Matt\’s Cuppa

My take on tea, technology, and our environment

Matt’s Daily Diigo Post 01/18/2009

Posted by telecommatt on January 17, 2009

  • Machu Picchu and the Galapagos. Because this would rock…

    tags: peru, galapagos, machu picchu

    • Experience two of the most fascinating highlights of South America on this exceptional combination trip. 
  • tags: no_tag

    • recommend checking out the ‘thorn tree’ posts on the Lonely Planet site, under ‘South America’
    • Avoid Puno like the plague.
    • When you’re in Cusco, take a day trip out to Chinchero–you can catch a bus there easily, or take a cab. It’s a weaving village, and wonderfully non-touristy.
    • Lima was easily my most favorite city–go out to Pachacama (I think that’s what it’s called), which is a huge archaeological site of a city of temples. Stay in the Miraflores and Barranco districts, though–anything else is too dangerous. Visit everything that remotely interests you in the city–there’s a great museum, the Plaza de Armas, etc.
    • Take cabs everywhere, they’re cheap and fast
    • lots of street kids in Peru, mostly in Lima and Cusco
    • drink coca tea, or chew the leaves; it helps *immensely*.
    • if you want to avoid the crowds, take the first bus up at 6:30 am, or take the train out to the first stop before Aguas Calientes, and hike the Inca trail up to the Sun Gate.
    • Puno sucks absolutely.
  • tags: inca, peru

    • pretty much every hotel I researched in Cusco would store bags
    • We are both 23 and I’m in really excellent shape, so the hike wasn’t difficult for me, but I was EXHAUSTED at the end of each day
    • To get an idea of what the hike is going to be like, you should take a daytrip from Cuzco to the Pisac ruins, and hike up and down them, that’s pretty much what you have to look forward to for the 4 day hike. Also Pisac was one of the best ruins we saw
    • You should definitely make a point to get everybody to really shell out for the tips.
    • Peru changed the regulations several years ago to require that you go with some sort of outfitter. In other words, you can’t just walk the trail by yourself.
    • If you do get sick, mate de coca (coca leaf herbal tea) is an excellent remedy.
    • July is winter in Peru, so it’ll be cold and rainy in the mountains. Make sure you wear lots of layers and buy yourself a plastic poncho.
    • I was 25 at the time and in OK shape (thin, but not athletic) and it was extremely difficult.
    • We stored our bags at a small (and lovely) hotel in Cusco for for several days even though we were not staying there on the way back – it was not a problem.
    • If you are out of shape (like we were) you will look upon inclines with revulsion for about a year afterward.
    • cheaper the tour operator the more they will press you to hurry, and have extra sympathy for the porters because they have to pack out all human waste now.
    • don’t believe your tour company when they tell you you’ll be overlooking Machu Piccu for sunrise the last day. Your group will be assigned campsites along the trail by the Peruvian park service. You may get a site close to Machu Piccu the night before, but you may end up (like we did) with many hours of hiking left to go.
    • The trail is also all ‘paved’ with stones from Inca days, so it can be a lot harder on knees than normal dirt trails.
    • Stay away from using Q’ente as your guide company though. Also, watch your wallet in Cuzco
    • be sure not to miss the ruins at Sayacmarca the day before you get to Machu Piccu. For my money they were cooler than MP by half.
    • We used Peru Treks and Adventure for our guides, They were excellent, and I would definitely recommend them. They are recommended by, all the equipment they brought for us was EXCELLENT, the tents seemed to be brand new, and pretty expensive. The cook was also amazing, we had pizza, pie, tea twice a day, as well as delicious breakfests, lunches, and dinners. Our guide said that he was retiring from the Inca Trail, but maybe he hasn’t yet, so if you book through, request Washington as a guide.
    • from observing the different camps, you get what you pay for.
    • altitude
      • Altitude sickness is mentioned over and over. 3-4 days in Cuzco seems to be the general recommendation. – post by telecommatt
  • tags: inca, 2day, peru

    • so i you did the bus tour one day and then took the train to machu picchu, you’d probably learn more than doing the 2-day hike. but if you like hiking and camping then go for it!
    • Almost everyone I met on the Inca Trail admitted that they’d far, far underestimated the effects of altitude sickness and not given themselves enough time to acclimate before starting
    • Since everyone at that last campsite is trying to make it to the Sun Gate to get a good view of the sunrise, tour groups start lining up well before dawn–so you’re either waiting in line at 4:30am in the morning to get through the checkpoint when it opens at 5am, or your tour group sleeps in a bit but doesn’t make it to the gate to watch the sun rise.
    • felt like I was hiking with hordes of people

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

One Response to “Matt’s Daily Diigo Post 01/18/2009”

  1. Mint said

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