Inca Trail (Day Three)

Trip Start Jul 31, 2006
Trip End Aug 24, 2006

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Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Although it's not as gruelling as climbing Dead Woman's Pass, day three of the Inca Trail is the longest.

With coca tea in hand, I arose to a gorgeous sunrise over the valley. With such beauty before me, I was confident today would be a lot more gentle than yesterday.

To quickly summarize the day... here is what happened:

- Passed three archaeological sites: Runkuraqay, Sayacmarca, and Phuyupatamarca.

- Made a valiant rescue attempt to save a walking stick that was accidently thrown over the trail's edge. Lying on our bellies - trying to reach as far as possible over the ledge - three of us were initially unsuccessful. We soon adopted the "chop stick technique" and were able to pluck the wayward stick up.

- Passed through a couple Inca carved tunnels along the path.

- Was rained upon as we strode through the cloud forests. It wasn`t a relentless rain, just a slight drizzle. If anything it was welcome, as it cooled us down and provided an eerie ambience to the hike.

- Had a cadre of gung-ho Americans/Canadians continuously passing us. We would catch up to them and then they would power forward... then we`d catch up to them again and then they`d push on. It reminded me of the movie "Dodgeball". Our group was the "Average Joe´s" and there`s was the evil juiced-up Ben Stiller team. They were physically superior, but we found a way to compete.

- Literally ran down the last hill of the day, knowing hot showers awaited.

- At the end of the day, sat with the group on a patio, as we looked out upon the valley before us. It was a very surreal moment. Everything seemed larger than life.

Tomorrow, we start the day at 4am in pursuit of the Machu of all Picchus.
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