccups, but it took forever for our colectivo to fill up in Ollantaytambo once we got off the train, and when we finally did leave, the only road out of the city was shut down for the evening as there was a street party for the villages Saint.  I honestly wanted to cry; all I wanted was to get back to our hotel and sleep!!!! We were shattered! 
Finally we arrived at our beautiful hotel and fell straight onto our beds and fell straight asleep WAHOOOO!!!!!

What an amazing few days we have had in Peru, memories that we will never forget!! We are so lucky to of been able to have the opportunity to experience this incredible wonder of the world!!!

Thank you Peru!
You have been an absolute treat :)

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Chapter 9 - Perú Loving - Part 2 - Cuzco

Chapter 9 - Perú Loving - Part 2 - Cuzco

Life In Chile

Chapter 9 - Perú Loving - Part 2 - Cuzco
(June 2014)

3 Months to go 

Hola again :) 

So, I will be keeping this post about our day in Cuzco very short as it was one of the worst days of my life so far haha!! Cuzco is beautiful and amazing but I just wasn't feeling very well!! Due to the lack of sleep (partying hard with Jr & Patty) I ended up being sick in a bag on our flight from Lima to Cuzco and then due to Cuzco's very high altitude, I spent the rest of the day trying to sleep on Josh's lap between running to the toilets to be sick!!

 I even had to leave the restaurant table once Josh's dinner arrived (Guinea Pig!!!! Yes, you have read that right!! It's a Peruvian delicacy called Cuy, apparently haha!!) but yes I couldn't look at it or even watch or hear Josh eat THAT!!! 

I'm sorry I am not including a photo of the Guinea Pig as it still makes my stomach turn now haha!!

We then travelled by colectivo to the train station in Ollantaytambo where we had planned to get a train to Aguas Calientes/Machu Picchu. At this point, you may be thinking the day just couldn't get any worse.. but it did! Our train was delayed by about 2 hours.....blurgh!!  

Eventually the train turned up and we were on our way through the Sacred Valley.  When we finally arrived at our destination (at like 1.30am), a sweet little man was waiting for us to take us to our hotel.  Aguas Calientes is so small that we followed him on foot and it only took like 10 minutes to walk to our hotel (which was on the opposite side of town!!).  At the hotel, we checked in and were taken to our room which was covered with beautiful roses and towel swans :) I've never had that happen before so I was really excited and didn't want to ruin the displays haha!! #sadloser haha!!

Machu Picchu blog post is coming next wahoo!!!!!

Thursday, 26 June 2014

Chapter 9 - Peru Loving - Part 1

Chapter 9 - Perú Loving - Part 1 - Lima

Life In Chile

Chapter 9 - Perú Loving - Part 1 - Lima
(June 2014)

3 Months to go 

I honestly do not know where to start with this blog post about Perú!!!!!!! It was such an incredible trip!! I am going to try and not bore you all again so here goes :) 

Our first stop was in Lima to visit our beautiful friends Mr & Mrs Woodland!! We loved being able to hang out with our amazing friends for a few days :) They were such amazing hosts and we had so much fun!   

On our first day in Perú, we went to see the government palace, 

Plaza del Armas,

a Cathedral,

and lots of bones and skulls in the Catacombs :)

After a good amount of time sight seeing, we had all worked up a mahousive appetite and after Jr & Patty had been telling us amazing things about where we were going for lunch, we couldn’t wait!!! Guess what….they were not wrong!!!! La Bistecca was incredible.  It is a worldwide buffet restaurant and boy we were stuffed after that!!!! 
We then headed to a park called Parque De La Reserva – Circuito Mágico Del Agua. It was such a beautiful water park with loads of different fountains and even a native dance show projected ontp the wall of mist - and it was also so much fun!!!! 

Of course we couldn’t finish off the day without catching up on the Britain’s Got Talent Final in our Pjs haha!! 

The next day we headed to a beautiful part of the city called Miraflores where we had a lovely bike ride along the beach side :) even if it rained haha!  

All this exercise obviously made us very hungry, so here we come CHILI’s!! 

Once our bellies were full to the brim, we headed to catch a bus tour around Miraflores where Jr attacked Josh and I by pulling a branch back and then it whacked us in the face haha!!! Of course we couldn’t finish our trip without heading to another restaurant ;) Loving life!! We headed to a restaurant called Las Tinajas - Chicken & Grill where we had our first taste of Pollo a la Brasa…. delish!!! (Although I wasn't a fan of a Peruvian drink we tried there called Chichamorada - Made from Purple Sweetcorn) 

Thank you so much Jr & Patty, we had such an incredible time and cannot wait for more fun times together. 

Love you both x

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Chapter 8 - Gringos in Chile

Chapter 8 - Gringos in Chile

Life In Chile

Chapter 8 - Gringos in Chile
(May 2014)
4 Months to go

What a busy time we have had recently! In the space of approximately 8 weeks we have had 6 people come to visit us here in Chile!!

First to visit were my Mum & Dad, they were with us for 10 days. We experienced our first Chorrillana from J.Cruz in Valparaiso.

It doesn't look too appetizing but it is incredible!!

I am so happy we went to this restaurant even if Mum & Dad wanted to kill us given the sketchy looking alleyway the restaurant was down haha. Thankfully it was such an incredible experience!!

Our first trip to the Thermal Springs

Our first BBQ

 Luckily, I was only working evenings so I was able to be tour guide Barbie for them haha!! I was so upset once they left!! We had so much fun!!!!! Come back please :)

Second to visit were Nathan & Teri (Our cousins :)), they were only here for 7 days, short but sweet!! They were lucky enough to have the opportunity to go quad-biking in the Andes. They were also able to tick off something from their to do list in Chile…. to have a photo with a llama!!! Haha WAHOO!! We were also very lucky enough to try our first Dominó’s hot dogs……DIVINE!

They also introduced us to the international gaming world :) We almost wish we hadn’t gone now because by the time we had got home, Josh had already looked up all the games we played to see where we could buy them from haha!!!! We loved it though, us game nerds partied hard till 1am!!

 Once again we were gutted they were leaving us so soon but we were so excited for them as they were heading to Rio De Janeiro next!!!! Well Jel!

Last but by certainly no means least, Jodie & Ben (Our brother & sister)!! Finally after more than 2 years we were reunited with Ben! Wahoo! Obviously for their first meal in Chile (like mum & dad) we had to make them try some traditional Chilean food a.k.a TACO BELL! Haha! Fortunately there was a national holiday on one of the days that they were here so Josh & I were able to both take them to Vina del Mar & Valparaiso, don’t worry Ben I’m not going to tell anyone that you fell down the stairs TWICE (ooopps too late ;)) luckily he was not hurt, we think!! Sadly, it poured it down with ran that day!

We also visited San Pedro De Atacama in the desert of northern Chile (driest in the world), which was a first for all of us! What a trip that was! We were able to experience Geysers, thermal pools, being in a desert (of course!!!), Moon Valley, a Chilean graveyard and not forgetting some of the craziest weather of our lives (a sandstorm, hurricane and SNOW!!!) It hadn’t snowed there in 13 years and it was apparently the worst snow they had seen for 70 years; of course it snowed on the weekend we went there!!)

What this selfie looked like from an outsiders perspective haha

All in all it has been incredible! We have experienced sun, wind, rain, thunder & lightning, hurricane, sandstorm & snow!! Gotta love Chile!!!

Please feel free to visit, we only charge a minimum staying fee of chocolate