machu picchu peru hike la playa

Day 3: Rainforest & Puppytown

On day 3, I woke up in tons of pain, but at least I felt hungry and had an appetite again. Miraculously, my tummy was almost back to normal. Once again, Immodium worked its magic. Even though I could barely move, we only had half a day of walking ahead of us, so I felt I could do it.

Starting off on Day 3
Following the river

We started along a dirt road from our campsite, then our guide Alex, just starts going off the road down the side of a cliff along a narrow, steep dirt path. Are you kidding me?? Somehow, we made it down to the valley to catch our path for the day, which flows along the river.

It was a day of beautiful, tropical, rainforest scenery. Lush greens, colorful flowers and there were butterflies everywhere. First, we saw little fuzzy white caterpillars all over the place, and then there were butterflies everywhere. It was like a movie.

Lush greenery
One of the several waterfalls we crossed

We followed the river mostly the entire time, passing waterfalls we had to cross by walking over tiny wooden bridges or by tip toeing over wet rocks. Every once in a while we would pass by a wooden hut with some chickens, a rooster, mule or dog hanging out outside. At one hut, we bought some grenadillas, a local fruit that the boys described as delicious but I was less enthusiastic about. It tasted ok, but the texture resembled mucus or brains. Yum.

A grenadilla. Yea, you eat that.
Breaktime. For us, not the mule.

At one point, Alex almost made me shit my pants when he said we had to cross the river by hopping into a flimsy wooden cart suspended by an old, rusty cable. Turns out, we could just do that for “fun” if we wanted to. Fun???

The path wound up and down the mountain, so it was actually kind of nice to have that variety after going straight down the entire day before. And I was quite proud of the way I was able to power through it despite my barely-functioning muscles. For awhile, I was actually in the lead.

I was on a roll, flying up and down that mountain until we finally finished the trail and got to the flat dirt road, 2 km from our campsite. At that point, I lost all momentum and energy. I barely made it, hobbling to La Playa, our site for the day.

But the road did go through some cute small towns, filled with small wooden huts, surrounded by chickens, pigs (and piglets!), puppies and cats. The locals probably thought I was a moron, taking photos of the pigs.

Moron or not, I got a good shot of the pigs

We spent the rest of the day hanging out at La Playa, which I like to call puppy town because there were dozens of adorable little puppies running around. We even had the luxury of a shower. A shower of freezing cold water that I barely braved to rinse off a little. Then we ordered some Cuzquena beer, played cards and ate the feast Jorge makes for us every day. He even snuck us a cuy (guinea pig), which the boys tried but I passed on.

La Playa…
…aka puppytown

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