It was a crazy two weeks, going straight from St Thomas to Peru was quite the vacation flip (not complaining at all... just very different "gears"). Ryan met up with me in Miami and we took a red-eye to Lima. After waiting in the airport, we met up with Rachel, we were on our way to Cuzco - sort of. We accidentally booked Peruvian national tickets... whups! So we paid the difference and were on our way.
Arriving in Cuzco, we already had trouble breathing. At 3,400 m in elevation, walking up a small hill gave us a run for our money. I had been super nervous about the altitude and getting sick, so this made me even more nervous! We grabbed dinner and I even tried Alpaca. Super game-y and I probably wont be ordering again, but hey, I was adventurous. After we met with Salkantay Trekking and got a briefing about the plan for the next day. A night at Pariwana Hostel (ranked 3rd hostel in the world!) and an early morning we were off!
Lobby of the Pariwana Hostel; the rainbow flags are from the flag of Cusco! The hostel was super nice with computers, clean rooms, plenty of bathrooms, movie theater, nightly activities and even a bar!
It's been four weeks since Ryan (in conjunction with his sister, family and my parents) surprised me with a trip to Peru. WE'RE GOING TO MACHU PICCHU! I still can't believe how AMAZING it is going to be! Rachel, Ryan's sister, was able to book an exciting trip on the Salkantay Trail with Salkantay Trekking. I'm nervous, but super excited for this 5 day/4 night hike!
Preparing for finals in addition to packing for Christmas break AND 2 back-to-back trips is going to get quite hectic. I think I have a pretty good list now, after checking other hikers' lists in addition to crosschecking it with REI's Gear List, with minor modifications to accommodate the extra day/night.