Salkantay Trek to an ancient city..

Trip Start Dec 25, 2012
Trip End Aug 02, 2013

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Flag of Peru  , Cuzco Region,
Monday, May 20, 2013

After the mistake of booking the Inca Trail so early in Mexico City and not being able to make it in time we decided the Salkantay trek to Machu Picchu would be the next best thing!!

It was an early 4am pick up. After going to bed at 1:30am I knew it was going to be a very long morning.. Waiting for over and hour in the freezing cold main square for our bus to arrive, confirmed my exhausted thoughts!! When a local man come around selling homemade chocolate cake on a plastic plate (who eats cake at 4:30am in the morning?).. I thought the delirium had set in.... Ahead of us was a three hour FREEZING cold bus ride, an enjoyable breakfast of omelette and cocoa tea and an hour to thaw in the sun before starting the trek to the ancient city.

The terrain over the next four days changed quite dramatically. Starting with farming land, gravel roads and friendly locals, the enjoyable view of civilization slowly faded into amazing glacier capped peaks!! Our first evening of camp was set up in the valley of the Salkantay Mountains. With our tents all lined up under an extra shield of a walled tarp shed, we all slept soundly after a a very LONG first day. Before heading to bed we were warned to put ALL our belongings inside our tents. It was early the next morning I found out why? I was woken by the conversation of a curious horse that had wandered into the tarp shed and was poking around VERY close to our tent!

From the freezing cold of the glorious white peaks we headed down into the warmth of the jungle. The temperature was a very welcome change accompanied by some very unwelcome mosquito's!! The last night before heading in to Machu Picchu Pueblo was the night to let our hair down. With the following day consisting of zip lining over some amazing valleys and an easy three hour walk along the train tacks we were delighted to be able to relax in the hot springs (after not showering for three days, we all really need it!) before sinking some Jungle Inca Tequila, dancing around the bonfire and passing out in a tequila coma.

After a cozy night sleep in Mahcu Picchu town and another early morning start. We had a climb of 1700 over steps up the mountain to the ancient city.. We managed to do it in 45 mins! Whoo! When we reached the top dripping with sweat like a blind lesbian in a fish market, we were annoyed to find 100 or more people ahead of us who had come up by bus. OK, I can understand some peoples need to take a bus.. But to see a few young ladies.. In heels.. That had me perplexed.. Who the hell wears heels to trek Machu Picchu? Seriously?!

Entering the gates, we were lucky enough to catch a clear view of Machu Picchu before the cloud set in for the morning.. After a guided tour around the very impressive site, we were left to do our own exploring. Luck also bought us a ticket up Huayna Picchu. Once reaching the top, we left the hordes of tourist and took a track which lead us around the back of the mountain to an extra few smaller ruins.. Being the ONLY people on this side of the mountain was pretty incredible.. By the end of one magical but exhausting day the local lama's had became Solomon's new best friends (or so he thought) and we were all ready to board the train back into Cusco..

Pictures speak a thousand words but do they really give the subject the justice it deserves!!
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