I woke in the middle of the night to hear heavy rain. On the one hand it's always nice to hear the relaxing sound of rain on the canvas of a tent, but on the other I was thinking "oh god please stop I don't want to have to hike for 7 hours in the rain." I bought a delightful purple poncho just before the trek in case of such I situation but was hoping the purchase alone would stave off any possible rain. I guess I fell back asleep as we were once again woken by Victor offering us tea in our tents at 5.30am.
After another great breakfast we were hiking again by 7am. Today while apparently an easier day is a long 16km one. We started with an hour and a half of a steep upwards climb (again all on uneven stone rocks) I was not expecting that pretty much all of the trail would be over such tough terrain, but too late now.
Once we reached the 2nd pass, we had a little ceremony to Pachamama which is a custom in these parts. We left gifts of rocks and coca leaves at the top of the mountain. Then we had a long trek down hill. On this day the scenery is really spectacular and we pass by a few different Inca ruins. It's today that we realize that while Jackson is a nice guy and a good guide in terms of looking after us and leading the way, his English is really not up to answering our questions about what is around us and just general knowledge about the inca ruins we are visiting. Most of our questions are met with a "yes, yes" and after a while we stopped asking and ended up referring to our guide book.
We had an early lunch at 11am, the porters who had raced ahead of us had set up the tent in a beautiful spot for lunch. We are all in great moods, we know the hard work is done and after lunch we set off with a spring in our steps to complete the third days walking. The scenery today is amazing, a lot of the trail in the afternoon is along narrow pathways cut into the sides of the mountain and as the path winds down and we drop altitude the climate changes to more tropical and the vegetation becomes jungle like. We pass more inca ruins, it's time we come across a new set hidden in the Andes they become more impressive and you cannot help but marvel at what the incas achieved (and the Spanish) ruined!
Camp for the last night was on a large campsite as all 500 people that are allowed daily on the trail stay here. The toilets are pretty much the worst I have seen (or smelt) making us all gag when using them, we concluded the bushes were a far better option but it's tricky to find a place as people are camping all around us.
Our last dinner was cooked for us by the jovial porters and we had a little speech, some small gifts and tips for them. They really earn comparatively little for the hard physical work they do.
By 8pm we were in our tents since we had to be up at 3:30am for the final relatively short walk (1 & 1/2 hours) to Manchu Picchu.
It was another long tiring day but extremely rewarding. I'm also concluding that 3 nights camping in these cold conditions is enough for me.