It's a long way to the top...
Trip Start Mar 01, 2011
12Trip End Jun 12, 2011
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The following morning we headed off at 7.00 through the Inca Jungle. The weather was a lot warmer with patches of rain and the walk quite intense at times. It was hard to distinguish the rain from the sweat, nice! Some parts of the walk were through the original Inca Trails, along the Urumbamba River and train tracks and the views the whole way were breathtaking! There was all types of plant life, banana and avocado trees, coca(ine) plants, coffee beans, different insects, millipedes, huge snails,and beautiful butterflies along the way
The next day was a bit more easy going, we only walked 6 hours till we reached Aguas Caliente the closest (6km) town to Machu Picchu. It was an early night there as we had a 4.00am start the next morning. We commenced our walk to the National Park entry and waited for the gates to open at 6.00am, then we began our ascent. After biking and walking for the last 3 days it was quite tough going but a good way to wake up! We were one of the first to reach the top (in just under 50 minutes) and I was the first female, not bad for an old chook :) Being first had it's advantages, we got the choice to climb Wayna Picchu Mountain and at what time. They only allow 200 people up at 2 times both in the morning. We chose 10-11 when the cloud/mist had blown over. It also meant we were the first into Machu Picchu and managed to get photos before it was filled with loads of tourists. Ray gave us a guided tour then we were left to our own devices. We took that opportunity to take the classic postcard shot near the guard's house and to climb Wayna Picchu. 360 metres higher than Machu Picchu, (we're mad, I know)! The views overlooking MP were spectacular and although it was knackering it was well worth it, that is where we stopped for lunch, can't say you do that all the time :)
The walk back down to Aguas Caliente was tough, and put alot of strain on my knees. Once in the town we headed straight to the hot springs to ease the pain before taking the train and bus back to Cusco for a well earned sleep. Today I had an hour and half hot stone massage just to set me right and prepare me for our next stop Copacabana, Bolivia!