Machu Pichu Day 2..the neverending stairs.

Early morning wake up of 0530 – one of the guides, Darwin, would knock on the front of the tent with a cup of tea – it was a bit nice! He’s a young guy, 24, with a voice deeper then Greg. He had all us ladies in twitters in the mornings, as the wake up call went something like   “Good morning, may I please open your tent?”….yes Darwin, yes you may!

He’s actually a lovely guy, Greg and I spent a lot of time with him as we were heading up the rear of the party! He is very into the nature and orchids. He really loves the mountains and doing the trail. It was nice to see.

That morning, was first pass. Steady climbing, grinding and difficult! I met some Australians from Perth who were doing a small private walk, they were slow and steady also. They has all had beers with breakfast as it was Anzac Day, so maybe it gave them super power!. The first pass was surreal, I was going as steady as I could, but had to keep stopping for little rests. As we got higher, we could see a mist rising, blanketing the view of the campsite from which we came. We stopped at the top to admire the view from the pass which is aptly named “Dead Woman’s Pass”. From a distance the outline of the mountain looks like a woman laying on her back. I’ve just realised I’ve no good pics of that… you will have to hike it one day to see!

SO many stairs!

I keep going to write hill, but there were no hills on this trek!

At the top of the first pass – 4,200m!

It started to rain as we ventured down again! The steps are stone and steep. The hiking poles are a godsend, the trek is heavy on your knees. Wilbur and Darwin
swapped places at this stage. Greg and I walked with him, spottng humming birds
and all sorts of things. WIlbur is quite a funny guy, we were talking a lot about the different character types which come on the track. Sometimes people try to run it and go really gung ho and get into trouble. Even though it felt a bit shit at the time, I am glad I wasn’t speeding along. Greg and I could talk, we basically had a private guide most of the time. It was always nice. (Except on those bloody uphill stairs!).

Down again!

We did see a hummingbird nest, which was cool! Wilbur says the guides will take the eggs if they know where they are, so he had been keepig an eye on these particular

After about 2 hours of downhill, it was time for lunch – hooray!

2nd pass: I can’t decide if it was more difficult, it wasn’t as long, but it was very steep. We passed another Incan site which was possibly a signal staion between sites. This area reminded me of the Pilbara a litte, except for all the green stuff! There was a lake in the last part, sometimes there are deer there in the afternoon.

Some porters having a break after a particularly nasty section!

Standing on lookouts and seeing clouds very close to you is crazy, but cool. We eventually made second pass! Technically the hardest part of the trek was done. The rest would be mostly down hill, then “Andean Flat” which means up and downhill.

At the top of second pass! Here we discovered a few things..1. The porters are a superstitious lot, they pile rocks up in thanks to the “mother” and 2. Darwin, our guide was into Metallica, he pointed out some clouds throwing the horns!

We walked downhill another few hours. There were a lot of Incan sites and stops along the way for nature and look outs. There were two sites about 25 minutes from our evening camp. The one set on the hill was amazing, it looked like it was living in the clouds. We got heaps of pictures here.

It was dark by the time we made camp at like 630pm. Everyone was pretty tired by this point. We got used to having to hold our bladders at night. The squats were usually to far to contemplate in the dark and cold.

We were fed really well the whole time we were on camp. It was amazing that the chefs could make such such tasty things without a proper kitchen to be seen.
I had a lot of quinoa! Rice, potatoes. I even got plantains for breakfast one morning – they are like savoury bananas.

So, that was day 2 – it was really hard in the morning, but I had got used to the idea that even though I wasn’t going fast, I was still going!  Greg’s comment “It was very hard, but very rewarding..we saw some cool Incan Ruins!” We did basically hike up to a height of around 4,200 m then down, then back up again to 3,950m!

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