When my mind isn't wandering, I can think pretty intensely.

 

Day 5: The first day of the trek to Machu Picchu. After a late, 2AM departure from our newly embraced Peruvian club, Mama Africa (odd name; we agree), we returned to our hotel only to wake up at 4AM to meet a spacious bus around 5AM. When I said spacious, I was lying. Upon arriving at a small village, Mollepata(approx 9500 feet elevation), we chowed some breakfast and loaded our gear. We finally arrived at the trailhead. The actual trek began after an hour to an hour and a half truck ride, where the 15 in our travel party cattled up in the bed of an open cargo truck. Bumpy and dusty don’t highlight the real feeling of backroading the high, dry mountains of Peru. From there, we began a simple 7-ish hour warm up hike, up to 12,600ft to camp.
This picture highlights how tiny our tent-village setup(near the center, left of the photo) cowers below Mt. Salkantay(middle right, elevation just above 20,550ft).

Day 5: The first day of the trek to Machu Picchu. After a late, 2AM departure from our newly embraced Peruvian club, Mama Africa (odd name; we agree), we returned to our hotel only to wake up at 4AM to meet a spacious bus around 5AM. When I said spacious, I was lying. Upon arriving at a small village, Mollepata(approx 9500 feet elevation), we chowed some breakfast and loaded our gear. We finally arrived at the trailhead. The actual trek began after an hour to an hour and a half truck ride, where the 15 in our travel party cattled up in the bed of an open cargo truck. Bumpy and dusty don’t highlight the real feeling of backroading the high, dry mountains of Peru. From there, we began a simple 7-ish hour warm up hike, up to 12,600ft to camp.

This picture highlights how tiny our tent-village setup(near the center, left of the photo) cowers below Mt. Salkantay(middle right, elevation just above 20,550ft).

Day 4: Tour outside of Cusco.
I find two highlights in this photo, making it post-worthy. First, the child’s face reminds me of the overwhelming emotion of joy when opening a fresh Kit Kat bar; exciting. The second facet of this image revolves around the perfect posture of the llama. It’s almost as if this is a usual happening. Showing off with pride, the lady holds a hearty guinea pig, which I must say tastes like fantastic lamb on a chicken wing. These characters stationed themselves near the vendor at a market outside of Cusco, where I’m pretty sure the guinea pig would be stuffed back in to a dark sack between tourist groups.
Don’t mind the brothers on the left. They’re pretty legit travel partners.

Day 4: Tour outside of Cusco.

I find two highlights in this photo, making it post-worthy. First, the child’s face reminds me of the overwhelming emotion of joy when opening a fresh Kit Kat bar; exciting. The second facet of this image revolves around the perfect posture of the llama. It’s almost as if this is a usual happening. Showing off with pride, the lady holds a hearty guinea pig, which I must say tastes like fantastic lamb on a chicken wing. These characters stationed themselves near the vendor at a market outside of Cusco, where I’m pretty sure the guinea pig would be stuffed back in to a dark sack between tourist groups.

Don’t mind the brothers on the left. They’re pretty legit travel partners.

Day 3: Cusco, Peru. In hopes of a view many don’t get to experience, this image birthed about 4 or 5 blocks uphill from Plaza de San Francisco. If you must walk the length of this street, carry little.
This day, my amigos from Houston and Durango arrived in Cusco. Union of the team could not have come at a more confusing time, as the originally planned hotel had no reservation for the group. Rather, our names had no ink on the list of reservations for either of the nights. I checked…3 times in 24 hours. Doing what I could to avoid the bears of internet and the haunting on-button of my mobile phone, I strolled the streets for two hours looking for my fellow adventurers. Thinking ahead, we concluded a preset time, in fear of not finding each other, we would turn on our phones and shoot for the verbal contact. Yes, I called a Houston phone number from a Dallas number in Cusco, Peru. After a moment of Angry Elf-dom, I harnessed my packs on to my determined self and step after step paced my way up a hill to the base camp hostel my team occupied, post call. Did I mention AT&T greeted my phone’s startup with a $19.97/mb reminder? Oh, “Domestic data rate does NOT apply in this location.” Thanks AT&T, I gathered that much.
This picture view down on the town/city of Cusco from Hostel Loko.

Day 3: Cusco, Peru. In hopes of a view many don’t get to experience, this image birthed about 4 or 5 blocks uphill from Plaza de San Francisco. If you must walk the length of this street, carry little.

This day, my amigos from Houston and Durango arrived in Cusco. Union of the team could not have come at a more confusing time, as the originally planned hotel had no reservation for the group. Rather, our names had no ink on the list of reservations for either of the nights. I checked…3 times in 24 hours. Doing what I could to avoid the bears of internet and the haunting on-button of my mobile phone, I strolled the streets for two hours looking for my fellow adventurers. Thinking ahead, we concluded a preset time, in fear of not finding each other, we would turn on our phones and shoot for the verbal contact. Yes, I called a Houston phone number from a Dallas number in Cusco, Peru. After a moment of Angry Elf-dom, I harnessed my packs on to my determined self and step after step paced my way up a hill to the base camp hostel my team occupied, post call. Did I mention AT&T greeted my phone’s startup with a $19.97/mb reminder? Oh, “Domestic data rate does NOT apply in this location.” Thanks AT&T, I gathered that much.

This picture view down on the town/city of Cusco from Hostel Loko.

Day 2: Cusco, Peru. Boy Scouts be warned. You will frown upon this day, and for those that are not Boy Scouts, enjoy this fumble.
Taking a step back, relaxed and ready to travel Thursday, July 21st at DFW International Airport in terminal D (the one missing a gate, D35, much like Kings Cross Station Platform 9 3/4), a thought popped in my head - I don’t have a place to sleep Saturday night. No worries, friends, for I am leashed to a smart phone. After a quick panic tweet, I googled hostels in Cusco, found one with good enough reviews and booked. Problem solved.
(Now hit the Live TV button on the story remote)
My friendly and energetic taxi driver drops me off at my hostel, which turns out to be in prime location; 100 feet from the main square. I clear my throat and march in to the lobby. “Tengo una reservacion. Watson.” ….wait for it…. “No. No hay una reservacion para Watson.” Well, this isn’t ideal. As it turns out, when I reloaded my booking page on my handy iPhone, the following day(Sunday) defaulted. As I was hastily booking at DFW, I paid no notice: Homeless in Cusco. I retreated with my bags like an exhausted pack mule, stumbling out of the double doors, and wandered on throughout the tourist-packed plazas and busy streets, looking for a decent rate bed. 30 Soles (2.7 Soles = 1USD) for a night in a 6 bedroom suite; done.
I don’t mean to make it sound as if I was in a real tough place. Dozens of hostels fill the town, and many had openings. In fact, I ended up meeting a fantastic Dutch guy, two Canadians and a dude from Idaho. I think it turned out OK.
This photo angle, popular with many Americans in their 20s and 30s should be an easy spot for many. Claimed to be “The highest Irish-owned pub on the planet,” at 11,156ft, Paddy’s Pub in Cusco lingers joyfully on the corner of Plaza de Armas. It ended up being a pretty decent eatery, as well.
Fumble number 2, being without a D.E.N.N.I.S. System note card… #failx2

Day 2: Cusco, Peru. Boy Scouts be warned. You will frown upon this day, and for those that are not Boy Scouts, enjoy this fumble.

Taking a step back, relaxed and ready to travel Thursday, July 21st at DFW International Airport in terminal D (the one missing a gate, D35, much like Kings Cross Station Platform 9 3/4), a thought popped in my head - I don’t have a place to sleep Saturday night. No worries, friends, for I am leashed to a smart phone. After a quick panic tweet, I googled hostels in Cusco, found one with good enough reviews and booked. Problem solved.

(Now hit the Live TV button on the story remote)

My friendly and energetic taxi driver drops me off at my hostel, which turns out to be in prime location; 100 feet from the main square. I clear my throat and march in to the lobby. “Tengo una reservacion. Watson.” ….wait for it…. “No. No hay una reservacion para Watson.” Well, this isn’t ideal. As it turns out, when I reloaded my booking page on my handy iPhone, the following day(Sunday) defaulted. As I was hastily booking at DFW, I paid no notice: Homeless in Cusco. I retreated with my bags like an exhausted pack mule, stumbling out of the double doors, and wandered on throughout the tourist-packed plazas and busy streets, looking for a decent rate bed. 30 Soles (2.7 Soles = 1USD) for a night in a 6 bedroom suite; done.

I don’t mean to make it sound as if I was in a real tough place. Dozens of hostels fill the town, and many had openings. In fact, I ended up meeting a fantastic Dutch guy, two Canadians and a dude from Idaho. I think it turned out OK.

This photo angle, popular with many Americans in their 20s and 30s should be an easy spot for many. Claimed to be “The highest Irish-owned pub on the planet,” at 11,156ft, Paddy’s Pub in Cusco lingers joyfully on the corner of Plaza de Armas. It ended up being a pretty decent eatery, as well.

Fumble number 2, being without a D.E.N.N.I.S. System note card… #failx2