Monday, 27 September 2010
Monday 8.30am and I am completely knackered!!! Whatever happened to feeling relaxed and refreshed after the weekend? I should cocoa!! Not that I didn't have a good weekend, I did, well...a good Sunday at least, I came into the office on Saturday and worked a solid 5 hours and then went home and gave my apartment a good scrubbing before collapsing in a heap on the sofa and catching up on last week's TV that was cluttering up my DVR. Season premier of Hawaii Five-O anyone???? I so wasn't impressed I can tell you that for nothing. Alex O'Loughlin may well be an outright hottie, but talk about wooden acting. Terrible. I tried watching 'The Event' after that, but after 20minutes I hit the delete button and settled in to watch Bones instead, a show that has yet to let me down. Sunday was a bit more fun as I met up with Melissa to head over to the DUMBO Arts Festival weekend in Brooklyn. I love love love the Dumbo Arts Festival weekend, although I wish I had more photos to share with you of street performers and what not, but there just didn't seem to be as much going on outside as there was in previous years, or perhaps we just missed it, although we were there for most of Sunday and we did see some great art in the open studios, including these gorgeous photographs by Luis Fabini and enjoyed a delicious brunch at Vinegar Hill House, even if the portions were on the skinny girl side.
So as promised from the title of this post I'm going to tell you all about our tour of the Sacred Valley of the Incas, also known as the Urabamba Valley which we took on Wednesday, one day before we would begin the Inca Trail. Wednesday was also the day I started popping the altitude sickness pills ready for the exertions over the next few days.
En route to the Urabamba Valley we stopped in to visit a community supported by Gap Adventures' Planeterra organization which began in 2003 "dedicated to the development and support of small communities around the globe". Originally established in 2003, Planeterra has "evolved out of a long history of travelers committed to finding ways to give back to the people and places they visit". In other words, it's pretty cool!!
To get to the community we drove up a narrow winding road with hairpin bends that gave me the willies. I thought for sure we would skid in the dust on one of the tight corners and our minibus careen over the side of the mountain. I had a death grip on the seat in front of me, it was quite traumatic, although further trauma awaited me when I arrived at the community and was bursting to use the bathroom, which was essentially a hut with one of those hole in the ground loos - ohhh how I hate those, but needs must!!! Not to get too personal, but despite having gone to the bathroom less than an hour earlier - I'm a big fan of the safety wee, I always go just in case - and having drunk absolutely no liquid whatsoever I peed like a race horse. Weird!!
At Planeterra we learned how the community used natural ingredients to dye the alpaca wool different colours.
I forget what he said was used to dye the wool yellow at the Planeterra community, but he did inform us that some communities used human urine!!
Gap Adventures apparently matches the amount of any purchase you make at one of their communities. The only issue is that at that point in the trip we'd been required to pack according to the 6kg limit our Inca Trail porters would carry, and let's just say I was pretty close to the limit, so any additional purchases would have pushed the packing over the edge, but I did buy a lovely scarf...a GREEN scarf. I steered well clear of the yellow just in case.
Back on the bus and no sooner had we left the community than I felt the need to use the bathroom again. "I don't know what's wrong with me," I said to Melissa, "but I've only just been and I need the loo AGAIN. That's 3 times in 2 hours - and we're not talking a mere trickle here - but I haven't drunk so much as a drop of water, it's weird."
"It's the altitude sickness pills," she responded, "they have a diuretic effect."
"Um, say again...diuretic?? Why didn't you tell me this before I took them?"
"Why didn't you read the leaflet about the potential side effects when you picked up your prescription?"
Good point!! Why didn't I read the leaflet about the side effects? Because I'm an idiot that's why!! The last thing I needed while hiking the Inca Trail was to be stopping every 15 minutes to squat behind a bush!! Oh no no no no, that would never do!! Perhaps I would risk the altitude and stop taking them!! Perhaps!!
Anyway I was hoping to post more about our Sacred Valley tour, but I'm cream crackered folks. I didn't sleep well last night and I was up early to be in work by 7am, I left at 7pm to hit the gym despite my gym buddy, Megan, being away on business in Oregon. I'm pretty proud I made it to be honest, because I sooooooo nearly ditched, however it's also a testament to my instructor John that I made it, he's great and teaches a fantastic class. Anyway, laters!!