It rained all night! It wasnīt looking pretty for our last day on the Inca Trail, but we were all very excited because today we reached our destination - Machu Picchu! We were woken at 4am and were treated to pancakes for breakfast. We barely got our bums off the stools and the porters were packing up so they could get the first train to their homes. We donned every bit of wet weather gear we had, rainproof pants and jackets, then ponchoīs over the top. We got going on thelast short bit of the trail yet to complete, which was a mixture of uphill and downhill. It continued to rain and after an hour and a half we arrived at the "Sun Gate"! I was so excited, I was going to finally set eyes upon Machu Picchu from this high lookout. I stepped up between all the people and looked out into FOG! We managed to see a vague outline of it but not clearly at all. I didnīt get too disappointed because another hour and we would be there
. The track ended before I knew it and there was Machu Picchu before me. I got all emotional, after that long hard painful trek and having wanted to get here for so long. I shed a little tear of happiness! The ancient Incan settlement in front of us was all green, with symmetrical patterns of stepped walls, surrounded by pure whiteness of cloud, with only snippets of the backdrop of high sharp steep mountainous rock behind, which massively steep valleys below. So AMAZING! I was so happy even though it didnīt look like the picture/postcard with blue sky. I felt joy and awe! We got photos taken then took a break at the canteen to try to dry out. Then our guide took us through the grounds, telling us the history and information about what various buildings were used for and what sort of lifestyle the Incans had. This year is the one hundred year anniversary since a Westener discovered the abandoned settlement. Then we had a few hours to spend at the site to explore on our own. Some left for town straight away to get dry and warm and comfortable but I went nuts taking photos and cruising around and enjoying the vibe of Machu Picchu. I even climbed up the top, despite my wobbly legs and sore knees (it was a slow process, I was spent!) and then I realised I had better get onto a bus (they leave every 10 minutes) to go into Machu Picchu town to meet everyone at 1pm. I left feeling exhilarated but exhausted. I collapsed into the bus seat and could not move a muscle! Not even to review my photos. I just started to sob with exhaustion, joy and relief! I had to force my eyes open to watch the awesome scenery of steep cliff faces as we travelled down below the clouds, into the valley and into the town. I was the last person to stagger into the restaurant. We ordered food and I had a rum and coke! Then we all ordered Pisco Sours and made speeches of thanks to our guides. And our adventure was over. We had the afternoon to while away before we got the 6.30pm train and then bus back to Cusco. I opted for a hot shower and a massage. It was DIVINE! It eased up my muscles a lot and I felt heaps better. Wow! What an amazing day of my life!!