Our final day on the trail! With hardly any sleep and still feeling worse for wear, we were woken at 3:30am, had breakfast, got dressed and were ready to go by 4:20. The short 5 minute walk brought us to the gate where we were to queue until 5:30.
The point of waking up early was to be near the front of the queue in order to be one of the first to get through and on the way to Machu Picchu. Being first was important so you could experience the site without too many people infront of you.
We made it second in the queue and slowly but surely throughout the hour more and more groups started building up behind us.
At 5:20, ten minutes earlier than planned the gates opened and the race was on to get to Sun Gate or Intipunku, the Inca Trail entrance to Machu Pichu. The one hour hike was relatively flat and Heidi and I would normally have gone really fast but our stomachs didn’t want us going quickly.
We finally reached the 50 steps known as the Gringo Killer. We climbed to the top and there it was, the great city of Machu Picchu. In a way it was slighly anti climatic since it looked quite far away and I was expecting the classic postcard picture view but once we walked a little further down the valley it looked as impressive as expected.
Casiano gave us some free t-shirts and guided us around this amazing site for over 2 hours. Andrew and Zeyna climbed up the mountain Wayna Picchu but we had no interest since we were quite weak and tired and wanted to enjoy the tour.
Machu Picchu is so impressive and served so many functions in the Inca times from housing to farming, temples to military fortresses. It encompasses all the incredible features and architectures from the other ruins in one place. It must have taken so much effort and time to construct such a wonder!
I could go on about all that we learnt but I would need to write a whole book! Look at some more pictures instead…
After our tour we caught the bus down to Aguas Calientes where we all met up at a restaurant for our final goodbye lunch. It was a very nice meal, and slightly strange since a train made its way past the restaurant every few minutes. We said our goodbyes to Casiano and Roger, our two incredible guides and then headed to the train station.
Unfortunately I had upgraded our ticket to a more comfortable train with better panoramic views. This meant we had to say goodbye to our fellow travellers who made the 4 days so amazing! Ange, Lauren, Tricia, Andrew, Zeyna and Saurab…we will never forget you!!!
The 4 hour train journey back on the ‘Vistadome’ was interesting to say the least. Heidi was too ill to enjoy it, but I found it amazing!! Great views and some nice food! Also there was a man in some kind of costume who danced down the carriage and we also had a fashion show by the train staff who modelled some Alpaca clothing.
When we finally arrived in Poroy, the Llamapath minibus was there ready to take us back to our guest house in Cusco, where we enjoyed a comfortable warm bed and a clean bathroom.
Thanks to Llamapath for an amazing 4 days which were superbly organised.
We had an amazing experience and Heidi did particularly well considering she was in pain with her knees and was feeling quite ill with little rest!! I am so proud of her and every one in our group! It was epic!!