Ok so once the doctor told me I was ok for the trek I started looking forward to it again. I was still unable to eat and let the guide know that, however I don’t think he grasped how bad I was. In fairness I didn’t either. There was only four of us in our group, the other couple being from the Netherlands. The first day of the jungle trek involved mountain biking downhill and optional white water rafting. The rafting was a part of the reason for booking Peru. I was so looking forward to it.
We travelled for over an hour to get to the beginning of the biking trail. We had a stopover where we made friends with an Irish guy and his French girlfriend. They booked through another company but our paths would cross a couple of times over the next few days.
We were given our protective clothing and helmets. I felt a bit like Darth Vader in my helmet. We started our descent I was a bit slow at first. My gears weren’t great and I got stuck behind someone for ten minutes. The views weee amazing though. Our group pulled in, to see what our hold up was, so I was able to get a bit further ahead. There were a few groups on the same journey so I was getting over taken and at times over taking people myself. At one point it was raining and I loved it. You could see the heat rising and yet it was raining. Going around the bends I took it easy as I wasn’t taking any chances of hitting on coming traffic.
I really enjoyed cycling however after not being able to eat for a few days my energy started to sag. The gears weren’t great on the bike also at times. The hills had evened out and we were now cycling on flat surfaces. I was wrecked by the time I arrived at where the groups had gathered. I sat down and rested for five minutes before we set on our way to our hostel. At this stage I started to feel sick and was worrying about whether I would be able to raft or not.
We went to a lovely restaurant where the meals looked lovely and I was told they tasted good too. I had the joys of just water. We were then shown to our hostel which gave us private double rooms. This was such a relief for me as the parasite has accompanied me on this trek and I would need a private wc.
The white water rafting was optional and I decided to do it as I would have regretted it a lot if I hadn’t. We don’t have the rapids in Ireland to try this and I had opted for this trek instead of the classic Inca trail for that purpose. It also helped that the jungle is a lot cheaper than the classic and had more fun options.
We were given our helmets, mine came with a go-pro attachment. Unfortunately I still have yet to go through a lot of my footage! We put our life jackets on and made our way to the river. There they divided us into English and Spanish speaking groups. I can’t remember the name of our leader but he seemed to be in charge of all four rafts. He was very strict but when you take water safety into account you can understand why. He went through everything a few times and then we set out. I have to say I tried really hard with paddling but for some reason when it came to back paddle I constantly got confused! I did put every ounce of energy I had into it though.
I enjoyed it I have to say. The times when the water is quiet you get to take in your surroundings and listen to the birds above. Our leader relaxed a bit and asked us questions about where we were from. All four groups pulled in halfway through the trip and we were able to jump in the river if we like. I opted out as I still wasn’t 100% and I’m not a strong swimmer anyway. My friend jumped in however she wasn’t aware that you have to swim to the side and got a fright as the river carried her a distance. She eventually made it back into the raft but she was shook. It also turns out whilst in the river she was attacked by numerous mosquito’s so she had no luck on this adventure!
After a couple more rapids our journey came to an end. However one of the minibus had engine problems so the men had to stay behind with the women going back to our hostels. I made a friend on the way back, a girl from Donegal called Claire who was travelling home from Oz via South America. I enjoyed hearing some of her stories of places they had been. Later on I opted out of joining the groups for dinner as I still wasn’t right and stayed in my room. This was to be the case for the next few meals unfortunately. The only way I could get energy was by sleeping and with that I was asleep by 9pm that night. Hardly the experience I had thought I would have when booking this trip! The next day was our long trek day…