Well, we just finished our longest trek yet this trip. It started high in the snowy mountains up to 5000 meters and continued down into the tropical jungles at 1500 meters. By night 2 we had pestered our guide enough – it was clear we wanted to eat guinea pig. Our cook (the genius) found this no challenge at all.
We were staying near a local house that night and absolutely everyone around this area has guinea pigs running around their floors for special occasions. At the time, I didn’t know we were actually going to get to eat them so I was catching them and petting them etc… Then a lady walked up to me and I thought she wanted a turn petting the cute little thing but she grabbed it and broke it’s neck right in front of me!
At that moment for some reason, Kevin wanted to get a picture of it. It some sort of attempt at revenge, or maybe Kevin’s special touch, the guinea pig started emptying its bladder with forceful projection. Kevin spun around and everyone was screaming and jumping out of the way. The locals were hysterical.
At this point I was not quite sure if it was actually dead yet and I wanted it back to revive it or something. But the killer lady grabbed it back and then while it was still warm and twitching (me still shocked and jaw dropped), she proceeded to skin and gut it. After getting over that shock (and getting most of it on video, hehe) we had a great Peruvian classic dinner (guinea pig is the national specialty).
I mentioned our cook was a genius. Seriously, Julio cooked up the most amazing things that you wouldn’t expect on the side of a mountain. Everything from gourmet soups to great pastas and deserts. Everything had garnishes and 10/10 for presentation.
I almost lost it when he brought out this cake one morning that he somehow made in a pan. The next couple days were kind of a downer because I got sick (again). This time it was for a just cause though – over exerting myself over mountains (in addition to the normal path) and drinking too much non-purified river water.
For the last part of the trek we were walking along train tracks. I got further ahead then the group and didn’t realize they took an alternate route along the road. The tracks started to go through many narrow tunnels.
I knew there wasn’t supposed to be any trains coming but I would still enter the tunnels with caution, creep half way and then take off running out of fear just in case a train would come.
At the 4th or 5th tunnel I was over that fear and was just casually walking through the tunnel. Half way through I was shocked to hear the sound of a train. I took off running and good thing because a train did enter the tunnel.
I made it out of the tunnel with ample time but I definitely needed the run. Later I checked and there was lots of room to pin myself against the wall of the tunnel (that would have been the more thrilling option if I had another chance 🙂
Alright, day 5, the pinnacle of our trek and our reason for coming to the continent: Manchu Picchu. I think I can only describe the ruins it in one way. Manchu Picchu is the probably the most stunning sight on earth but you have to share the experience with 500 people you don't like.
I guess that is not totally true.. we did try to befriend a couple American tourists at one point – but not because we wanted to respond to all their questions – we wanted the remains of the sandwiches they were going to throw out. We chatted for 10 minutes and finally we got offered the remains.
Then it was back to explore the ruins some more. Don't get me wrong, we had the most amazing day and it was well worth it. We got up at 4:30 AM and hiked to the ruins, making it there before everyone.
We sat up on a hill for the next 2 hours and watched as the morning mist slowly revealed the ruins. It was absolutely fantastic. The rest of the day was hot and sunny and we got the best pictures.