Sal and I managed to get a cheap flight just from rocking up to the airport in Arequipa. This meant that not only was it cheaper then the bus..but instead of being 12 hours by bus, it was 40mins in the air. Reason being is that there are a lot of mountains between the two and so everything takes much longer by road.
So we arrived a day before the others. For those who didn't know- our whole family and my friend Caz were coming to meet us in Cusco for a few weeks.
Sal and I checked into another Milhouse hostel, which was beautiful, but the people were not nearly as cool as the BA one! And we went walking around town.
We met the others the next day at the hotel. This was a new experience for us, having hostel'ed it for the past 2 months, we were happy to see how the other half live! Stoked to see everyone we chilled out for a bit before checking out cusco together.
The Sacred Valley
The next day we went on a day trip to The Sacred Valley, about two hours out of Cusco. On the way we stopped at an animal rescue shelter which takes care of Injured or mistreated wildlife with the aim of reintroducing them into the wild.
The Peruvian certainly know how to camp. We had horses which carried everything. All we had to carry was a small day pack with snacks and water. We have a cook who cooked all the meals for us- lunch and dinner were 3 course meals, and the horseman set up your tents and pack them up again.
The first day was good, it was basically uphill. We climbed to 3,800m. Unfortunately sal was not in a good state, so after dinner she went to bed. In the morning we woke up to find that she had been sick all night and our second day was meant to be all uphill to 4,800m and is really difficult, and with sal being so unwell there was no way she was going to make it so we made the decision to turn back. Unfortunately where we had hiked to was not accessible by car at all and thus we had to walk the whole way back to the beginning of the trek- poor sal had to walk all the way back aswell.
Secretly I don't think any of us minded missing the hardest day! Instead we don't back to the hotel so sal could see a doctor and we would go to Macchu Picchu by train two days later. When the doctor came he said she needed to get some scans done at the hospital so sal got a ride in an ambulance it's sirens and everything- too funny!
Meanwhile the rest of us were left to return the hiking poles that we had hired. What a saga! The first thing the lady said when we brought them back and wanted the deposit was that we had borrowed 9 not 7. The receipt we had, had 7 written down by her. Idiot. Then she tried to tell us one of the bottoms was broken. The arguing contined for 10 minutes or so. Luckily dad walked past the store and we explained to him what was going on. Things escalated rather quickly when I told her that either she gives us our deposit back or we take all the poles and keep them. As soon as I said that she dived onto me, no exaggeration she was on top of me and I had to try and wrestle her off. Meanwhile dad was yelling at her to stop and trying to pull her arms off me. I finally wrestled free, I was holding onto these poles with my dear life. Whilst the deposit was no more than $50, it was the principle of it, so wrestling free and holding 7 hiking poles dad told me to run so I started running down the street. So in the end the tour company that we went through for our hike gave us our deposit and took the poles to go and sort it out. Who knows if he got the money back or not- I hope so!