So I spent the morning on Friday calling and arguing with travel agencies. It took awhile just to figure out how to contact the agency through which I was doing the tour. I had bought the trip through a different agency in Lima. Next time I will definitely ask more questions and get better info before I head off to a different city to use a different agency. At any rate, after much complaining and demanding of my money back, the agency offered me a private tour to Machu Picchu...just me and the tour guide together for 5 days. This sounded good to me so I accepted the offer and off we went. I especially liked this arrangement since I would get the whole tour in Spanish this way...which wouldn´t likely be the case if we had 8 other people with us.
And so we left about 8 hours later than expected and ended up taking motor transport to cover the 18 km we were supposed to have hiked during the first day. I felt a little like we had cheated to do this, but then the roads and trails were extremely muddy so I didn´t feel too bad about it. We had to take an old Datsun 4x4 for most of the way that first day. The ´roads´ certainly weren´t very easy to get through, nor were they very wide. This being the rainy season, everything is muddy. At one point I pushed on the floorboard a little too hard and nearly put my foot through the floormat...the floor had rusted straight through...Datsun always did build engines that could outlast the cars their housed in. The old Datsun did great though and we made it to our destination before dark...in the picture the guys are standing on the ´road´.