In general I have been sleeping pretty well in Peru, apart from the first week of adjusting to the altitude and a few nights during my Inka Trail Trek. I never sleep past 6am, but I don't usually have trouble falling or staying asleep...until just now! I went to bed around 10pm and now it is just after 2am, and I've been laying wide awake for at least an hour. This makes no sense, because
1. I haven't had more than 4-5 hours sleep the last two nights due to late nights and early mornings
2. I just expended more energy yesterday than I have since the Inka Trail.
Since I'm awake anyway I'll tell you about that great adventure!
There are some pretty nifty Inka ruins and salt mines around Chinchero, a bit of a drive outside Cusco. I have really wanted to see them since I first arrived, but I was really turned off bus tours after my super-touristy/boring city tour bus experience in January. Enter Peru Path, the non-profit tour company that I used for my Inka Trail Trek. These guys are so great at what they do; super knowledgeable about the Inkan history, fun, laid-back, helpful...AND the company supports education in needy local communities! What's not to love?
I shot off an email to my Inka Trail guide to inquire about whether they had tours to the Moras Moray sites, and received a quick affirmative. Before I knew it, I was getting together a group of students from my Spanish school for an all-day mountain bike tour!
This is especially funny to those that know that I haven't been on a bike in years, and I'm pretty sure I've never been mountain biking in my life.
However, I was determined that this was the best way to go because you really get to experience the countryside and it would be a personal challenge.
I was warned by one of the school staff that it was "difficult", but in my ignorance I thought, "how hard can it really be?".
Well, for one thing the seat was very hard, as my poor bruised bottom is now telling me!
And yes, it was really, really challenging, and I walked my bike up most of the hills...but at 3,500 meters above sea level, I'm going to blame at least a little bit of the rapid heartbeat and lung combustion on the altitude ;)
The good news is that I really loved the experience, and was inspired to give mountain biking a try back at home. Of the 4 friends that joined me on the tour, all of them had biking experience and admitted it was a tough trail. I didn't quite keep up, but I really pushed myself, and I think all you lovelies at home would be pretty impressed with what I tackled! Some of it was really steep, and pretty technical (again, I walked the worst of it!), but I was especially thrilled with the downhill sections where you are whipping down the hill, dodging rocks, and navigating the twists and turns. It took a lot of concentration and I had a few close calls where I almost wiped out, but in the end I just couldn't wipe the smile off my face!
The historical sites were very cool, interesting, and I am really glad I visited them, but now I'm convinced mountain biking is the only worthwhile way to get there! Just say no to bus tours!