4 April 09
Inca Trail Day Four. The Final Day.
I didn't sleep very well. I was just too excited.
The 4am wake-up call was necessary so that our group could be the first to line up at the check-point. The checkpoint opened at 5.30am, so we had a bit of a wait before we could start walking.
But once we got through, it was ON! It would be a race among the groups to get to Machu Picchu. Why? Let me explain…
We all want 'unblemished' pictures of Machu Picchu. That meaning, we want to get pictures of Machu Picchu before all the slackers that arrive on buses enter and ruin our view! Ha ha. Ok, maybe a little harsh, but it's quite annoying knowing that busloads of tourists who haven't endured four days of hiking get a glimpse of Machu Picchu before us! SO not fair!!!
Another reason for the rush? Can you picture the classic Machu Picchu picture in your mind? If so, do you see the tall mountain in the background? That mountain is called Waynapicchu. Everyday, there are only 400 passes given out to those who want to climb the mountain and get the BEST view of Machu Picchu. And, what's frustrating, is knowing tourists on buses can enter Machu Picchu from 6am and claim these passes before us! We, who have actually earned it!!
We would not have it! We must have been crazy, but we were dead set on getting our hands on some passes! We had come this far. What was another 2 hours of climbing going to do…?
As we reached the Sun Gate, we got our first glimpse of Machu Picchu!! Aaaaaa!!! We had made it! But, it did look incredibly small, but there it was!!
After a few quick pictures, a handful of us started RUNNING to the entrance. RUNNING! The ground was still very rocky and God knows where we got the energy from! We must've looked CRAZY! Almost a broken ankle or two...
About 30 minutes of running (non-stop - adrenaline, I guess!) we saw signs pointing to the checkpoint for Waynupicchu!! We felt like we were in The Amazing Race! People were pointing the way and everything! It was unreal!
Guess what….!!!!!!!!!! WE MADE IT!! A few elbows in ribs on our way past and we snagged the LAST TICKETS!! Tim got ticket 378. I got 379. YEEEOOOOWWW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Ok…it was time to relax and actually TAKE IN the WONDER that is MACHU PICCHU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It was 7.10am at this stage.
MP is more amazing than I ever thought it would be. You can feel the energy just walking around. Its as if Mother Earth (Pacha Mama) gave the Incas this wonderful spot to build their city. Just for them. These fascinating people.
Boy, we were tired…but in absolute awe of this place. Everyone needs to come here.
Did we climb Waynapicchu? YES! I really didn't think I could go on, but Tim spurred me on. This mountain was so steep, there were ropes in place around certain steps to help pull yourself up! And we did make it to the VERY top! And YES, the view was absolutely incredible!
I am not scared of heights, but there came a point where I got so dizzy looking down I thought I would fall off! And don't even mention the steps needed to get down. They were almost vertical and I found myself using my bottom to slide down each one. I was on the verge of tears…but we eventually got down. (Our guide did tell us that a few people had died climbing Waynapicchu because it's so steep. I still don't know whether he was telling the truth or not. He's a bit of a cheeky monkey!)
Inca trail - conquered!
Other feats? Tim didn't get chaffing once!
All in all, the Inca trail wasn't easy, but it certainly wasn't as difficult as I had imagined. Great training for Everest Base Camp, me thinks!