So where to start.... this is one of those experiences that words cannot describe adequately.
This was the only part of our trip (other than our flight tickets) where we had planned and booked it in advance, all the research we'd done seemed so long ago. When we arrived in Cusco we found lots of other companies offering similar experiences and we found ourselves questioning whether we had booked the right company. After ironing out a couple of minor miscommunications, mainly making sure we had extra porters to help carry our belongings, we felt confident and ready to start the trek.
We had a great "family" for the trek, a small group of just six, two Danish girls, an Argentinian couple who got engaged in the last temple at Machu Picchu! We couldn't have done it without our excellent guide Edward and the amazing porters who looked after us so well throughout. Selso one of the porters was 62 and brought us hot coca tea every morning to wake us up.
Four days, 26 miles (mostly of rock steps), summit of 4,200m and some 11 hour days and all of a sudden you rounded the corner and there it was...... Machu Picchu. Nothing had prepared us for how it made us feel, tears in our eyes and huge smiles on our faces! It really was an experience of a lifetime!
The scenery throughout the four days was simply phenomenal, from snow capped mountain sunsets to jungle, waterfalls, orchids, llamas and cloud draped temples. To follow in the footsteps of the Incas felt magical. By the time we actually arrived at Machu Picchu it was swarming with tourists, we only spent an hour of so there, the past four days memories eclipsing the postcard picture all the other gringos had come to seek out.
We had definitely earned a relaxing dip in the thermal hot pools at the bottom of the mountain (our knees still may not forgive us for months to come). The Inca Trail was firmly at the top of our 'best experiences so far'. It was going to be a hard one to beat that was for sure!