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Peru Hike - Part 5

Hotels, spa treatments and soaking sore muscles

Thank you to Teresa Thompson for contributing this post to GoGirlfriend. We’re a community-based travel blog and we welcome submissions from everyone. Whether you’re a budget-baller or a first class only kinda traveler, we’d love to hear from you. Visit our Writer’s Guidelines and learn how you can share your travel advice, stories and adventures!

Peruvian SmilesPeruvian SmilesTeresa Thompson took time off from her real life to hike the Peruvian mountains with her girlfriends. We've been chatting with Theresa about her trip, so be sure to check the previous posts if you've missed them.

GoGirlfriend: Did you hike during the day and hotel it at night? Were you able to work in any spa treatments?

Teresa Thompson: I'm smiling pretty widely while I type this reply.

The hike was a total of 26 miles, two 14,000-ft mountain passes, and a couple of 13,000-ft mountain passes. To say it was way, way, off the beaten path is a pretty big understatement.

We were bused to the starting point and hiked for 12 hours each day, camping overnight until we reached Machu Picchu on Day 4.

Hiking PeruHiking PeruWe didn't see electricity, running water or anything but a squat-over-the-hole- toilet for the whole hike. I'm not sure how you would have gotten out in a medical emergency other than on the back of a porter...

Our porters are the supermen of the Andes. We all paid the equivalent of $80US to have a porter carry 40 kilos each of our gear: sleeping bags, extra clothes, food. These men were incredibly amazing. They are strictly limited and their packs are weighed at several checkpoints along the trail to ensure the hiking guide companies are practicing ethical work practices.

The rule was that if you heard a porter coming down the trail behind you, you moved as quickly out of the way as possible. Mostly they ran past us, wanting to get ahead to set up camp for lunch or dinner or set up our tents before we arrived. They always had smiles on their faces. Always.

The food they prepared was amazing: Bananas FosterFood in PeruFood in Peru one night, a surprise birthday cake for one of our group one night, 3 huge, hot meals every day, and they would get up in middle of the night to boil enough water to fill 10 canteens by sunrise each day.

In regards to the spa treatments - we hiked in a solid downpour for about 3 hours on Day 3, which involved us crab-crawling down a mountain pass on our butts.

But my hair was really soft and I'm sure I had a "healthy glow" about me!

When we reached Aguas Caliente at the end of Day 4, the town at the base of Machu Picchu, we walked in our hotel (Gringo Bill's) and dropped off our mountain of really smelly clothes for washing. We hobbled down to the end of town to the outdoor hot springs the town is named for and soaked until we couldn't smell each other anymore.

The next day we booked four "Inca Massages," deep-tissue massages. I've never had a better massage, and, I swear, all the soreness and stiffness just disappeared.

Thinking about your own girlfriend adventure getaway? Send us your questions and Theresa will answer them in a future post.

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