Peru adventure: Step 3 Machu Picchu~

Wow, where do I go from here? We left the jungle, spent a night in Iquitos, which is interesting and very much a frontier-town. We enjoyed margaritas (not great) and pisco sours (better) while chatting with a very friendly Dutch ex-pat who was in Iquitos writing a book. Cool eh?

31252876_10100953326289496_2663384218968522752_o

It was a very noisy town, tons of motos and tuk-tuks roaring around. We took one to the airport the next morning, headed to Cusco and eventually Machu Picchu! Flight was very bumpy which scared me, I hate turbulence. Once landing in Cusco, it became very apparent that both Ian and I had picked up a stomach bug- I blame Iquitos for mine, his was worse with a fever (jungle fever?).

31345176_10100953326089896_1053967820339019776_o

We then were greeted by our driver, who took is the 1.5 hours to the town of Ollantaytambo, where we would hop on the Peru train to the town of Aguascalientes, which is the landing base for people going to Machu Picchu (if you are not hiking it).

31388877_10100953326099876_74699389766991872_n

The drive was fine, despite our stomachs revolting… And then in town, we got the train and it’s actually quite nice! And it freaking better be, considering how much $$$ it costs for a 1.5 hour train ride to Aguascalientes. Once in Aguascalientes, I was stunned by how quiet the town is without any cars or anything. From the jungle to the mountains, Ian and I were a bit shell-shocked, and quite frankly, pretty sick.

We holed up in our hotel room (which was super noisy and weird, with like three beds in it…) but mostly clean? Had a miserable night of no sleep, and were up bright and early at like 6am to try to eat (nope) and get on the bus ($$$) to Machu Picchu. The bus takes 30 minutes of winding up hairpin turns to the mountain. It’s kind of scary too.

31286719_10100953326064946_1643667311116156928_o

Once up to Machu Picchu, we hauled ass to run to get into Waynapicchu, the ‘younger mountain’ that we had permits to hike up. They only let 200 people hike it per window (7-8am, and 10-11am). I can see why, it’s freaking rough at the top and it was so cloudy and foggy I couldn’t see how far, exactly, the plummet is!

31301975_10100953688867886_1501516885894627328_n

We huffed and puffed our way up Waynapicchu. I climbed on my hands and knees. It was cool but yeah, not doing that again.

31296001_10100953326139796_6192397406861000704_o

Once we came down, we then hired a guide to take us through Machu Picchu the right way. Well worth it, I think. We saw so many cool things, including a wild chinchilla! The views are breathtaking. If you do one great wonder of the world, I highly suggest Machu Picchu. It is a pain in the ASS to get to, but worth it if only once.

31357649_10100953688842936_184682348187484160_n

Advertisements

Family Day long weekend: Doing ALL the things!

We had a long-anticipated long (ha) weekend and boy, did we cram it full of things to do!

37320089444_5f255b9b17_o

The day was PHENOMENAL! Photo courtesy of MEC Victoria.

I even got up early-ish both Sat/Sun to be able to get stuff done. So what did we enjoy this weekend?

Saturday:

  • Got up, had a great breakfast (pancakes!) courtesy of my husband, and then up and off to ride Oats. Great ride, someone left a bunch of jumps up to a reasonable height (small verticals) so we schooled those.
  • Trimmed up his mane and then rushed home, to run my long run. It took forever.
  • Got home, took Gidget for a walk, showered and rushed downtown to do a happy hour crawl with husband. It was GREAT!
  • We started at Table 21 for $5 prosecco, (their food isn’t really great, and not a good deal), and then went to Perro Negro for their awesome $6 charcuterie platter and $4 glasses of wine, and then to Famous Original pizza for their fantastic pizza deal- can of PBR and a slice for $6. We got another slice each after that!!

Sunday:

  • Get up early for my riding lesson with Karen Brain. It was tough to get up that early, but my friend was at the barn and brought me coffee!! Sweet!
  • The lesson was awesome- I was really happy with Oats’ efforts, and minimal drama from him too. A focused and good lesson.
  • Got dressed at the barn and ran hills on my way home. PHew. My legs were fried!
  • Got home, and collected husband and Gidget and we went to check out Oak Bay for a change of pace. Grabbed some candy, bought raspberry hot chocolate and cruised around. We saw three otters swimming in a pack! So cute.
  • Husband made a great shepherd’s pie for dinner. Yumm.

Monday:

  • No early mornings here! Waffles thanks to my husband, and we packed lunch to go hiking up Mt. Wells, near Goldstream.
  • It was a good trail- I am not a skilled hiker, so I find it tough but it was quite fair. Lots of steep climbs though and great views to round out the experience. Gidget loved it! The weather was soooooo good. Cold, but sunny and so bright 🙂
  • Ate sandwiches on our way to the barn after the hike, and a quiki ride on Oats. Some minor lateral work.
  • Home, and the climbing gym for husband, and the couch and Baileys for me 🙂 Chores to round out the evening and some TV.

I LOVE long weekends!!

 

Hang on tight!

Mom's hat on the left, mine on the right.

Mom’s hat on the left, mine on the right.

Back from holidays and wow, we did a TON!

  • Spruce Meadows
  • Calgary Stampede (rodeo)
  • Drumheller, including the Royal Tyrell Museum and the Hoodoos!
  • Ghost Lake
  • Canmore, hiking up to Grassi Lake
  • Downtown Calgary
  • Calgary Zoo

So…We did pretty much everything you CAN do in Calgary! The weather was a mixed bag- rain and thunderstorms the first night, cold the second day at Spruce (seriously- I was wearing a sweater, jeans and a jacket! I didn’t even bring cold-weather clothes with me, so had to borrow them!), and then warmed up by Wednesday to about 30 deg for the rest of the week.

Staying with family is always a bit of a challenge- it’s nice to stay with company, but you also run the risk of irritating them, not giving them enough space, or they feel like you don’t want to hang out with them when you want to *give* them that extra space…It saves $ but adds frustration. Always a bit of a tightrope, a balancing act.

View from the top of the Stampede

View from the top of the Stampede

I particularly enjoyed the rodeo this year, and I even had some amazing fair food- peanut butter and jelly sandwiches deep-fried on a skewer interspersed with deep-fried Reese’s peanut butter cups! OMG so good.

We also tried the Jurassic Pork pulled pork mac’n’ cheese. Also a winner! Not a winner- the Crazy Cones- too much cone, too little lousy ice cream. Blah.

Spruce was classic as always- Ian bought me a pair of gloves there, they had free hot dogs too! I ate three- which was pretty much two too many…My stomach…

I remember being here celebrating 25 years!

I remember being here celebrating 25 years!

Canmore was really nice actually. We did a short hike up to Grassi Lake, and climbed around a bit. I saw a pictograph! Very cool. We finished it off with a lunch in Canmore.

Allosaurus!

Allosaurus!

Drumheller was cool, a lot cooler than I thought it might be. The town itself is a big nothing…No neat shops, just small, dusty and hot. The Royal Tyrrell Museum was fantastic! Love the dino info, and so informative.

Hoodoos

Hoodoos

Then the Hoodoos were so cool, and it felt very hardcore to be hiking around in the heat. We also visited Wayne, pop. 33…And the Last Chance Saloon, where we got a beer, and then hiked up to the grassy plains area. Nice and hot.

A hot day in the badlands

A hot day in the badlands

The Calgary Zoo was also really neat, the animals were SO active! You know how rare that is? So rare! The bears were acting silly, the tigers were prowling, the female lions were nuzzling and grooming each other, and the butterflies were even friendly, with one hitch-hiking on my (very attractive to it) orange purse.

A friendly hitchhiker

A friendly hitchhiker

The night we flew home, we watched bad weather come rolling in. We spent the day boating at Ghost Lake- a very cold lake outside of Cochrane (cute town), as my sister’s boyfriend owns a fast speedboat. The clouds came in, and by the time we made it to the airport, thunder and lightning started up. We sat on the plane, which was stifling hot and muggy, for about an hour before they cleared us for take-off. Lucky thing we left then, as the storm kept going and they closed the airport until 11am the next day! Jesus!

11728853_10100418051339786_217606046927626321_o

Got home around 9pm, and was so tired. It was like the whole week caught up with me!

Saddling up to the bar at the Last Chance Saloon in Wayne, AB

Saddling up to the bar at the Last Chance Saloon in Wayne, AB

Rode Oats the next day and he was soooo nutty. Freaked out about the stuff moving around the outdoor arena, spooky and snorty. We got through it ok, but man…After a week away, rough riding and spooking wasn’t really what I was looking forward to! He did look cute playing with a feedbucket after the ride though, so can’t stay mad…

This week- I’m riding tonight and dressage lesson tomorrow, may ride Wed and resume reg. jumping lessons on Thursday. No rest for the wicked though- going camping on the coast this weekend for my b-day!