The Inca Trail Day 4 – Hooray for Machu Picchu!

Day 4 – 8km, 3.10am start, we were told no stairs. They lied.

I really enjoyed this part of the trek. The end was near, the trail was foggy and mysterious, and I’d finally slept the night before, thanks to Hetesh, the doctor in the group who’d given me a Valium.

I was with Budd and Katan, moving at a fast pace, through the fog, around tight corners, up Inca stairs, through ruins, discussing our thoughts of the experience.

I was worried about what my reaction to Machu Picchu would be – would I make it through these 4 tough days only to get to Machu Picchu and be disappointed with an ‘ all this for a bunch of fucken rocks and grass’ attitude?

Thankfully, I am pleased to say that when I did eventually make it to Machu Picchu, I was blown away by these ruins, the second best I’ve seen. It was beautiful. The grass, the well placed rocks serving different primitive purposes, the background of clouds and mountains. The alpaca’s grazing. I spent five snap happy hours in this lost city. And now that the trek was over I was very very happy to have finished. Sure I smelt like a camel, and I was probably going to have knee-joint issue’s from the never-ending downhill Inca stone stairs. But it was an amazing unforgetable experience and I had no regrets. Now that it was over.

I learnt a lot about the serpent, puma and the condor, which represents the past, present and future in Peruvian mythology. 4 days of trekking and 3 sleepless nights had given me a lot of time to think about all the things I appreciated in my ‘normal’ life. I learnt that walking up 2000 Inca steps in 4300m altitude did not necessarily make me a better person. If anything it made me a slightly worse, meaner person on the second day.

I have a really great, comfortable, life back home in Sydney. And if anything the pain and discomfort of doing something this hard makes you really appreciate the big ‘easy’. And a good toilet.

Or as my best friend Dale put it ‘I guess sometimes you have to put yourself out of your comfort zone to really appreciate how much you enjoy being in your comfort zone and how being out of your comfort zone sucks goats testicular glands.’

Ms J – Weekend in Singapore

My good girlfriend Ms J and I like having a few cold ones. In fact, we love it!

So when I made the decision to spend the weekend visiting her in Singapore, I apologised to my liver before-hand.. having had many liquid lunches and dinners with Ms J in Sydney that involved laughter, massive memory loss, and an aching, oversized, swelled up liver, I wasn’t expecting any less from an impromptu meet up overseas in a foreign land.

A couple of Ms J moments that spring to mind are the unplanned marathon karaoke sessions where Gloria Gaynor’s ‘ I Will Survive’ is belted out in succession, 17 times! But I only ever remember singing it once. And I may remember stealing microphones off others in selfish, drunk, attempts to complete duets on my own.

And then there was the time Ms J and I had several casual drinks of vodka and an extensive gas-bag in my courtyard one sunny afternoon. My flatmate said to me the next morning ‘It was so funny, I came home in the evening and you both were sitting outside in the dark, deep in conversation having a great old-time, but neither of you were making ANY sense..’

With this in mind, it didn’t come as a surprise when directly after arriving in Singapore, while still in the taxi straight from the airport, Ms J turns to me and asks ‘We’re going to make a quick stop off at the supermarket on the way home… what would you like to drink?’