On the way back into Aquas Caliente yesterday having run down from Machupicchu we met Tom and Natalie (from Wasi Masi and La Paz) who had gone on the traditional Inca trail which is a day shorter than Salkantay. The bonus of that hike is that every day you are walking on old Inca walkways, and on the final morning your 1st glimpse of Machupicchu is through the Sun Gate as you arrive as the Incas did all that time ago. The down side of it is you don´t arrive at Machupicchu early enough to have any chance of getting the extra stamp allowing you to climb Huayna Picchu and get that stunning view. Both are great treks and in the end for us the decision was easy – the Inca trail is fully booked till the end of June from about January time. Something we didn´t want to do that many other backpackers we have met do – have a deadline to meet because the Inca trail is pre-booked, you also then need to pay the premium dollar price for the trek.
Anyway, Tom and Natalie had a great time and like us arrived back very very tired, in fact so tired that they opted for our hostel when they got back to Cusco last night rather than their party hostel so when we wake up this morning we find they are in the room next door to us. 🙂
Our 1st priority is to get a washing handed in at reception so we can get all our clothes cleaned. Then we head out for brekkie on our own, the guys are still sleeping. We end up in the Holland café next door to the hostel which is convenient for emailing Richard to see what time is best to chat and make a plan.
Whilst we wait on a plan we go back and re-check flight options just in case the situation has changed. Then we head back to Paddy´s where we agreed last night we´d meet the Brazilian guys Cass and Marcelus for lunch, and where we´ve told Tom and Nat we´ll be. We promised to bring a card for them with our details on and they promised some CD´s of Cass´s music, they remembered we didn´t. So we nip back round to the hostel to pick one up and drop the CD´s off and on the way we meet Tim and Nick We tell them where the others are and low and behold they are with them when we return.
We also checked our emails but still no reply from Richard. For someone in such a hurry, you´d have thought he´d be quicker with a reply… We all chat for a bit back in the bar and then arrange to catch up again later, give us a chance to go contact Richard and find out where we stand and what kind of timescales we´re talking about if at all.
Finally in one of the phone booth kinda places we call Richard on his mobile, he´s shopping, so we arrange skype shortly – we think using the hostel PC will give us a better signal than using our laptop over Wi-Fi.
So he´s still keen for us to join him and we agree flying is the best option but rather than rush to go tomorrow he suggests Thursday which gives us some breathing space. We end up running a bit late getting back to the guys but we say hello as we quickly go and sort flights out then we return to chill for the evening. During which we realise the weekly quiz is on again tomorrow night and we´re around… so are Tom, Nat, Tim, Nick and Donal and Pauline, an Irish couple Tom and Nick met on their trek, it´s a no brainer – we should go and defend our title with our new found friends as reinforcements (Americans’ too!!)