6 Ultimate Inca Trail Highlights

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One of the most popular hikes in South America, the Inca Trail is definitely the experience of a lifetime. A centuries-old trail, it begins in the ancient Incan capital of Cusco and winds some 88 kilometres to some of the world’s most iconic ruins: Machu Picchu. Of course, the entirety of Inca Trail is absolutely stunning, from stunning snow-capped Andean peaks to centuries-old ruins situated in bucolic river valleys. However, these 5 highlights are truly bound to make your jaw drop.

Wayllabamba. The endpoint of the first day’s trek along the Inca Trail, Wayllabamba, which means “grassy plain” in Quechua, is the perfect spot to watch the sunset behind the dramatic Andean peaks. This grassy plain overlooks a stunning spot of Andean scenery, with centuries-old Incan terraces winding through the surrounding mountainsides. There is even a village nearby where travellers can mingle with local villagers.

Wayllabamba Ruins, Peru
Wayllabamba Ruins, Peru

The Valley of Llulluchapampa. Trekkers will start off the first portion of day two of the journey hiking through the picturesque Valley of Llulluchapampa. As you gradually ascend in altitude, you will even be afforded perfect views of stunning snow-capped cliffs.

Valley of Llulluchapampa
Valley of Llulluchapampa

Runkuracay: This unique oval structure, sometimes colloquially known as the “Egg Hut,” is believed to have been a kind of rest stop for Incan travellers, called a tambo, providing them with a place to spend the night and rest their animals. It is the perfect place to enjoy a mid-hike break and marvel at the beauty of Incan architecture.

Runkuracay
Image courtesy of lenstherapy.wordpress.com

Sayacmarca: First discovered by the famous Hiram Bingham when he wandered along a road extending from Machu Picchu, the dramatic Sayacmarca is situated at a fork in an old Incan road in a dense subtropical forest full of butterflies and hummingbirds. Quechua for “Dominant Town,” these unique ruins have an almost mystical air about them and are arguably the most impressive along the Inca Trail (except for Machu Picchu itself, of course!). It is believed that Sayacmarca was actually built by the Colla, a major enemy of the Incas, and that the Incas took over the site following their conquest of the group.

Sayacmarca
Image courtesy of 4feet2mouths.com

Phuyupatamarca: Dubbed “La Ciudad entre la Niebla” (“The City above the Clouds”), this major archeological site is situated a staggering 3,200 meters above sea level. Apropos to the nickname, Phuyupatamarca is very often surrounded by dense, white clouds. The ruins, dramatically constructed into a steep cliffside, contain five stone baths that fill up with freshwater during the rainy season. It is believed that these baths were used for religious ceremonies. Visitors can also check out the site’s elaborate hydraulic system, a true testament to impressive capabilities of Incan engineering. Of all of the Incan ruins in the region, Phuyupatamarca is arguably the most intact and therefore a truly spectacular site for trekkers passing through.

Phuyupatamarca (cloud-level town)
Phuyupatamarca (cloud-level town)

Huiñay Huayna (Wiñay Wayna): Huiñay Huayna (traditionally spelled Wiñay Wayna in Quechua, the language of the Incas) was constructed into a steep hillside overlooking the Urubamba River. In addition to the site’s ancient houses and temples, it also boasts an incredibly complex system of Incan terraces, formerly used for agriculture. The name of the site roughly translates to “Forever Young,” and many trekkers report that these ruins are the most beautiful found along the trail.

Winay Wayna Peru
Winay Wayna, Peru

These are just some of what you will see along the Inca Trail: Learn more about popular Inca Trail itineraries here

 

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Best Destinations For Food-A-Holics

*Guest Post* Many of my followers ask me how I travel so frequently and how do I manage my budget. I book my flight and hotel through FareoAir deals, I have been using this website for quite some time and I find their deals pretty good and economical. Anyhow, here is a collection of a few destinations which I find the best in terms of cuisine and suggest that you visit them if you are a food lover too.

Morocco

Want to know where you will find the best Berber cuisine? Well go to Morocco as it’s the best place on the planet for Berber cuisine. This means you get to eat your food in ancient medina towns served in tagine fragrant pots with delectable herbal teas. Plus you get to taste some of the North Africa’s freshest sea food.

India

Have you ever tried the spicy veggie Biryani? If no then a visit to India is must in Southern Kerala you will find delicious spicy veggie biryani. In Uttar Pradesh the thali platters of different food will amaze your taste buds and the smoked fish of Nagaland is scrumptious. Indian cuisine is without any doubt the most varied and has the most use of spices in it. It’s the perfect place to tease your taste buds.

Jamaica

incatrailimage

We all like fresh food – and honestly speaking who doesn’t like fresh food? If you love fresh food too then Jamaica is the place to be. Stroll down in the Negril early morning an pick fresh plums from the branches of the trees before you settle at a rustic bamboo island hut for some fried salt water fish and ackee with a shot of rum. Delicious isn’t it.

New Zealand

Well the phrase surf and turf is perfect for New Zealand, it’s a strange combination of the finest Oysters from the Pacific Ocean and the highlander lamb cuts in the high-class restaurants of New Zealand with their traditional Maori style cooking. And yes how can I forget their wines, visit the cellars of Otago and you will never want to leave the place again.

Peru

Peruvian food is a true melting pot of multicultural flavors and cultures. In the last few years it has gained a reputation for being one of the finest fares on the culinary list of international favorites. Peruvian food is a little bit chinese, a little bit Japanese, Inca and Spanish thanks to the varied immigrant population of Japanese in this country – even Peru’s leader is of Japanese descent. In Peru you can try many dishes like Cuy Asado (guinea pig), Lomo Saltado (the dish below) and Aji de Gallina (a thick testy chicken stew) from our Peruvian Food You Can’t Miss on Your Machu Picchu Trip article.

Lomo Saltado

Thailand

No food-lover will forget the food street of Bangkok, with its delicious variety of street food Thailand is another attraction that attracts many food lovers. They sell everything from coconut masaman, to Thai noodle soup and barbequed critters on sticks. Thailand is a place with a very different yet enticing food.

Italy

Yes at last my most favorite destination Italy. There is simply no denying that the Italians gave us the best food in the world Pizza and Pasta. Those crispy cheesy bases from the wooden ovens of Napoli are the best there is no denying in that. The roman kitchens also produce the finest cheese, aromatic coffees, fresh smoked fishes, and ligurian pesto and saffron risottos. All these dishes make Italy one of the best food destinations on the planet.

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1st Touch 360 Streamlines Social Housing Functions, Drives Value For Money and Frees Up Vital Resources

1st Touch (www.1sttouch.com) the UK’s leading developer of mobile systems for the social housing sector has announced the addition of ‘1st Touch 360’ to its widely acclaimed range of enterprise mobile workforce software. This intuitive new dashboard solution, streamlines processes by delivering a single, 360 degree-view of all key metrics and customer data access points. As a result, all the information needed to conduct any customer visit is collated in one central easily navigable location. With such cross-functional visibility, tasks which would previously have required numerous customer visits by different teams are now resolved in one visit from a staff member operating in a multi-functional role. By significantly reducing the number of customer visits required, resources can be redirected to areas of greater need. Customer experience is another area that benefits, as outstanding issues are resolved far more quickly and effectively than before.

By this means, housing officers with 1st Touch 360 on their device can now, for example, record and request reactive repairs, update customer profiling information or liaise with the Social Landlord’s Supporting People team. Similarly, responsive repairs operatives will now be able to request a gas check, take a rent payment or report related issues such as anti-social behaviour and vandalism. Any customer facing functions can be incorporated into 1st Touch 360, as specified by management, who remain in control of what is visible to and accessible by each operative. Senior management also have far superior information to base key decisions upon. With 1st Touch 360 they gain real, in-depth insight into service efficiency and can monitor KPIs such as productivity and costs more effectively. A good example of this is ‘workflow for managers’. If a member of staff is off sick, they can update through 1st Touch 360 and their tasks for the day will be automatically rescheduled to the next available colleague.

1st Touch 360

1st Touch 360

All 1st Touch mobile functions can be incorporated from estate management, care services, pre & post inspection data, incomes and payment history, social and technical inclusion status, planned maintenance and more. An innovative real-time GPS function is also included. This boosts lone worker safety and enables operatives to call for further assistance on site.

In addition to integrating all the key metrics, 1st Touch 360 provides a collaborative & social toolkit too – allowing different workplace colleagues to message, update and post to others on the system and even to identify and communicate with approved suppliers in real time.

1st Touch 360 can also be used online as a self-service tool. This enables customers to manage a range of different issues themselves at a convenient time from the comfort of their home & through their own devices. All details recorded or actioned using 1st Touch 360 are automatically updated in the housing provider’s back office Housing Management System; irrespective of the system used. Importantly, 1st Touch 360 can also be implemented regardless of the mobile vendor deployed. This negates any risk of proprietary mobile lock-ins.

Robert Dent CEO of 1st Touch believes that by exploiting the advantages of technology, the new 1st Touch 360 solution could change the interface between social landlords and their customers. He notes, “ We have always steered our development plans to meet the evolving needs of our customers. By listening closely to what they have told us, we realise how important driving Value For Money is as a central part of their strategy. This of course involves the reduction of cost and increases in productivity and efficiency. However, there is also an imperative to enhance the customer experience and to raise service levels. 1st Touch 360 helps to achieve all these aims, streamlining customer facing processes by enabling staff to become multi-functional. By reducing the number of visits required significantly it frees up hard-pressed resources for use in other areas with even greater need. Ultimately, I expect that best practice for many organisations may well change to reflect the advances that this new technology has made. ”

ends

Note to Editors: About 1st Touch (www.1sttouch.com) 
Southampton based 1st Touch, a subsidiary of Aareon AG (www.aareon.com), has enabled dozens of field workforce-based organisations to embrace new mobile technologies and so achieve significant savings, greater productivity and more cost-effective use of resources. 1st Touch Mobile delivers clear and unique benefits: These include the system’s acclaimed ‘Smart Airtime’ feature where ‘airtime’ is minimised and the system is always available with or without ‘airtime’. The system’s flexibility through simple customer control over forms creation and amendment is also widely acclaimed. There is Integration to multiple back office and other enterprise software applications, so that data is entered only once.

With its widely acclaimed mobile technology, 1st Touch has a clear focus on the Social Housing and Local Government markets. Many social housing providers and local authorities, at large, now benefit from the fast and tangible, best of breed benefits that 1st Touch mobile technology delivers to the enterprise.

To date, over 50% of the social housing market, which has deployed mobile technology, has chosen to implement 1st Touch. In local government, 1st Touch has already been adopted for a wide range of mobile workforce uses. Ready to use applications for local authority organisations include: Public Buildings, Highways/Street Services, Environmental/Waste Management, Revenues and Benefits, together with Planning Control and Trading Standards.

1st Touch software is available on a wide variety of platforms including: Windows Mobile, Apple and Android.

For further information on 1st Touch please contact:
Sally Cops
1st Touch
02380 111206
sally.cops@1sttouch.com
www.1sttouch.com

or

Leigh Richards
The Right Image PR & Marketing Group
07758 372527
leigh.richards@therightimage.co.uk
www.therightimage.co.uk