The Mission to Machu Picchu
The Sacred Valley Of The Inca´s
The tour of the Sacred Valley of the Inca´s was the taster of what was going to happen to us over the coming few days. Visiting two Inca sites and getting acquinted with our group and wonderful guide ´Dimas´ was what this day was all about.Once again we found it a bit of a struggle climbing up ruins in our poncho´s in high altitude, but these ruins were NOTHING!!! compared to what we would be faced with, these little sites were like a skip in the park on a nice summers days. Of course we didn´t quite know how hard the trek was going to be.
Having seen some sites, visited traditional grounds where Peruvians showed us how they tailored garments and survived the first of a rickety bus ride we came to our first resting point. The little town of Ollantaytambo was right in the middle of the mountains. This was probably the first time i felt i was moving far away from civilisation. We went for some drinks and ate a very nice meal and spent the last night in a comfy bed... The last comfy bed and shower we would experience for a couple of days.
The pains of Day 1
How on earth we got through this day i really don´t know. All i can say is thank goodness for Shelley, Laura and Shah... The slow ones at the back of the trek tribe. I wasn´t alone!
The begining of the day didn´t seem so bad. We arrived at the entry point and got our passport stamps on Inca trail entry, crossed the river and hiked out of civilisation. Before lunch there was one high peak, but it was after the amazingly made porter lunch that the hard work began. It was about a 3 hour up hill hike to the campsite but the last hour of steps took their toll. Shelley, Laura and I hung at the back praying that as we turned another corner there wouldn´t be another staircase waiting for us... But surprise surprise they didn´t seem to stop.The comedy moment of Shelley grabbing Laura´s boob when she thought she had her arm broke the climbing tension into laughter.
The last to reach the campsite... we could relax! We did trek through some amazing scenery, but the pain of that walk took it´s toll on all of us! We camped just below Dead Woman´s Pass that night getting prepared for another 5am wake up call.
The Dead women crossing Dead Woman´s Pass on Day 2
As soon as we left the campsite i felt out of breathe! This was the moment we had been dreading the most. Dead Woman´s Pass! This is the highest point of the Inca Trail being some 4200 meters (or 13650 feet) above sea level. Lucky for us it was dry in the morning and after the the awful step climbing from Day 1 this didn´t seem quite so bad. The views were beautiful from the top peak, but as we headed back down the rain started.
After climbing up and down another couple of high passes where the views were unappreciated because of the fog we reached our second campsite - the cloud forest. One of the most beautiful places i have spent the night in my life. We were literally camping in the clouds. This night made all the hard work seem worth it. Breathe taking scenery and the highest pass conquered.
The downhill of Day 3
Day three was all downhill. Because of the time of year and mudslides we has to hike to the town closest to Machu Picchu, having hiked the majority uphill for two days you would think going down would be a breeze, but it is hard on the legs. Not following the traditional trail we had to walk across the train tracks... Jumping aside when trains came and continuing to force our little hard done by legs to keep on going. The porters were incredible and carried so much stuff on their backs at a speed so much faster than ours.
After lunch by the train track we made it in one painful peice to our hotel for the night. The shower and bed were much appreciated. Farewells were given between trekkers and porters and everything seemed pretty good....That was until Shelley came to the room after her massage. She had been sunburnt so badly that her neck had blistered and the massuese at ´Killa Massage´hadn´t been gentle and popped her burnt back! It was awful. So much for the well deserved comfy sleep.
The beauty of Day 4
We did it - We made it to Machu Picchu...Tired but alive we were able to take in the beauty of Machu Picchu!!! An amazing trek but one of the hardest things i have ever done in my life... It took a good couple of hours before we saw the ruins because the fog was so heavy and the rain came down, but when Machu Picchu did appear it was amazing and the rain stopped. My advise would be do some training before you go!