And then there were five-The Inca Trail Continued

June 14, 2008

It is amazing how quickly we have fallen into a daily pattern here in Cuzco. We do nothing quickly, but end each day feeling like we did a million things! I guess that is because doing something as small as buying a phone card is an adventure! Today started with a light breakfast before the three others took off to get more backpacking stuff. I had some pocketmail issues to sort out and wanted to check my email, so I took care of all of that. I loved getting the emails from you guys! Thank you so much for all of the support!

PS- Because of Pocketmail and international phone line issues, I am having to filter these emails through the shop, so if you want to send me a reply, please re-address it to

After all the logistics were taken care of, I walked out of the gate of our hotel and looked up to the right. Half a block above me, the road turns into the steepest street I have ever seen….so steep that the sidewalk is actually steps curving up and out of view. I have been wanting to climb up there, but had not had the chance. Well, there is no time like the present! I unfolded my hiking poles and up I went.

It was the weirdest thing…it was like the first step was the begining of a strictly native section of Cuzco. No tourists, no vendors and no souvevnir shops. I climbed 50 steps at a time, stopping to catch my breath between. At 217 steps, I reached the top and was treated to a gorgeous view of the city. I have climbed lots more steps then that while working out a home, but let me tell you, in this altitude, I felt proud to do the 217! As I was huffing and puffing my way up, a little, tiny old woman on the other side of the street chattered away at me in Spanish, pointing toward the top of the hill. When I laughed and nodded my head, she just smiled and shook hers. I wonder what she actually said to me? 

After descending, I went off to spend a few minutes sitting on the church steps before finding the rest of the gals. We headed off to lunch at this beautiful restaurant over looking the Shaman’s shop. I stopped in to make another appointment and was thrilled to hear that he would see me at 4:00.

As we were finishing lunch, I saw a woman eating by herself and told the others, “Would’t it be funny if she was on our tour?”. So…. I went up and asked her! Turns out that she is!!!!! How cool is that? So, in a flurry of introductions, our little group of four has become five.  Natalie is from New Zealand by was of the UK and is just as cool as she can be. She has traveled all over the world by herself and is only 25!! I told her that I was’nt half as cool as her when I was that age. We all like her very much, and I am glad that we hooked up. 

After lunch, I went back to see the Shaman to get my reading done. He used ceremonial coca tea leaves and it was fascinating! He looks like a Native American, with long black hair, a beautifully chiseled face and the most wonderful gnarled fingers. He had me pick out 7 leaves, then held each up to the candle and studied it intensely before he told me what it means. It was the most in depth, intuitive reading I have ever had done and I learned a lot from it. And I am really, really glad that I did it.
(EDITOR’S NOTE: Am I the only one howling here because Anna didn’t dish the details!!!! 😉 )

Sharon also had a fascinating reading after which she, I and Natalie wandered through some shops and churches before landing at the local Irish Pub. Yep! You heard that right…there is an Irish Pub here in town! We had a lot of fun laughing, talking and eating greasy food with Deb and Julia. It was a great end to a wonderful day.

Today was our last day on our own…tomorrow we meet up with the rest of our group. I can’t wait to tell you how that goes! 
Until then, Love, Anna

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