Peter and Caroline's Most Excellent Adventure!!!
Four days of climbing, crawling, sweating, gasping, laughing and crying!!! And it was all well worth it! Peter practically ran the whole 40kms but our whole group did a really good tourist time for the entire trail. The record for the wholetrail however is just over 3 hrs. The first day was relatively easy just 12kms up into the Andes stopping to admire the ruins on the way (of which there are loads and all are spectacular). The second day involved navigating through three passes and was definitely far from easy. In total this day we did 17kms and reached a peak of 4,800 m at Dead Woman's pass. This name comes from the shape of the pass not because of the amount of women who have died up there as we originally thought. The third day was easy too really and we made the most of the great weather. Thankfully the previous two days had been overcast so we weren't suffering from heat exhaustion on top of altitude sickness!! On the fourth and final day we woke at 3.30am and skipped our way by torch light down to the final checkpoint. The checkpoint opened at 5.30am and from there we ran the final 6km over the mountain edges to the Sun gate overlooking Machu Picchu in a record time of 40 mins without losing any of our group to the Andean valley. Machu Picchu was all that it's hype says it will be. Our guide took us on a full tour and explained how each day they are still finding more of it. At the moment the city stands at 35K hectares. Not staisfied with the amount of exercise our group had had over the last four days we decided to climb Wynu Picchu (The young Mountain pictured above). This was also definitely worth it and gave us some remarkable views as you can see on the photos. Afterwards we chilled out in a restaurant in Machu Picchu town which is really only one step away from a shanty town - everyone made us feel welcome and that is what counts. The amount of building work going on there suggests it won't be like that for long though. All in all an unforgettable, remarkable, tiring four days that we would both do again tomorrow. Finally just a note to say thank you to all the porters who carried our stuff across the 40kms and still smiled and took care of us each night - our heroes!!