This weekend, our Social Media guru Leigh is heading over to South America, off to trek the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. He’ll be busy blogging about his travels (check out his blog here) and looking for recommendations and tips on Facebook, so we thought we’d catch up with him to find out precisely how many guinea pigs he reckons he’ll eat, and why a Bolivian kebab is a must.
You’re off on our Inca Highlands trip – why that one?
I haven’t been to South America, so heading to the Andes and Perulooked a good place to start. Everyone I know who has been there has got plenty of good things to say it– Cusco, Machu Picchu, Lake Titicaca, La Paz… sounds like a great mix, with some out-of-the-way places and cities worth checking out.
You’re working over there?
Part work, part play! I’m a social media addict, so I’ll be tweeting, sharing snaps on my blog, and updating fellow travellers the Gecko’s Facebook page regularly
You’re doing the four-day Inca Trail – much experience on previous treks, summits conquered etc?
Done my fair share of day-hikes and random wanderings, but no multi-day treks like this one, which is one of the reasons I’m really looking forward to it.
Your fitness up to it?
Hopefully! I’m relying on regular footie practice, a good 8 – 10km walking everyday, and a bit of determination to get me through. And I’ve been reliably informed that the coca should help with the altitude.
Hiking boots are an obvious one – busy breaking them in at the moment. I’m trekking with a couple of mates, one of whom has just bought a fetching pair of white hiking boots – anyone on the Inca Trail in early April should look out for the Jerry Seinfeld of trekkers!
And another essential item – some cycling shorts. Chafe-prevention while trekking is a must!
How’s your Spanish?
Not good. My mates and I are all pretty much mute when it comes to Spanish. No doubt there’ll be a lot of pointing and sign-language, but we’re also getting busy learning Spanish essentials. One of us is learning what’s what on menus, while I’ve been charged with learning stock phrases for two travelling essentials: transport and drinking. Anyone out there who’s got any tips beyond ‘cerveza’, let me know!
Most looking forward to
Gotta be Machu Picchu. I’ve wanted to see it for ages, and being able to walk there should make the whole experience even more special. Can’t wait to check out La Paz as well – sounds pretty amazing and unlike anywhere else.
Going to have a nibble on the local delicacy, guinea pig?
I’m really keen to get recommendations and direction on my blog and facebook – travelling is better fun when it’s interactive, and part of that is with people online. Want to see me in a poncho in the middle of Cusco’s main square, or for me to post a snap of munching guinea pig, or dancing with a bowler-hatted Bolivian lady in La Paz’s witches market? Send me your requests, recommendations and demands – I’ll do my best!
Any must-do activities?
For better or worse, I’ve had a kebab in every country I’ve travelled in, so I’m not about to break the habit. Not exactly the kind of cuisine you get recommended in Lonely Planet’s Bolivia guidebook, so if there’s anyone out there who can help with a La Paz kebab joint that won’t leave me in need of urgent medical assistance, let me know.
Relaxation after the trek?
Resting the limbs by heading to Buenos Airesfor a few days of R&R. Steak… choripan… red wine… soccer… Holy Land theme park – can’t wait.
Enjoy the trip Leigh! Looking forward to your Facebook updates. Make sure you chip in with some recommendations, dares and tips for Leigh while he’s in the Andes – if he doesn’t do them, it’s his round.