Machu Picchu

There are several different ways that you can experience Machu Picchu and its surrounding beauty. When most people think of Machu Picchu they think of the Inca Trail; the Inca Trail is a 4 day trek that is 40 odd kilometres and finishes in Machu Picchu. 

We wanted to make our experience as fun as possible and as we’re both not that big on hiking we decided to do the 3 night, 4 day Jungle Trek…

The trek consisted of rafting, zip lining, biking and trekking our way to Machu Picchu over the space of 4 days. I was extremely excited for this tour, Machu Picchu is something I’ve been wanting to do for a while and it all seemed a bit sureal.

Our first day was an early 6am meet up, we had breakfast and then biked around 50ks down hill and finished in the jungle where we loaded the van up with our biking equipment and made our way to our jungle lodge for lunch and to relax for the afternoon. I was nervous to bike as I hadn’t been on one since I was young; the whole experience was absolutely amazing, we rode down a winding road from the top of a 4000m high mountain straight into the jungle. The views were breathtaking, luscious greenery and beautiful skies; it was amazing to experience the climate change between highland and the jungle.


The second day was a big one, 10hrs of hiking through the jungle with stops at farmers houses where we could check out their produce. The hiking really took it out of me, but although I struggled, especially on the up hill bits! I really enjoyed the trek through the jungle, it was so amazing to get up close to all of the beautiful greenery, fruit and plants. The lovely part of this day was that the hike ended at some beautiful natural hot springs, it was very refreshing to have a beer and enjoy the gorgeous scenery from the 30degree hot springs. 


The third day we had an option of zip lining in the morning, I decided not to do it as it was pissing it down and I fancied keeping dry ready for our afternoon hike. Soki did the zip lining and he really enjoyed it, I must admit it did look amazing but I just didn’t fancy it that day.

The afternoon was spent hiking along the railway line to the base town of Machu Picchu – Aguas Calientes which is a cute small town full of hostels, restaurants, markets and bars.

                   THE BIG DAY                     
It was a 3.30am wake up to be ready at the hostel reception at 4am, here we picked up our little lunch box style breakfast, met the rest of our group and walked to the check point which was at the base of the mountain what Machu Picchu is situated on. At this point I was dreading it, I was so so tired a) from waking up so early, and b) from the past 3 days; exhausted and dreading the next couple of hours I was trying to be optimistic but it was proving very difficult.

After a 30minute or so wait at the base of the mountain, we were let through the gates ( when I say we … I mean our group and many other early risers!). We walked across a bridge and there it was, the mountain we were about to climb. It’s mainly stairs going in a zig zag shape up the mountain, what I didn’t realise is how narrow and inconsistent the steps would be ( let me explain … The stairs are probably just a little larger than a foot in width and then vary from 5inches – a foot in height ). So as you can imagine … Hundreds of people trying to get up these narrow slippery steps, it was like a stampede! After about 5-10 minutes I lost all of my group, so I was in it alone! I always knew that Soki would be way quicker than me as he’s way fitter. 

We had a tour at the top beginning at 6.30am at first I was worried incase I missed it because I was struggling … After 20 mins or so I didn’t give a shit if I missed the tour or not, I just wanted to make it alive – lol.

I probably had about 100 breaks/sit downs ( you probably think that I’m exaggerating but I’m being very serious ), I had to stop at one point and was heaving in the bushes while people passed me looking at me weirdly, sweat was dripping off my face, the only words that came out of my mouth the whole duration were “for fuck sakes”, “shit”, “fuck me” – I’m sure you get the jist … 

I just wanted to cry

After 1.5hrs of the hardest physical activity I’d ever done, I made it and Soki was there waiting at the top, we had to rush through another check point, up MORE steps to find our guide, the rest of the group and then begin our 2 hour tour. 

Honestly… I was so exhausted, emotional and generally overwhelmed I didn’t enjoy the first part of the tour, I was trying to and yes it was amazing but I couldn’t concentrate on what the guide was saying I was so tired. In the middle of the tour, a wasp ( when I say wasp it wasn’t like a normal one, it was a big ass black one that was vicious- I googled it and it’s called a tarantula hawk wasp ) stung me and I don’t know what came over me but I just burst into tears. Yes it really hurt but I think it was the fact that I was so overwhelmed and tired I just couldn’t keep the tears in anymore lol! I felt so pathetic for crying in front of our group over a wasp sting 🙈

After the tour at Machu Picchu we had free time to have a wander, we decided to get some food in our bellies and then explore, having a pizza and coke did the trick, I was right as rain and ready to go.

So off we headed back to the beautiful wonder, and oh is it amazing. Machu Picchu for me was always something that I wanted to do but I felt as though it was always out of reach. To be standing there with this amazing ancient inca city right in front of my eyes, just like you see on photos and tele… 

Me, Lloydy Davies from Cerrigydrudion, here in Machu Picchu, the only word I can use to describe it was sureal. We had a walk around the ruins which are way bigger than what u see on photos etc, there’s also a bridge that you can walk to, the sun gate and two mountains that you can hike up for better views – Machu Picchu mountain and Huayna Picchu mountain. You have to pre book tickets for the mountains as only so many people are allowed up them per day, we had tickets for Machu Picchu mountain but after climbing all of those stairs, Machu Picchu mountain was a big no no for me ( the mountains are meant to be harder than the steps up to Machu Picchu). 

We arrived back in Aguas Calientes at roughly 2.30/3pm as we had a 6pm train and then a bus to catch back to Cusco. You can EASILY spend a whole day at Machu Picchu if you have good weather, there’s so much to explore and see and a few optional extra walks/hikes.


Overall I absolutely loved the jungle trek and I would most definitely recommend it to anyone who wants to have a fun time experiencing Machu Picchu. The food on our tour was amazing, the guide couldn’t have been better, he answered every single question I had ( I’m sure I got on his nerves ). The accommodation was great and all equipment, included transport, companies made were safe and of good quality. Our group was amazing I couldn’t have wished for a better group of people to share my experiences with. We were very lucky with the weather and only had a touch of rain, it was amazing to be able to experience and enjoy the tour with good weather, it makes such a difference. 

This experience was a big deal for me, I knew I’d struggle with the trekking and hiking but I really wanted to challenge myself and push myself to a point where I didn’t think I could go further & as cheesy as it sounds, I’m very proud of myself for walking up to Machu Picchu and not getting the bus, I’m proud I completed it.

The tour opened my eyes a lot and taught me a few very valuable lessons, it’s not all about what your seeing; it’s amazing how certain things you do, experience and learning about different cultures can spark something in your mind and change the way you feel and think about things.

Cusco

Cusco is the city where everyone goes in Peru to climb Machu Picchu; This was the only reason we came here. Little did I know how beautiful the city really is and that there would be so much more to do than JUST Machu Picchu.
The first full day we had here we did a free walking tour, most cities offer these and they are usually amazing, they’re a great way to get to know the city, know where things are and what there is to do there. 

We quickly found out on the walking tour that Cusco is very similar to La Paz in the sense that there’s loads of bloody hills – 😐

To the eye, Cusco is a very pretty city with a heavy Spanish influence in the architecture, sometimes it feels like your in a European Country. 

We booked a day trip to the Sacred Valley which is a valley near Machu Picchu with some more Inca ruins. I didn’t expect much from this as we had seen some ruins in La Paz which… well they just looked like stones to me.

Off we went on our second day to the Sacred Valley where we visited ruins in Pisac, Ollantaytambo and Chinchero. All of the Inca ruins were breathtaking and I’ve never seen anything like it in my life. Our guide was truly amazing, he was clearly passionate about his culture and knew everything. There’s so much to be learnt about the Inca culture and it’s all fascinating. Not only was our guide knowledgable about the Incas but he knew so much about the area, plants and flowers, food, buildings … the list goes on! 

We didn’t just visit ruins,  the tour also consisted of some other cool stuff,  we visited a silver factory, local market and had a buffet lunch. All in all the Sacred Valley tour was an amazing experience where we saw and learnt loads, I 100% recommend this tour to anyone who is visiting Cusco. 


On our third day we decided to visit the Ccochahuasi Animal Sanctuary. We had heard about this place from friends and also passed it on our tour the day before.

This place is a hidden gem and I don’t know why more people don’t know about it! 

It’s located around 20 mins outside of the city towards Pisac, you can easily pick up a taxi or bus that’s heading that way.

The Sanctuary helps rescue animals that have been stolen from the jungle, kept as pets and been injured. Their main priority is to Rescue, Rehabilitate and Release. They have many different types of animals such as turtles, alpacas, llamas , vicunias, bears, tucans, many different types of falcons, pumas & other wild cats, foxes, condors, monkeys, parrots and guinea pigs. This place may just sound like a zoo to you, but it’s somewhere very special! The entry fee to this place is 10 Peruvian Sol, which is £2.50! Upon entry your greeted by a volunteer and they take you for a tour around the Sanctuary, they tell you all about the Sanctuary, what they do, the animals and their story; for instance the South American bear is there because it’s mother was killed by a farmer as the bears are a nuisance to farmers and their fur very valuable, he’s only a year or so old and has been there since he was a baby.

 The Condors are there because people try to poison them to get hold of their feathers as one feather is worth $100 USD. 

 The special and unusual thing about this place is you actually get to go in some of the enclosures with the animals or get up close to them. The scariest part for me was going inside the Condor enclosure with seven Condors. I didn’t know this but they’re the second largest bird IN THE WORLD and I was just chilling in their cage! Luckily they’re vultures so they didn’t try eat us. 

We got to get very close to the amazing birds, take pictures and also watch them fly over us. 


I loved every minute of our time at the Sanctuary and I urge anyone and everyone who is planning on going to Cusco to give this place a visit! They get their funding from the tickets, £2.50 per person is nothing and they need all of the help they can get! They are doing an amazing job, all of the volunteers there know their shit and clearly have a special bond with all of the animals. 

We were also told that when they release the Condors into the wild, they come back for a visit sometimes and fly over the Sanctuary – how cute!

The food here is lovely! I find it much tastier than Bolivian food as there is a heavy Asian influence in Peruvian food. Everything they do they seem to do well and all is freshly cooked. The street food is very very cheap and you get plenty for your money! Even if you go to a restaurant you can pick yourself up a set menu ( soup, main, desert and drink ) for dirt cheap!

Like Bolivia the food is very carby, they love their potatoes, rice, pasta and bread here.

Guinea pig is a delicacy here, it would be rude not to try it right ? 


It’s not very nice to look at when it’s cooked! I only had the smallest piece because I was put off by the look of it but I’m not sure what it tastes like … apparently it’s like rabbit?
Nightlife in Cusco is really good, there’s plenty of bars, cheap and fancy and also plenty of clubs ( or bars with dance floors ). We have only been out one night but it was lots of fun, we went to a bar that had free salsa lessons 9-11pm and we got a free drink upon arrival. Most bars offer some free drink or 2 for 1 on drinks so you don’t spend much!
Finally … the beautiful Peruvian people. Just like La Paz there are a lot of indigenous people here, most of them selling their goods on the streets whether it be crafts or food. One thing is that the children here are BEAUTIFUL, they are so so cute!


Generally the people are so kind and helpful, especially when you need advice or help with something. They seem to speak English more here in Cusco too, we were told that there’s less chance of English in Peru !

I have fallen in love with this place, I would come back in a heart beat and think that everyone should visit Peru/Cusco at least once 🇵🇪❤️


You might be thinking … hmmm she’s not mentioned Machu Picchu … well that is because tomorrrow we are embarking on our 3nt/4day jungle trek to Machu Picchu where we will be hiking, bike ridding and zip lining our way through the jungle to the ruins ! Wish me luck, I’m definitely going to need it 🚴🏼‍♀️⛰🍀

Bolivia – La Paz

I hadn’t done much research so all as I expected was … a city! We took an over night bus from Uyuni which got us to La Paz at 5.30am, it was dark so I couldn’t make out much of the city at that point. 
La Paz is a city built on mountains and hills, it’s amazing but my God do I feel sorry for the people that live up these hills. The city is a layer of terracotta coloured brick houses almost looking as though they’ve been built on top of each other. 

Luckily there’s a few teleferico (cable cars) lines running through the city which can take you up or down these daunting hills in a flash.


On the morning of our arrival, after we’d had a nap and collected ourselves we decided to head to the largest market in the whole of South America – cool right ? 

Now you could find ANYTHING in this market! Toilets, food, phones, clothes, car bumpers and front doors, you name it they had it ! 

Although the market was cool we didn’t spend much time there as it just went on forever and pick pocketers were everywhere and had a go at us a couple of times. 

We also visited another market… the Witch Market, yes there were many ‘different‘ items from dried lama fetus, other dead animals and potions. There were also lots of lovely hand made crafts, clothes and jewellery and all VERY cheap.


There is a lot of culture to be learnt about in La Paz, there are many indigenous people here and it’s amazing to be able to learn about their culture, beliefs and ways from the locals. The people here can sometimes come across as rude and not very friendly but they’re just quite shy, once you get talking to the locals they are very happy to offer their help and recommendations.

You won’t find many supermarkets in La Paz, all food mainly comes from street vendors, whether you want a meal or a chocolate bar you’ll find it on the street. Bolivians have impressed me with their culinary skills, they’re great at their own food and western food, so there’s something for everyone. Bolivian food is very delicious, but naughty as most of it is fried or is somewhat unhealthy, they love their carbs and tend not to use that much veggies. Having said that, EVERYTHING is fresh, the bread, vegetables, fruit and meat. 

For three of the four days that we have spent in La Paz there have been demonstrations and protests, first it was regarding farmers and their land and then it changed to politics which seems to be a touchy subject over here. 

The protesters tend to stick to the main square in La Paz so we were out of it most of the time, until one night we were walking to our hostel and all of a sudden my mouth, nose and eyes started stinging and watering and people started coming gushing towards us with clothes covering their faces. It was tear gas! We rushed our way through the crowds and eventually came out of it. 

Even though the past three days have consisted of bangs which could be gun shots, fire crackers or small bombs I’m not sure, I didn’t feel unsafe or scared once. 

There was a point where we passed the protesters up close and at that point they were quite peaceful and police presence is high around the main square. 

Overall a HUGE thumbs up for this place, I absolutely love the city, the food the culture and the shy but very nice people. 

Peace out La Paz ✌🏽 

Landing

35 mins until we arrive in Santiago, when I look to my right, past a few people and through the window, I see the sea, greenery and mountains, possibly the Andes?

 I’ve not been able to sleep at all on this journey because of excitement. I’ve been up since 5am Aussie time, our flight was at 10am from Melbs and we’ll be touching down in Santiago at 11.20am – the same day; sometimes I like time differences.
Whilst I was trying to get a glimpse of what was beyond the window I had a little moment of sheer excitement, this is MY DREAM, I’ve been wanting, wondering and longing for this continent for a very long time. And it’s here, at my finger tips, just beyond that window and in 27minutes time I’ll be setting foot there, exploring, wandering, exposing myself to the culture and soaking up everything I possibly can.

I just feel on top of the world, I’m doing it, doing me, my dream, my life and I actually want to cry.

Globe Trotter

October 12th 2015 was the day my life changed, It was the day that little me from North Wales got on that flight form Heathrow to JFK and never looked back.

Meeting people from different countries, cultures, ethnicities and upbringings has helped me learn and understand that people are so different from one another. All of those factors shape an individuals’ personality and outlook on life. Whilst traveling I’ve hung out with people that I wouldn’t usually, yet I’ve instantly had a connection with them as we shared the same passion, to explore and travel.

This trip was first time that I visited third world countries. To see it on television and hear about them is one thing, but to see it with my own eyes was very hard hitting. I think what touched me the most was how happy the people, especially the children were in such poor living conditions and with so little. Of course the children are happy; it’s all they know. I have witnessed things that I would have rather not and it is hard to see and watch some things that your not comfortable with and not be able to do anything about it; but at the same time its good to see these things and its a massive reality check, this is some peoples lives and this is what they do to get by.

When breaking the news to my family and friends that I was going traveling alone, the reaction wasn’t great. People were forever telling me to be careful, look after myself because there’s some bad people in the world. Truth be told, yes there are bad people in this world; but what people tend not to realise is that there’s probably the same risk of something happening to me in Thailand as there is in London – Distance doesn’t make destinations unsafe, people do.

I’ve learnt that the people that preach danger of foreign countries are usually the ones that have never left their own. Most countries are relatively safe if your sensible and stick to the beaten track.

Throughout my journey I have met the nicest people and realised how lovely humans really are ❤️ The amount of people that have helped me along the way in some way or another is incredible! I never expected it to be like this. The more people have helped me the more it’s made me want to help others because I know how much I appreciated receiving that help. At the end of the day, we are all humans in this big wide world and we have a lot more in common than most of us thing, no matter who we are and where were from we still have a connection, were all here for the same reasons, we just have a different life paths.

Exposing myself to new things is very important to me, in order for me to learn and progress. If I always enter things with an open mind I’ll learn things about myself that I never knew. I have done and experienced things that I thought I would never have done, and if I would have stayed in good old Cerrigydrudion, I definitely wouldn’t have done them.

 It’s hard to always be positive, sometimes things don’t work out or go to plan. I’ve learnt that it’s so important to be positive as much as possible in these situations and just in general. Keeping positive will also keep you sane; after all things ALWAYS work out one way or another.

I’ve learnt that I never need to plan when travelling, it’s far more exciting to wing it. Not researching destinations, lack of organisational skills, absolutely shit map skills and navigation has left me rocking up to destinations with no battery on my phone not having a clue where I am or where I am meant to be; but I sorted it – Why? Cause I had to. Situations like this put of pressure on me yes; but they also pushed me to talk to people, try read a map, ask for help. Now I’m never worried if I don’t have an address for a hostel, get lost, run out of battery. I’m becoming an expert. My lack of organisational skills also contribute to my feelings, thoughts and impressions of destinations. I’ll be the first to admit I have done hardly no research before my trips and the destinations that I have visited. To me this is a positive thing as I have no expectations and haven’t set any standards which has left me truly blown away by many places.

The things that I thought would matter whilst travelling really don’t! Nobody cares how scruffy you look, how many times you’ve worn that grey t-shirt or when the last time you washed your hair was. The only things they care about is your story, where you’ve been and where your going.

Material things do not matter in life. It doesn’t matter how much money you have, it’s about you, your personality, your soul and your outlook on life. Good qualities in a person are far more valuable than money will ever be.

Traveling has made me realise that you always have to enter things confidently and positively whether it be a bar, friendship, relationship, conversation or room. Go places you wouldn’t usually, talk to strangers in the street, do things that scare you and that you wouldn’t necessarily want to do; but always have the confidence, strength and ability to walk away if you are not enjoying something.

I feel that I have become a lot wiser, relaxed, loving, happier, open minded and just generally a better person since travelling and I am so great full for the lessons I’ve learnt and the way it has shaped me; and I cant wait to embark on a new journey.

New Light

So they say that the best things happen to you when you least expect it; that I am now a firm believer of. 

Deciding to go traveling was a massive move on my behalf, someone that was scared of going upstairs alone was about to embark on a 12month journey visiting various parts of the world – alone! 

Two months in to my travelling I was in country number 3, beautiful New Zealand. Little did I know that this was where a new journey would begin.

Meeting someone that loved drinking and partying as much as I did was great, someone that was outgoing, open minded and had a freshness about them was awesome but it’s the kind, selfless, warm heart that he carried with all of that which really caught my attention and made me think, ” I can’t just leave this “.

Although I had vowed to myself not to get into a relationship or anything of the sort – due to extremely bad luck in the past; I just couldn’t leave this behind. There was something that I hadn’t felt or experienced before which made my mind up not to let go of it. And so we decided that we would make a go of things, cause after all what did we have to loose?

Just over one year down the line and I haven’t looked back. We have been with each other every day since ( apart from the month that we were apart in January ’16 ).

There’s just this sense of connection and engagement that I haven’t experienced with anyone else in my entire life. We are such different people but have the same dreams and sense of adventure, that’s how it works – were life buddies.

To have someone like him walk in my life was a breath of fresh air, and I am so grateful to spend my time, share my memories and give all of my love to the loveliest man I have ever met.  


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