I’m in Thailand! It took 5 flights, 29 hours in the air, and 52 hours of travel time through 4 countries, but we’re here! We’ve been living on a communal farm for a week, in a dorm room with 12 girls in bunk beds (kind of like summer camp?). We were in Chiang Mai City for 4 days before coming here, but our extreme jetlag limited our exploration (but it’s okay we’ll be back there for Thanksgiving next week). The past few days we’ve been learning how to make compost, making pig feed, learning about seed germination, killing catfish and cooking it in bamboo, and harvesting seeds to store in the seed bank. Tomorrow morning we’re moving in with new host families, where we’ll be living for the next three weeks and working on their farms.
But, back to Peru, since it was so awesome. We flew into Cusco on Halloween, and then I met up with Sosanna (yay Hingham friends!!) on Sunday, who gave me a little tour of the local parts of the city. Cusco might be my favorite city yet, so I need to go back there eventually!
Anyway, Machu Picchu: day one was hiking across plains with horses and then basically straight up a mountain to 15,000 feet through mud and rain and then frozen rain and then snow wearing $3 ponchos with an amazing view of mountains on mountains on mountains. We had 10 horses walking along with us carrying all our camping gear and food, so that was wonderful. We stopped for lunch in a tent and then finished the 9 hour hike in a valley where we camped for the night surrounded by glaciers. After the clouds finally cleared up after sunset the sky was full of stars way brighter than I’ve ever imagined. That night was super cozy under literally 4 sweaters inside my sleeping bag since it was 30 degrees with lots of cuddling. Ironically, we got up super early the next two days to avoid the heat and mosquitoes/sand flies (unsuccessfully…. more on that later). The rest of the hike was mostly down hill, with more views of mountains on mountains. Our next campsite was next to three hot springs, but it was located in the nesting grounds of sand flies (then two girls had swollen legs for 5 days because of an infection/allergic reaction… The flights were exciting and featured lots of compression socks). The last day we walked along the railroad tracks for the last leg of the trip for four hours, and ended up in the cutest city Aguas Calientes for the last night. Machu Picchu itself was amazing, wonderful, awesome, impressive, beautiful etc. Hannah and I tried very hard to take some selfies with llamas, we were partially successful. The ancient city itself was crowded with lots of other travelers, but still one of the coolest places I’ve ever been.
But now I’m in Thailand, where we’ve been taking Thai classes and eating lots of amazing food (rice yes, plantains no (thank god)). I can’t wait to meet more members of the community in the host families, and I’ll try to blog again in the next few weeks!