So got up in the morning and staggered back to the airport and flew to Cuszco, dosing up on altitude sickness pills so I wasn`t yakking all over my shoes for the first couple of days. At Cuszco airport we had to run the gamut of taxi drivers and eventually managed to get a lift to Urubamba - a little Andean mountain town convenient for the Inca Trail and Macchu Picchu, which I wanted to get to before the trek. This involved my first long road trip. At the time of writing I am inured to the terror of Peruvian driving having been in too many long bus journeys. But on that day it was utterly terrifying. The man in the cab had a happy smiling face on his rearview mirror, perhaps with the idea of filling us with comfort. I made a Peruvian highway code.
1. Honk at dogs. Stop for pigs.
2. All cars are your enemy.
3. If possible, only overtake enemies on corners.
4. The enemy side of the road is the best side to drive on. Do this unless they force you to move.
5. Only change your beams to full when an enemy car is coming the other way.
6. If you cannot overtake, attempt to lock bumpers with your enemy.
7. You aren´t honking enough. Do it more.
8. Play Dire Straits on the radio. (This is also true in aeroplanes, although The Thompson Twins will do in a pinch.)
9. Never ever ever let an enemy overtake you unless on the inside.
Here is a piccy of our nice taxi. Note the car in front trailing twigs onto the road. These twigs are not being transported. They are being used to make it harder for enemy cars to overtake.
Urubamba is a very typical Andean town, and I took loads of snaps of things like walls and people dressed in the Peruvian standards. If France was like Peru then everyone in France would cycle around with berets, moustaches and strings of garlic. The people outside the towns wear the stereotypical clothes - really bright colours, Alpaca, hats - you know the stuff.
I started to get to know the people we would be trekking with. So many people. I had no idea. 43 people. Yowza.