Sunday Feb 22, 2011

Magic! There´s no other word for it. It was just magic! Better than the articles I’d read, the photos I’d seen, the travel programmes I’d watched. Better than any of us had ever expected. Machu Pïcchu, the Lost City of the Incas, has to be seen to be believed … and we Kiwis saw it yesterday in all its glory!

You’re gonna have to wait another day or two for a full report on this remarkable part of the world – and you’re gonna have to wait to see the take-your-breath-away photos Robyn and I have been snapping: of Cuzco (Peru) where this all started … the Sacred Valley of the Incas (teetering mountains, vertical cliffs, deep dark gorges and raging torrents) … the vast unfinished 600-year-old Inca construction perched high on the slopes at Machu Picchu, surrounded by sick-making sheer drops … the stunning birdlife we’ve eyeballed in this rainforest (woodpeckers, hummingbirds, the brilliant red Cock of the Rock (Peru’s National bird) … and lots more.

I can’t show you now, because I left my laptop back in Cuzco with my big suitcase, not expecting to get connected to the Internet in such a remote place in the middle of the Andes. But I was wrong – and this is coming to you courtesy of the free access available in our hotel.

As expected, the high altitude (and lack of oxygen) got to us, especially over the first day or two – leaving us all a bit breathless, headachey, heavy-footed (especially when walking uphill or up steps, etc) the usual symptoms – but most of us have adjusted well.

Regrettably, Jackie and Peter ended up going back to Cuzco (Jackie couldn’t shake the cold/cough/chest infection that she’d picked up on the ship) … but we expect to be reunited with them tomorrow.

Enough for now! We’ve got to go on an eco-walk through the ‘cloud forest’ … and then catch a mountain train.

Later … JOHN