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30 MAY - Puno, Peru

Date: Wed May 31 2000, 05:31 AM PDT

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    I am currently in a town called Puno, on the shores of Lake Titicaca. I arrived by bus this afternoon. Puno is a big town, but the views of the lake are nice.

    Yesterday I finished the Inca Trail and made it to Machu Picchu, the ancient Inca city. Machu Picchu is as impressive as everyone says it is. The trail itself is also very beautiful, with lush green mountains surrounded by white peaks, with Incan ruins scattered about.

    I was expecting the trek to be fairly straightforward, but leave it to me to me to create my own adventure. The final day I decided to take a detour and take the old trail to Machu Picchu. At first the trail was overgrown but easy to follow, but after an hour or so it quickly turned into a nightmare. The "trail" followed a water pipeline, and I don't think it was intended to be hiked. I think it was created when the pipeline was installed. The trail was cut into a steep slope, and every few steps my feet would break through the leaves and I would sink to my waist. At times I had to take my backpack off to climb down trees. At one point I came to a small cliff (about 10ft. high) with two logs rigged as a bridge. I got halfway across and SNAP, down I went. I lost my digital camera and waterbottle in the fall, but eventually found the camera. I eventually retreated by bushwacking myself down until I found the real trail. My legs are very sore now.

    Tomorrow I do a quick tour of Uros, the touristy floating islands, then start biking to Copacabana, Bolivia.


  • Copyright 2000 Peter Birch All Rights Reserved.