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Knebworth House Garden Show

Knebworth House Garden Show

Last weekend I headed to Knebworth House for their Garden Show. I am a sucker for garden shows, events and centres. I do have one slight issues however, I can’t garden.

My Granddad was a keen gardener, focusing mostly on fruits and vegetables. He was a pro at it, trying to teach me for many years but I never did pick it up. Without getting my hands dirty I am pretty terrible, I don’t think my Granddad ever trusted me to lay my hands on his crops. I always let him work his magic whilst I sat and watched, then ate the rewards afterwards.

My Nanna is a pro in the flower department. Now my granddad is sadly no longer with us, the vegetable patch has reduced significantly and the rest of the garden is my Nanna’s colourful paradise. In an attempt to live on my Granddad’s skills, I started with a very small patch of herbs and kale (obviously). The flower department however, I think I will leave that to my Nan.

Whenever I have tried to grow plants I simply kill them off in a matter of weeks. I had a beautiful in-house plant that needed watering once a week; killed that off. I even had a cactus once. I wouldn’t say I killed that one, but fair to say it had it’s way with me. After far too many pricks in my hand, legs and arms, he had to go.

Now I go to garden shows, centres and events just to admire the pretty plants and dream of one day being able to grow my own plant paradise. The thought of being able to grow all my own vegetables, at least, would be absolutely amazing. Call me quack-ers, but it’s true. Nothing beats home-grown produce. Satiety, nourishment and fulfilment, let alone money saving! The flower department would be beautiful, but I think I’ll start with the produce. If you have any tips or advice I would be very grateful.

 

Ashridge Estate – Hertfordshire

Ashridge Estate – Hertfordshire

The Ashridge Estate and Autumn Colours Trail

What a place.

As a fully fledged National Trust member, I love to take advantage of this and find new great places to visit. This week I woke up to a gorgeous foggy day, not too cold, and with Autumn is full bloom I wanted to get outdoors and explore. Also, with the dark nights now setting in I am determined to get as much day light as I can. As Winter approaches it is far too easy to stay in and get depressed from a lack of Vitamin D!

I went onto the National Trust website and found places to visit in my county; this lead me to Ashridge.

The website has a selection of walks you can do but as it’s Autumn, it made sense to do the Autumn Colours Trail.

https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/ashridge-estate/lists/self-led-walks-at-ashridge

5.9 miles (9.4 km) – Moderate Level – Dog friendly

The walk is absolutely stunning. One moment you’re immersed in colourful woodlands of oranges, greens, yellows and browns, then you turn a corner and you’re welcomed by great open fields. Want to see Deer? Five minutes into our walk we saw our first herd! I couldn’t believe it. By the end of the walk we had seen a total of four herds.

The walk was beautiful and we got to see deer, cows, squirrels and riders on horse back. It was stunning.

Unfortunately there is one downfall to this walk and that is the signing.

Online and in the Store you are able to get a copy of instructions and a map. The problem is that the trail isn’t well sign posted so it is quite easy to get confused as to where you are going. We stumbled across many other confused walkers, on the same route as us, whom we had to confer with as to where we should be going. Although much confusion on the walk, we did end up completing  the trail and made it out before dark.

It is a bit unnerving being lost in a woodland, especially in the Autumn when daylight is short, but with so many other walkers around I’m sure you couldn’t get completely lost.

Overall the Estate and surrounding areas are absolutely stunning. It is a great location for walking, a picnic, a dog walk and so on. I will definitely be returning again and I will be less anxious about getting lost.

If you are in the Herts area or near by, it’s definitely a must see. There are lots of people there exploring the woodlands, it’s free of charge and is a brilliant day out for all.

P.S. If you happen to get lost and stumble across this cute house, turn left and you’re almost at then end.

Enjoy and thanks for reading 🙂

Tips for Travelling South America

Tips for Travelling South America

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Tips for Travelling South America.

I spent just over three months travelling South America and there were a few things I wish I had known before going out there, and things I did know but chose not to listen to. Now I have been and experienced it myself I realise I was stupid not to have taken note and am now offering advice that I ignored, plus some extra bits I wish I had known before hand. Please don’t do what I did and ignore this, it’s all important and it will save you a lot of stress, money and time in doing so.

Enjoy your trip and stay safe.

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Yellow fever/ Vaccinations: One of my biggest, most recommended pieces of advice is to get your yellow fever injection! Don’t do what I did and leave your injection to the last week. Your yellow fever injection is only valid 10 days after you have had it done and for a few countries in Central and South America it is essential for you to have it to get in to the country. If you don’t have a valid certificate with you (this is provided when you get your injection) you will be refused entry into the country and sent on a return flight home (this happened to a girl when I was there!!). So go to your Pharmacist (Boots do it) or local Travel Clinic and get all medications and injections you need; way in advance!!

Learn Spanish: This was advice I heard from everyone before leaving for South America and did I listen? Nope! Should I have listened? Yes! In South America the people do not speak English; I promise you. If you want to get around, use public transport, order food, get directions, book a room etc (which of course, you will) then you need to speak Spanish. Even if you know a few basics, it will help you out A LOT! Get yourself a dictionary, phrase book, some phone apps and/ or take some classes. It will definitely be worth it.

Get a money belt: these are fantastic for keeping your valuables safe. Pop it under your clothes and keep your money, cards and passport in it. These are great for when on public transport and if you fall asleep especially. They are hidden and no one can access them apart from you.

Keep your valuables on you: when on public transport always have your valuable on you, i.e. not in your main backpack that is in storage. Keep a padlock on your day pack and keep all items you don’t want stolen in here. Keep it close to you and always take it with you, everywhere you go.

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Carry minimal items on you: this is really important, especially when in big cities or going to the beach for example. When you are out and about you don’t want to stand out and you don’t want to look rich. Leave your valuables in a safe in your hotel/ hostel and only carry the necessary items with you. Don’t wear nice jewellery because that will make you a target and if you’re going to the beach only bring essential items with you. The last thing you want is to have you camera stolen or any of your important possessions.

Be prepared for all weather: the weather can change a lot in South America, not only in the day but between countries. Come prepared for wind, rain, sunshine and ice. Wooly hats, warm gloves, hiking shoes, flip flops, rain coats, jumpers, bikinis; the lot. It’s annoying but you will need them all!

Bring a Go Pro or Waterproof camera: I didn’t bring one and I wish I had. My DSLR was fantastic but when it’s raining or if you visit waterfalls, lakes etc, a waterproof camera would be ideal.

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Bring a dry bag: As noted above, I didn’t have a waterproof camera but I did have a dry bag. This came in handy as I could keep my phone, camera and other valuables in it when on the water / or near water and I didn’t have to worry about anything getting damaged.

Get a decent day backpack: very helpful and useful. A decent day bag about 25ltr is ideal. You will be carrying a lot of items around with you for safety and convenience so a decent and large day pack is essential. Think about sun cream, waterproofs, camera, water bottle, food, change of clothes etc. Also handy for shorter trips you will do as you can leave your main bag in storage and just take your day pack with you!

Look away if you’re a male for this next one…

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Always carry tampons/ sanitary towels in your hand luggage: You will be out and about a lot on your trip and will probably be on a lot of public transport for many hours (think of them night busses). The last thing you want is to have you’re tampons/ sanitary towels in your backpack stored away and then nature calls. I don’t need to say much more about this but just be prepared…

Use buses over taxis when possible: Buses in South America, especially the big cities like Rio, Quito and Lima, buses are a lot cheaper than Taxis. Buses are also a lot safer and in some cities they are a lot quicker also as they have their own road (like a tram). You will save a lot of money this way.

 

Those are some of my top tips. Don’t be afraid or put off, it’s an incredible and diverse country. You will love it, just be smart, be confident and enjoy each moment.

Travelling is tiring

Travelling is tiring

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Travelling is tiring.

I know it sounds ridiculous to many, but travelling is tiring. I know, you’re probably thinking, “Oh come on! You don’t have to work, you get to see awesome places, have freedom” etc. Yes, that’s true and I am not complaining at all. I am very grateful for all the travelling I have been able to do and I absolutely love it with a passion! But there are times when I just want to stop. Stop thinking about: where I’m going to next? Where will I sleep tomorrow? What great places should I explore in my next destination? Will I get good wifi to research the next destination, book accommodation, etc. It’s a completely different type of tiredness to the day to day “normal” living.

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Travelling is amazing but it is important to stop and be present in your environment. When you’re moving from one destination to another in a matter of days, that is tiring and that is when you just need to stop. Allow yourself a break. Feel fresh and motivated for your next hike, your next long drive, your next mini adventure; whatever it may be. You want to enjoy the journey and for that you need energy.

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I just wanted to share that for anyone considering travelling because some things you just need to be aware of. Yes, it is fantastic, you’re free to do what you like when you like but some times all you want to do is stop. Have a day doing nothing, reading, writing, watching television or just pigging out with a movie! It’s totally fine and you need days like that to recoup and start fresh again. Don’t get so tired that you miss out on something incredible.

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I just wanted to share that with you, and if you’re off on any travels then ENJOY! Just remember, it’s ok to take a break.

Love,

Hannah ✌🏼

My favourites of North Wales

My favourites of North Wales

I am no expert in travelling Wales at all, however, I do know that it has a LOT to offer. I lived and studied there for two years and during my road trip of the UK i thought i would show my Australian friend how beautiful it is.

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Snowdonia National Park: home to Mount Snowdon

Whilst we were there the rain clouds decided to hang around the entire Snowdonia Mountain range which was a big shame as we only had one full day there. If you do head to North Wales, then of course Snowdonia is a must see and do. The National Park is beautiful and a mountain range like no other. The mountains are made of slate, the sheep wonder the roads like they own the place and if you head to Llanberis (the village at the base of Snowdonia where you can get the train up to Mount Snowdon) you get a beautiful view of the lake with the mountain range in the background, reflecting on the lake. It is all pretty gorgeous, even when the storm clouds are there (as shown below..).

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We drove through Snowdonia, stopping to take photos in the rain (stop, jump out of car, take photos, jump back in, dry camera, drive, repeat…), then headed off to Beaumaris.

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Beaumaris: the beautiful coastal village.

Beaumaris is a quaint, small village with lots of character and stunning views. Facing the ocean with the mountains in the background it is the perfect place to sit out and enjoy some lunch, but beware of the seagulls… they are out for your food and they aren’t afraid of the consequences. Maybe you’re best off eating in a nice cafe or restaurant (there are many) overlooking the ocean instead, or if you like a Chippy or ice-cream just look out for the seagulls, ha ha! It is a great spot though; you won’t be disappointed.

Note: I didn’t get any pictures because I forgot my camera! But Google will help you out I’m sure 🙂

Leaving Beaumaris behind, the weather was looking beautiful and our parking time was up so we headed to the beautiful Newborough Beach.

Newborough Beach: time for a stunning coastal walk.

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It’s funny. I lived in Menai Bridge, Anglesey, for two years and visited this beach numerous times. Little did i know that there was an absolute gem sitting right at the tip of the beach. With the sun shining brightly (and storm clouds lingering over Snowdon still) we took a walk along the beach. The tide was out and the rocks in the distance had always left me curious but I had never been that far down before, for reasons i have no idea. I think it’s just the natural beauty of Newborough; it is so distracting. The ocean is calm, the stretch of beach is golden, far and wide, the Snowdonia National Park stands bold in the horizon and the lush forest sits parallel the beach.

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Days when I used to visit here we just used to sit and admire it, relax after hours of studying, take a swim in the water, just do the normal student things (whatever that may be…). This time however, we were going to walk and explore, see what lay ahead.

This, is what we discovered.

The beautiful, coastal walk; absolutely breath taking. I still can’t believe it. How did i not know about this?

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The tide was out which was great, meaning this walk was easily accessible. When the tide is in i am not so sure how accessible it is? But anyway, the path is fairly flat and many people of all ages were walking it. It’s about a 30-minute walk from the start (not the car park), but allow an hour for stopping and taking photos etc. As you come out of the carpark onto the beach, turn right and curry on to the end. You can’t miss it…

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The walk is amazing and you’ll get some cracking photos. I’ll let the photos do the explaining but if you are ever up this way, do not miss out on this. If you can only fit in one thing to do in North Wales then of course do Snowdon but even if you can squeeze this in just for a visit to the beach at least, it is well worth the visit.

Side Note: every time i had visited here we didn’t have to pay for parking, this time however we did and it was 4 pounds for all day so be prepared just in case.

 

Beautiful Paraty, Brazil

Beautiful Paraty, Brazil

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Beautiful. Colonial. Quaint. Different?

Paraty is all of the above and so much more.

Paraty is the first place I visited when entering Brazil and it gave me such a different view of the country. Before visiting South America I had a lot of expectations of Brazil, as would many others I  imagine. It is possibly the most well known country out of all South America, known for: tiny bikinis, attractive locals, fantastic sights and culture. We all know something about Rio, right? But let me tell you, Brazil has so much more to offer and Paraty is just a small piece of the magic.

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Driving along the Brazilian coastline into Paraty is absolutely gorgeous. Driving on extreme winding roads capturing glimpse’s of the calm, crystal blue ocean between the trees on every bend and turn; it is absolutely stunning. As you enter Paraty it’s a very small, village feeling town with narrow cobbled streets, colourful buildings and a calm hustle of people. Yes, a calm hustle; it is a thing, and I love it. It has so much beauty and culture and it is a place where you will want to return to time and time again.

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What did I do in Paraty?

Well, apart from photographing every street I turned on to, I ate great food! (Thai Brazil – GO! It is incredible), I went on a stunning boat tour, wandered the streets just admiring their beauty, partied in the street with the locals, and spent a lot of time mooching around the cute little shops!

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Background:

It is set between beautiful rainforest and the clear blue ocean, and the buildings date back to the 17th and 18th century, so as you can imagine it is pretty stunning. The streets are quite the challenge to walk on. The streets are cobbled to stop cars from accessing the roads and the only “vehicles” you will see here are the horse and carts. Another fun fact is that at each full moon the streets will flood. I didn’t get to see the floods but just some pools of water left as remains and the reflections of the colourful buildings in the water. It is pretty beautiful. (How many times have I said beautiful in this description? Have I made my point? Ha ha!)

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Street Party:

Each Monday the locals hold a Samba event; incredible. It is a non-profit organisation which was set up by the community to provide some entertainment to the quiet little town. Members of local bands grouped together to provide the music and song then they play non-stop all night to tourists and locals. The community all get together and dance Samba with one another, including professional dancers, and the local guy who has been practicing Samba for years and still doesn’t quite get the hang of it (the hosts words, not mine! Ha ha!!). For me though, he was my favourite… or was it the super cute professional male dancer? 😉 Toughie…

The group/ host/ locals were super friendly and wanted everyone to have the best time.

At the end of the night the host collects donations and this provides the weekly event with soup, food and water for the crowd. I honestly had the best night of my life here thanks to this organisation and the kindness of the community. The energy was amazing, the dancing was spectacular and the band were incredible. You can’t beat kindness, music, dance and laughter.

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Sold?

I don’t know if I have sold Paraty to you or not, but please, if you ever visit Brazil or South America you must check this place out. 2 days at least to get a feel for it, and try to be there on a Monday to experience the Samba party in the main square at around 8-9pm. Wonder the streets, watch sunset at the ocean, take a boat tour to neighbouring islands, snorkel the crystal waters, dance samba, eat great food and buy lots of local craft souvenir’s.

Hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu: What to expect.

Hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu: What to expect.

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Tour company used: G Adventures.
Wow. Where do I even begin when I start this encounter with the Sacred Valley and the Inca Trail hike? It’s one of them experiences where at the time you will question: Why am I doing this? Why did I pay to put myself through this? Will I make it to the end of this journey? Will it even be worth it at the end? So many questions and so many slips of positive mental attitude, yet somehow you do make it (well, considering that you don’t back out or get trailed off with illness or exhaustion, for example) and then all them questions are answered. You can make it, you did make it, that is why you payed to do it and yes, it was worth every agonising second.

Before setting off on the four day Inca Trail, I can honestly say I didn’t quite know what to expect from it. I was made aware that the first day was the easiest, the second day was the hardest, the third day was the most scenic, the views are spectacular and that you had to be careful of Altitude Sickness. Other than those recommendations and snippets of information I just knew I was setting off on a four day hike to climb up to Machu Picchu – One of the “Wonders of the World”.

I had studied Altitude Training in my third year of University so I was aware of the precautions, signs and symptoms (see: “Tips for hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu”) so in that aspect I wasn’t too concerned. The mental and physical aspects of it however, I hadn’t really set myself up for. I honestly thought that I’d be fine (ha ha, who knew I could be so wrong?!)

I’m going to give you a bit of information about what I experienced and how I managed with the hike but please remember, this is just my encounter. Everyone has their own experiences and opinions of the hike; we are all different, we all have different ways of coping, different mentalities, experiences and physical capabilities. I am a 26 year old female with quite a strong positive mental attitude. I practise yoga most days and go for long walks almost daily. I’m a healthy individual but I haven’t stepped inside a gym for about 6 months so my muscular strength isn’t spectacular (something I totally should have prepared myself for, but again that’s in my next post: “Tips for hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu”).

So, let’s get into each daily activity and you can get an insight of what to expect when hiking the Inca Trail. Oh, I must also mention that the group I hiked with did have our own Porters whom carried 6kg of our luggage, per person, and then we were to carry the rest. I didn’t weigh my backpack but it was a fully packed 25l backpack plus a 2.5l water bottle in hand (also something I wouldn’t recommend, but again, check my next post for more information).

So, finally.

Day 1.

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The day you set off on route to Machu Picchu. You’re feeling apprehensive, nervous, excited, clean, fresh and alert. You’ve arrived by bus to the starting point, your bags are packed, the Porters have weighed and collected your duffle bags, your backpack is on, water’s in hand (or in your bag), suncreams lathered on, you’ve used the toilet (1Sol charge) and you set off with your group and tour guide(s). All raring to go you take your pictures under the Inca Trail sign and 2 minutes into the walk you hit your first pit stop: Check in. Here is where you will queue up, tickets and passport in hand and you wait to be checked in to start your hike. Depending on where you are in the queue you could be there for a while, we were the second group through and we were there for a good 30-45 minutes. Once you’re through however, the hike begins.

Day 1 is the easiest of the four and they start you off slowly. The trail is fairly flat with just a couple of short inclines that may leave you panting heavily but your guide(s) will give you lots of rest periods and breaks for “story time” (this is where they will give you some history about the Inca’s and the ruins etc).

You arrive to a camp site for your lunch break, enjoy a good feed (always three courses) have a rest, fill your water bottles, and set off again. You’ll arrive to your official camp sight by late afternoon where your camp site is all set up by your amazing porters, you’ll sit exhausted thinking “I thought Day 1 was the easiest” and wonder how you’ll manage Day 2. You get to know your amazing Porters in an informal introductory meeting and once that is done, tea is served.

Tea always consists of hot drinks (tea’s, coffee and hot chocolate) and a light snack (crackers, popcorn, biscuits etc). After tea you are served your dinner which is usually a soup to start then a well balanced main. The food is great, especially considering they carry all the food in their 25kg backpacks and prepare it all “camp style”. They ask before you set off your dietary requirements and cater to all your needs (did I say how amazing they are?). The vegan food was awesome, it was way above what I expected and couldn’t have asked for anymore from them.

After dinner you’ll most likely head to bed to prepare for the next day (Day 2 of course, you know you’re dreading Day 2 already).

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Day 2.

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Are you ready for Day 2? I know I wasn’t (well, I thought I was but that’s a different story!).

Day 2 is by far the most challenging: physically and mentally. I don’t want to put you off at all but this is the day when all of them questions at the beginning of this post will come running through your head. It will push you both physically and mentally as you climb 1000m to the “Dead Woman’s Pass”. It may not sound that high however it is a constant uphill climb, pushing and pushing, up and up, until hours later you reach the peak of 4,215m high. Be prepared for hundreds and hundreds of steps, winding around corners tricking you into thinking there may be a flat patch approaching. There’s not. Keep your head up, keep positive, you can do it, you will do it, but just take your time. It’s not a rush. You will get there. Take rest stops, have small snacks, sip your drink slowly and get to that peak. You can do it. Just take your precautions (see: “Tips for hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu”).

Once you’ve battled your demons and pushed your body through hours of “torture” (slight exaggeration. Maybe. Maybe not), you will reach the top of “Dead Woman’s Pass” – Woohoo !!!! The rest of your trip from here on is a doddle. You can relax.

Reaching the top of “Dead Woman’s Pass” is amazing. You feel a huge sense of relief and accomplishment and it’s awesome. The views are stunning and you feel like you’re in the clouds (well you are, unless it was just a cloud day?). Everyone encourages one another and you feel united as a group; lovely.

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From here the rest of the days’ hike is downhill. Depending on how you are with downhill (or where you’re campsite is of course) it’s not much further to the end of your day and getting back to camp. For me it was less than an hour which was amazing and downhill for me was easy so I was thoroughly happy!

When you arrive back to camp it’s lunch time so you have the rest of the day to just relax. As a note: Day 2 you power through from 6am – 1pm (well, our group did anyway) without a lunch stop so it’s just snack stops. Be sure to fuel up and hydrate as often as you can to keep you going!

Now is time to relax, refuel and rehydrate before Day 3.

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Day 3.

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Like I was told prior to the hike, Day 3 is the most scenic and for me personally the most enjoyable.

After Day 2 the hike couldn’t have got any worse so mentally I was feeling great. The hike in general was a pretty steady incline throughout but with lots of flats and a few declines. It’s a pretty steady, enjoyable hike.

Aside from the gradient, the views from Day 3’s hike were by far the most beautiful. We stopped at four Inca Sites along the way, which were all beautiful, and we got told all about them and their history and on the route you pass so much natural beauty and wildlife, it’s amazing.

You’ll pass through bridges of lush trees covering the pathway, colourful moss growing on the rocks, flowers, caves and if your lucky wild lamas chomping on the trees blocking your path. The nature, the views, the wildlife and the terrain make for a rather long (the longest day at about 9-10hrs long!) but an enjoyable, pleasant walk.

I forgot to mention, during the lunch stop on this day (I don’t know if this covers all camp sights but I know for sure it does for all G Adventures groups) we were surprised with an absolutely incredible buffet lunch!! It was amazing and just what everyone needed. The chefs even made a personalised cake for the group which is astounding considering they’ve made that just on a small fire and pan (they steamed it first then frosted and decorated it; incredible). I didn’t get pictures because I just dived in (to the meal I mean, not the cake #vegan, but the others demolished that cake!) but it was awesome and instead of cake they made me some fried plantains with a sweet orange sauce; so good.

Once your day is over you arrive to camp and it’s almost straight to tea time and then dinner. At dinner you will have a gathering to say thank you for all the hard work the Porters have done, congratulate one another and enjoy your last meal together. Once dinner and acknowledgements are over its time for bed because Day 4 is approaching and it’s one heck of an early rising for you all…

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Day 4.

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The finale is in sight. The final hurdle to the one Wonder you have been working so hard towards reaching: Machu Picchu.

You are finally here. Finally at Day 4 and the end is near. It’s sad to think that these four days will soon be over but exciting to know that soon you will be seeing Machu Picchu and then arriving back to the Hotel to receive clean toilets, clean clothes and a nice warm shower.

Day 4 begins with a wake up call of…. wait for it…. 3am !!! You get awakened at 3am to be up, ready and rolling for 3:30am. 3:30am you leave to walk 2 minutes (depending on where your camp site is, 2-5 minutes) and stop again to wait until 5:30am for the check point to open! Here is where you will moan about waking up early to be sat waiting in the freezing cold and darkness for so long, however once the sun comes up and the bugs start creaking the excitement kicks in and through that barrier you go! (We were the second group in line so we’re through quick. The line was very long so if you’re at the back you may be waiting a while longer).

The walk begins and you’re headed to Machu Picchu.

Uphill you go for a couple of hours, the walk isn’t as easy as Day 3 but your excitement and knowing the end is near will keep you pushing through. After the approximate two hour uphill walk the terrain is fairly flat and easy and you get to two pit stops where you can admire the sights of Machu Picchu; it’s pretty awesome.

We were extremely lucky with the weather and had sunshine throughout but it was pretty cloudy, on and off, so we just waited for the clouds to pass and then admired our view. It was amazing.

The time flies by and you reach Machu Picchu before you know it. You take numerous photos with numerous poses and numerous angles. You’ll leave the site, drink and eat overpriced food and drinks from the restaurant outside the gates, but you won’t care because you’re so happy to be having a great meal after such an early start (or coffee for many peoples cases). You will then return back through the gates to Machu Picchu to receive a full guided tour and then free time in the site of Machu Picchu.

People will smell super fresh and super clean because they’ve just arrived by bus and train and you’ve been roughing it for four days without showering and smelling awful (which now you’re immune to). You’ll envy their cleanness and although you’ll enjoy walking around Machu Picchu you’ll be exhausted and dreaming about that shower you’ll soon be receiving, although it’ll be another 7 hours or so until you reach your hotel back in Cusco.

You want to know the end of the story in my case? We arrived back to the hotel at roughly 7:30pm, I checked in and found my room, emptied my bags and put my clothes into laundry, walked back to my room (on the 3rd floor I may add – it may not sound bad but you just wait until it’s your turn; you’ll understand), and passed out onto my bed. Next thing I know it’s 6am and I’m fully clothed and un-showered laid in bed ready to start the next day…

Enjoy the Inca Trail guys. It’s one heck of an experience!

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Eating Vegan whilst travelling Peru: My experience

Eating Vegan whilst travelling Peru: My experience

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Oh Peru, you little (well, not so little…) beauty you. Peru is such a brilliant country with such diversity. I arrived looking out onto rolling hills, stepped onto sandy beaches, swam in the ocean, sand boarded in the dessert, climbed mountains and finished with a boating tour of the incredible Lake Titicaca. It seriously has so much to offer and besides from scenery, the food in Peru was fantastic.

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I left Ecuador and entered Peru with no expectations but the hope for fruit and easily accessible whole foods. Peru didn’t disappoint.

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Peru offers vegetarian restaurants and cafes almost everywhere I visited, and with vegetarian restaurants there are always vegan options.

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Secondly, not only does it have many veggie restaurants but, from my experience, your standard restaurants also offered a complete veggie section including vegan options!
Lima beans are big in Peru and are often on the menu with rice and a salad, or their local dish “Saltado” you can order a vegetarian option and it’s great. It’s like eating local just without the meat 🙂

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Quinoa grows like wild fire here in Peru so everywhere you go you will have quinoa on the menu in some shape or form (soups, burgers, salads…). Quinoa is such an incredible food and in the UK it can be quite costly, here however, it’s served like rice. It’s brilliant. The quinoa soup is to die for!

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Not only are the restaurants great but the people are also really accommodating. For example, if you have any home stays or excursions they will ask your dietary requirements and cater exactly to your needs. Not only do they cater to your needs but the food you get is really good and creative (they also have tons of avocado in Peru so you’ll eat avocado to your hearts content), so don’t worry about excursions and going hungry.

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Supermarkets in Peru are also brilliant. They tend to be large Metro’s which are the equivalent to Tesco or Walmart, so offer everything from fresh fruit and vegetables to hot food counters, dairy free milk and great bread (yes, bread will forever be your saviour in South America, trust me).

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Fruit markets; yes ! Peru offers many fruit markets with lovely fresh fruit and vegetables so pick up cheap fruits here when you can. I recommend their mangoes and papaya!

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Lastly, the wonder that is Cacao (see my Cacao post in Ecuador if you missed it!). Cacao also grows here in Peru and you can find organic cacao chocolate literally everywhere; it is incredible. Have you tried dark chocolate with quinoa before? If you haven’t, you must! It’s heavenly! There are also Cacao museums in Lima, Cusco and Ollantaytamboa (maybe more places but here is where I found them) which offer everything you can imagine made from cacao: shampoos, body lotions, lip balms, alcohol, chocolates, tea, spreads and more. It’s an awesome museum and shop and you can even have chocolate making classes here. They give out free samples of everything and with a flyer you get 10% off whatever you purchase (and I guarantee you will purchase at least an individual chocolate piece, and then go back for more because it’s so damn good), so definitely go and check it out when you’re in Peru.

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That was my vegan travel experience in Peru and I hope this helps to reassure any of you who may be travelling there. Do bear in mind that I’m staying only in hotels and do not have access to a kitchen, therefore everything I say or recommend is based around that rather big inconvenience. If you’re using hostels your life will possibly be a lot more simpler as rice is accessed absolutely everywhere and you’ve access to canned beans, corn etc. This is simply food on the go and making do without a kitchen.

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But anyway, I hope this helps and have a wonderful time on your travels.

Love, happiness and health,

Hannah 🙂

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