So, after an abysmally early wake up call (No Darwin and hot tea that morning!), we huddled in a tent trying to eat breakfast, despite being fed a usual banquet of double carb delight for dinner the day before. (Peru, the only place you get rice and potatoes all in one dish!). I tried some quinoa porridge, I guess you would call it. I liked it as it was milk free and flavoured with apple. The porters had also cooked us a good luck cake! Cake for breakfast, who am I to argue!
Part of the reason for the wake up call, we had to reserve a place in line to enter the last part of the walk. The guides escorted us there, then left us in the dark waiting for go time. Which wasn’t till 0530! I reckon there must be a secret VIP lodge around somewhere!
So we waited, we took turns to get our loo breaks done. This campsites squats were the worst yet and you could smell them from quite a distance. Doing your thing is the bush is considered bad form as there is already so much damage to the trail from all the people on it all the time! We told inappropriate stories…well at least I did. Give me credit though, it took a full two days to tell a nursing poo story at the dinner table.
It started to get light and finally, we were allowed through. People were gunning it! I kept up with the people in my group as long as I could…meaning as long as it was mostly flat! Then I slowed down and Greg and I took it at pace. It is a really, really beautiful walk. Finally we got to the last section of the trail, which leads up to the Sun Gate, this is where you get your first glimpse of the ruins. It is up the most steep stone steps you’ve ever scene…you can pretty much almost climb them with hands and feet.
When we finally got there,Â it almost felt anti-climatic! It was just so quick, we were there. After days of walking, one short stint in the morning and we had arrived…
It was a great view, the ruins are huge. We all began to trek down to the ruins, where all those classic postcard shots come from. We were sweaty and stinky and as we took photos and gazed about, it became a bit surreal. Part of the reason being that all the day tourists began to show up! The lazy buggers that had just hopped on a train. They were clean and loud and bright. Quite the opposite to us!
We walked through the ruins to get out and get our passports stamped. Also, to pay one peruvian sole for the glory of a flushing toilet, which you could also sit down on. (it’s the little things ok!).
We then went back into the site to get our final tour from our guides. Wilbur took us through the different areas of the sites, explaining the way it had been designed and what certain areas were for. It is all pretty darn cool!
After that we were left to explore on our own. Greg downed his beer (I helped a bit!) and off we went. We probably only did a little more before it started to rain quite heavily. We decided to vacate and have a hot drink. It was much nicer at the site earlier on when there weren’t as many tourists about anyway.
We met up with the rest of the Intrepid group and had lunch in the Machu PIchu town. I was so sleeeeeepy. We caught a train, then a bus back to Cusco. We all managed to nip a nap here and there, but it was a long slog back. Finally about 8pm I managed to get a hot shower, so much glory!
So, that was it, the trek was done. A few days later, it doesn’t feel quite real. I think I would do it again, but maybe take a spare lung or two.
Whew. I am almost caught up with all this blogging!
Good on you for doing it Tan & Greg!!! I cant wait to see the pics. I feel I have done it too, through you, so now i never have to do it!
Keep blogging woman!
There was a good show on SBS about MP last night, we watched it with greater interest that usual.