What can I say about the Inca trail? This has to be one of our best experiences travelling and something I would jump at the chance to do agin if the opportunity ever arose. The first morning we were driven to the starting point where we met our porters all 21 of them. Our walk began at Piskakachu typically with a swing bridg then it climbed gently to the first Inca sight of Llactapata. It was small but spectacular buildings and terraces could be seen in the valleys. The walk at first began very slowly due to the ridiculous pace set by our guide bu a group of us soon broke free promising to meet him before the next ruins. Walking along there was amazing views of the river running through the valley and the mountains including the snow capped mountains. Lunch was our first experience of be truly waited on by the porters. You can´t really call it camping. A table was set up inside a tent with table cloth and trimmings including porters holding each corner of the tent due to the wind. Felt a little strange at first. food was deffinately something and was a good indication of what was to come. unfortunately this was the start of my bad belly so I couldn´t take full advantage of the food on offer.
After dinner we set off again to our first camp site at Wayllabamba. It was about an hour and a half walk up and down along a beautiful track with brillant views of the mountains yet again and lots of orchids along the path. We arrived to the campsite with our tents awaiting us and a bowl of warm water with whcih to wash with. Luxury or what? It´s amazing how fast the porters run with 25kilos on their back just to make sure we are comfortable. The most common thing heard along the inca trail is "Porters move left". WE were treted to afternoon tea of pòpcorn and crackers followed by a three course meal in the evening. We spent the evening playing some very strange games that mostly involved wrestling with a partner. The porters enjoyed watching the girl on girl action. Our guide joined in but was reluctant to tackle Susie but she didn´t hold back on her attempt to tackle him I think this came as a shock. Maybe this is the time he fell in love her as she got a lot of attention after this.
The next morning I woke up very tired an ill but there is no slacking on this trail. Aaron did get a wake up call at the tent of a cup of tea and yet again more hot water. After breakfast we started what is susposed to be the hardest day. It started with a steep climb up through the cloud forest then levelled out at Llulluchupampa where the rain started to come down heavy. We got cold waiting for the rest of the group to catch up so we headed on up a very sttep part that cut through the mountains. after surving that we again waited for the others but due to a lot of wind and rain a group of us decided to carry on up dea womans pass. Despite the name this was no where near as hard as the climb before. It is the highest point of the trek at 4198metres but by this time we were used to the altitude and had no fallers. From the top we could see the Andes and the snow capped mountains but we waited to take a group photo which turned out to be a mistake as the rain began again. So in our true style we ended up with a picture with a lot of cloud in again hiding some of the views. Happy I had survived as at this point I was feeling very ill we almost ran down the mountain to our camp for the night (well we did it in less than half the time suggested by the guide). Again when we got there the camp was set up where i quickly wrapped myself in the blanket and fell asleep to the the sound of terrential rain which we just managed to miss. The rest of the group was not so lucky.
Day 3 we stuck together as a group as there was lots of Inca sites to visit. Again we started with a climb up to the first site of Runkuragay where we all caught our breath. You could see the trail we all took the day before and it looked fairly steep. What we learnt was that most of the Inca sites had many uses from watch tower to temple we all seemed to get caught up on the sacrifices. The walk for the day was a steady up and down to the second pass going down was through rainforest which lead to Sayacmarca. Where we climbed up the steps to the site where we could see 360 degree views of the mountains. Then it was on for lunch this time I stuffed myself as it didn´t seem to make much difference to my suffering. This helped me get my energy back as then a group of us stormed off. This part of the trail involved the inca tunnel where we all stopped to make the most of the photo opportunity. We then split into two groups ones takeng the short or longer pass. We opted for the longer pass where we got the opportunity to see another ruins. We got to walk down the steep terraces which are so impressive and down to the campsite wgere I got to have a hot shower and Aaron a cold beer. To end the day we went to visit Winaywayna ruins near by as dusk was falling. These were the most impressive to date they looked almost complete as the dusk loomed over them almost like a ghost town. They wwere built into the steep mountain side surrounded by high mountains. As we sat over the edge it looked like we were about to jump into the abyss. We then rewardd our porters with a tip and a cold beer and made fools of ourselves dancing to ones of their flutes.
Last day of the trail and to Machupicchu. We moved quickly along the trail as the sun made its slow ascent over the Andes. We hurried to the sun gate worried we would not be in time for sunrise over Machupicchu but we made it with plenty of time. Our first veiws of Machupicchu were amazing truly a city on top of a mountain as amazing as I thought it would be. Lots of photos as the sun creeped over the city. They were quite a few people around the city but not as many as I feared and it did detract from the majesty of the place. I had to leave half thjrough the tour which was very good to mkae sure I made it up Huayna Picchu a mountian behind the city it was the steepest climb of the trail but the veiws made it more than worthwhile. Machupicchu like Angkor Wat I expected alot from and neither has dissapointed. We came down from the mountian to have lunch in Aguas Calientes as very rushed lunch to make the train not the ideal end to the Inca trail. That night me and Keeley went out and had nice meal just the two of us ready for the jungle next day.