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And so we leave the mountains with all the memories of the beautiful vistas, hotsprings, chinchillas, alpacas, cactus and trailfuckers.

Day 6: A birdie for goodbye )

I am now in the Lima airport and can´t wait to come back to South America. As I have not yet left it, this says a lot.
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Okay, chinchillas are yesterday´s news. What do our heroines do when they run out of air and are seriously asked by their young punk of a guide why they´re so slow? Well, they don´t cook him up like a cuy; they merely threaten to fit him with lead weights and an anti-oxygen mask.

Day 4: Diane, have you seen my lungs? )
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And what do our hapless heroines do when it starts to snow? And really, do chinchillas even exist?

Day 3: Altitude and attitude poisoning )
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And the adventure continues! Do they see chinchillas? Do they find an arriero? What is UP with those three people, anyway?

Day 2: You forgot the WHAT? )
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...before my brain turns off due to too much oxygen. Oh my godz, I can breathe again. I´m killing time in the Lima airport and can breathe.

So, what did I do on my Peruvian holiday after limpingly conquering the Inca Trail?

Day 1: Not stinky in Tinqui! )
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The bulk of this post is going to have to wait until I´m not shivering in a little open-air internet cafe in a tiny village close to Tinqui. Suffice to say that Ausengate was absolutely gorgeous and probably the hardest hike I´ve ever done. It didn´t help that we had an 18 year old guide with Peruvian lungs and no comprehension about sea-level senoritas. At the top of the KILLER third day pass (a mere 17,000 feet), he sat at the top with his faithful mountain pony, Paloma, wondering why we were so slow.

Two 15,000 (or more) passes the previous day.

Two nights at hot springs. SCORE!

Five days avoiding the only other group on the trail (barring a couple of Canadians we glimpsed twice but never were close enough to speak to). My memories of Ausengate will be forever entwined with three people who are the biggest entitlement whores in history.

You have no idea.

I called them the "Trailfuckers" and offended them every day by my very presence and by wishing them a cheerful good morning whenever they passed by. This whole trip is gonna take some writing, from incredible vistas, to nonstop panting to get air, to naked hotspringing with people who hate me for the language I speak. Not kidding. We got a lot of mileage out of those bozos and luckily didn´t see them often.

Back to Cusco on the 8:00 bus. We won´t pull into town for a while, so I probably won´t update until I hit the Lima airport.


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Jen Kleis

November 2014



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