Today has been my most action packed day in Peru so far, but it is just the start of the busy part of my trip. Tomorrow morning, I am going to be doing a 4-day/3-night trip to Machu Picchu followed immediately by a 3-day/2-night trip to the Apurimac River. I doubt I’ll be posting much at all for the next week, but I will be taking pics, videos, and writing offline.
I feel super fortunate that things have really seemed to fall into place for me now (literally). In my first two days here, I did a lot of adjusting and a lot of solo meditating. I didn’t really talk to many people, but I didn’t really want to either, which is somewhat abnormal for me lately (I even skipped the beer pong tournament o.O). I guess people could really read the aura I was giving off cause I didn’t talk to them and they didn’t talk to me.
Today was different though. it was all about action—in stark contrast to the past two days which have been totally focused on planning and thinking. I also gave off a much better aura so was a lot friendlier as well, making literally quadruple the number of friends I had made up to this point.
The day started off with a trip to the Mayuc office here in Plaza de Arma just to get some information. I went in with the full intention of just booking a one day rafting trip to one of the closer rivers, since all the prices listed for the Apurimac River excursions were almost $500 USD. However, after talking to them, I got a killer special which knocked the price down to 500 SOLES, which is a phenomenal price. Immediately I really wanted to go, but I was a bit concerned since the three day trip only leaves on Wednesdays and Sundays, the only time frame that fit for me was the day right after my 4-day Machu Picchu Trek. I told them that I would think about it, and planned on coming back later.
Next was bungee jumping at Action Valley, the highest bungee in South America and the 3rd highest in the world. It was friggin awesome (and only like a 20 minute drive). I wanted to get GoPro footage, but I wasn’t allowed to because it was “dangerous”. I did manage to get a sweet ground video and some photos taken by friends that I met there (these will come when I get better wifi and once they get emailed to me).
The worst part of the jump was stepping onto the ledge and just standing there right before going. Luckily I didn’t look down because I think I would have lost my nerve. I don’t remember seeing anything for the first 3 seconds—I think I may have shut my eyes. I felt sheer terror, but it quickly transformed into pure elation. I don’t know how to describe it… just awesome. The jump was only $65 which I thought was well worth it, but if I had to do it again, I would probably do the slingshot jump (taking off from the ground) as well. If I could only do one though, it would have to be the bungee. Maybe it was the adrenaline, but it was immediately after the jump that I decided to do the 3-day rafting trip for sure.
I came back from the jump and booked a night at Loki for the day after my trek, just to streamline things. I then went and talked to Ecopackers to see if I could drop my stuff off there before my rafting trip and book four nights afterwards. It was totally fine, but I think it may have been cheaper to book first online.
I counted up all the money I had left, and made some rough estimates for my expenses for the rest of my trip so I could make a single withdrawal. I then had to goto an ATM and withdraw like 1000 soles, but the stupid thing would only let me withdraw 500 at a time to smack me with double the fees :c. I was kind of in a rush, so I didn’t really want to deal with trying to find a different one. I was hungry and wanted to be sure to get back to Mayuc in time to schedule my trip. When I arrived, there was a different person at the desk though and she wanted to charge me the original price of $480 USD. I explained what the other person had told me that morning, and she told me to come back in an hour.
At this point, I felt really frustrated out because I thought I overpaid at Ecopackers, I felt cheated by the Scotiabank ATM, and I thought my hopes of this second part of my trip were about to be dashed. I was just really bummed because all of the timing (and price) for everything just looked too good to be true. I went and grabbed the most anti-Peruvian food I could find close by… a burger at Patty’s Pub, the self-proclaimed “Highest 100% Irish Owned Pub in the World” because I was angry at this country, haha. The burger was cheap and actually pretty good, too.
When I made my way back to Mayuc, there was another supervisor there. At first, she was reluctant and said the price for the trip was $480. But then I explained my situation to her, specifically mentioning that I came in at 1pm and was offered a special deal. She then said that her partner must have been in, and agreed to book the trip for me for 500 soles. I thanked her graciously and was happy again.
The only thing left on my schedule was a briefing at Loki before my trip. I signed up and paid $30 for zip lining already. After bungee though, I didn’t want to zip cause there’s zero chance it can compare. I showed up about half an hour before the briefing to see if I could get that part refunded (nope). The guys at the desk said that I was the only one scheduled to attend the briefing too, as I sat down to read my kindle and wait. I was honestly shocked, and thought that a private tour could be pretty cool, but also kind of lonely for four-days. I went over the pros and cons in my head, and accepted it as fact although I wasn’t the happiest about it. When the guide arrived though, he clarified, saying that I was just the only one leaving from Loki, and I was the only GUY, not the only person. There are going to be eight girls on this tour… and me.