Everyone was in high spirits at Winay Wayna. Our Inca Trail group had really bonded well. This was the party the night before the point of the exercise. While we knocked back the ice cold Cusquenas, talk diverted itself to the Inca Ruins of Machu Picchu.
I was surprised to be the only one in my group to wear a Santa Hat for the party. Wearing a jacket in this photo also means it must have been cold…
Left to right – Cheryl, Katie, Dave and Stan. 4 of our gang!
I think these were quite dear. But then again it’s the only bar for miles and miles. It went down a treat and in fact was a Godsend. On Christmas Eve I’ve had an alcoholic drink every year of my adult life!
Showing the Northern Irish colours in this wee bar in Winay Wayna. Literally in the middle of nowhere and easily to date the best and weirdest place I have spent Christmas Eve. The previous two I was working, the one before that I lay in bed with 3 broken bones in my right foot.
The lads and lasses in our group got into the bar and blagged this prime table in the centre for the 17 of us. It was some party. It started with late afternoon snacks. Popcorn, cookies, biscuits and hot tea.
Katie, Dave and Stan enjoy the fact we have killed 3 days of hiking.
Just after that, and during the party we went outside into the cold cold Peruvian air to get a group photo with all the guides and porters. This was an enjoyable moment and a farewell almost, as we gave a tip to those who had helped us, we all had the chance to speak to them in front of the group and it was touching. Especially at Christmas.
After the initial snacks, a FEAST arrived. It was the most phenomenal endless supply of food I had seen. I wasn’t even that hungry and a bit tired.
Everyone was so happy and it was Christmas Eve. Many toasts were raised and I simply thought there is no way to beat this in my lifetime at Christmas.
Another view down the table.
Getting stuck into the feast. As you can see there is food of every type imagineable and simply endless supply. The chefs were excellent. The trip had been truly amazing so far, and the best still lay ahead.
The food arrives. The water break was brief. Normality was restored soon after with an influx of Cusquenas.
Some of my Christmas Eve Feast from 2010.
Soaking in the pre-Picchu atmosphere. There was also showers available at Winay Wayna, for a small price and massages too. But I resisted all of that, preferring to stay dirty till the end and rough it out the proper way.
The group speeches – Sonya (to the right) speaks. After that we all had the chance to say a few words in Spanish. I wasn;t going to attempt Kechuan. I remember saying something like “Los porters son moy loco”, which I meant “them porters are nuts.”
My fellow hikers at the speech.
A group shot on my camera of everyone. This photo isnt as good as the one above from someone else’s camera. Also that night in Winay Wayna, my old camera’s flash broke and I dashed all the way back to our campsite during the meal just to get my second camera. Not just for that night’s photos but the chance to charge it ahead of Picchu. There were obviously no electric points on the Inca Trail up to this point.
The Peruvian porters got into the Christmas spirit with my Northern Ireland flag.
This was a nice moment. In “the bar” they had a Christmas tree so I got my token photo.
This is “the bar” at Winay Wayna. Basically you buy a token from a desk on the other side and then simply redeem your token for a beer at this bar. Easily the weirdest location for a bar I’ve ever been to. There were all mixes of people in there and the buzz was amazing. Christmas songs were being pumped out and we were all having fun. I remember remarking that in the entire year there could not be a better night to have spent in this bar in Winay Wayna.
Another snap of the porters and I chatting and enjoying the pure cold air at Winay Wayna. Great bunch of lads, hard, hard working men.
Another photo from the feast.
Just after the flash on my first camera bust…
A view of the bar, just before darkness set completely over the mountain village of Winay Wayna…
The Queue for the cashier, where you bought your tokens before heading to the bar to get your drink. I was loving the Christmas decorations, the music and the atmosphere. The DJ played the song “Down Under” which totally made me miss my life in Australia, but gave me a great memory from the year before where I had worked in PJ Gallagher’s Pub on Christmas Eve. And within 2 months I’d be back in my old job and old flat in the land down under. I got emotional as the song came on and made a video. Wham’s Last Christmas and many others were belting out of this mega party in Winay Wayna. While some really did party all night, I went to bed before midnight, read for a while and fell asleep just before 1am, we were due to get up at 5am anyway for breakfast and the final descent to Machu Picchu. Merry Christmas!
Where – Winay Wayna
Amenities – Showers, toilets, bar
Beer – Cusquena
Price – 10 Soles each
Food – All you can eat – massive selection – chicken thighs, chicken drumsticks, sausages, rice, noodles, pasta, pizza, crisps, vegetables, pork, stuffed peppers
VIDEOS FROM WINAY WAYNA:
1. CHRISTMAS EVE PARTY IN FULL SWING WITH “DOWN UNDER” PUMPING:
2. CHRISTMAS EVE BEER IN WINAY WAYNA:
IRONICALLY ALMOST ONE YEAR EARLIER, THE SAME SONG, “DOWN UNDER” LIVE AFTER WORK IN PJ GALLAGHERS, PARRAMATTA, AUSTRALIA:
CHRISTMAS EVE, 2008, WORKING IN BOURNEMOUTH PAVILION, ENGLAND:
CHRISTMAS EVE, 2009, WORKING IN PJ GALLAGHERS, PARRAMATTA, AUSTRALIA:
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