June 16th, 2011
Now I am going to recap my adventure from the past four days. I haven't showered in five. The past several days have been incredible, and have really enhanced the trip for me even more. I am so glad I got to experience this extra adventure, in addition to what was already planned. At 630am Brielle and I were the first ones waiting outside he travel agency at the Plaza de Armas, anxious and ready to start our four day excursion. We had been up late packing our luggage, which we would not see until we got to our hotel in Cusco late Sunday night, and we hoped it was in good hands, for all we would be able to take on our adventure was a backpack with the necessities. The group convened, 14 of us, and Henry, making it 15. And we piled into a van to begin our two hour ride to Ollantatamba, where we would begin our bicycle ride. I fell asleep on Andrew for the majority of the ride to the mouton we would be biking down, but when I finally awoke, I was greeted by an impressive view. I had another “I can’t believe where I am” moment. We were high in the Andes Mountains. Klevis exclaimed, look guys, we're level with the clouds, and surely enough, strait ahead of us was a white cloud at our eye level. Only after ten more minutes of driving up the winding mountain road, nothing was visible, because we were inside the clouds, surrounded by white in every direction. It was a bit eerie, but so cool nonetheless. When we reached the place we would launch the bike trip from, we were still high in the sky, still encompassed by the white masses. In the distance, we could see the snowcapped Andes. Our guides unloaded the bicycles format he roof of the car and gave one to each of us, along with a helmet and hand gloves, and after a few instructions we were on our way. At first it was absolutely freezing and we couldn't see much because of the clouds, but the ride was supposed to last about 3 hours, so the scenery would surely change without he descent. Unfortunately we did have a little mishap only about 10 minutes into our ride, when Syeda fell off her bike and hit her head, thus ending the bike trip for her, but she was totally fine and just took the van the rest of the way down. This made me thankful we had decided to go with this agency rather than the first one, since there was a help vehicle, and lo and behold, we did need it. Half of the group was too far ahead to have heard abbot Syeda's fall, so they continued, while some of us hung back until we knew she was okay, and then took off, vowing to be more careful. Carefulness and alertness was a necessity on this biking trip, because we were high in the mountains, and the roads were very windy. When I think of the views, I almost can’t fathom the splendor of what surrounded me. Peru is a beautiful, beautiful country,
We arrived for lunch and to drop our belongings off our hostel. In one room, there were 11 beds., and Jenn, Ilana, Priscilla, and Katy had a room on the first floor for themselves. We loved our room. It was just a giant room with 11 beds with mismatched seats lined up. We called it our orphanage.
We met our guide Chino, and a van with a raft strapped to its roof, outside the hostel, and we were on our way to rafting. I have never white water rafted so I was very anxious for what was in store, but it was a ton of fun, a bit scary at times, but totally exhilarating. I’m also pretty sure I was in the seat that got the most soaked.
After rafting we chilled at the hostel for a bit and then went down to the same restaurant we were at for lunch to have dinner. When we got back, all of us went to bed pretty early because it had been a long, packed day, and the next day promised to be our longest, most arduous day of hiking. I put my Ipod in, set my alarm for 5:45am, and called it a night.