The 4-Day Inca trail to Machu Picchu
Trip Start Jun 09, 2010
23Trip End Aug 04, 2010
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We all woke up very excited about the 4-day Inca trail ahead of us. Freddie and Jako, our guides, picked us up at 7:30am and about an hour later we were at Km 82 where the trail starts. We got the first stamp on our passports (!) and started the 45Km journey to the lost citadel. Apart from us 10 there were also 15 porters carrying all required equipment, 2 cooks and 2 guides. And so the marathon began!!!
The scenery was beautiful along the way and the great weather helped to enjoy it. The view of the valley, the river and the snow-cap mountains was just unforgettable. Our first stop was at the Inca town call Llactapata, which was used as checkpoint in old times for people crossing the valley. About 40min later on we had our fist lunch break, where we discovered the amazing skills of our chef, Marko
5:30am wake-up call with coca tea and hot water in bowls to wash our faces. By 6:30am we had started our way up to the most difficult part of the trail. The ascent to Dead Woman's Pass at 4200m. The first part of the climb was OK and a break came after about 1,5hrs for cookies and some rest. The second part of the ascent was representative of the Andean microclimate, with sub-tropical vegetation despite the 3700m above sea level
With shaking legs we made our way down to the bottom of the valley on the other side of the mountain. Marko had prepared apple and cheese pies for us as a reward for the tiring day. A dive in the freezing-cold river was our -optional- shower. A nap under the beautiful afternoon sun was perfect to get us through the rest of the day. Dinner and card games in our dinning tent led us to our tents very early at night. We could hardly keep our eyes open anymore.
The rooster and some coca tea woke us up around 5:30am for the start of the longest day of all; today we had to cover 16Km
We started our way down and later on we stopped at Sayacmarca temple, which means "inaccessible", due to its position which was difficult to reach by potential intruders. After a short break at a nearby camp site we made our way up to the next high pass for that day. We were now walking on 95% original Inca trail, well in the Andean forest and the view over the valley was breathtaking. The stunning scenery with snow-cap mountains all around made the 1,5hrs hike to the next pass very enjoyable. We also went through 2 or 3 Inca tunnels on the way. By the time we reached the pass, Marko had already prepared for us an amazing lunch. From that point we had panoramic views of the Urubamba valley and right in front of us we could see for the first time the Machu Picchu mountain, however from its back side.
After recharging our batteries we made our way to the last part of the long day trek
Later on that night all of us gathered in the dining tent with all porters, cooks and guides to thank them for all their amazing efforts that made those three days such an enjoyable experience for us. Had it not been for them, we would have no food, nowhere to sleep in, no water to drink, in a nutshell no chance to make it to Machu Picchu. We are so grateful to these local men who helped us so much.
We went to bed early because it would be a 3:30am wake-up on the next day. It was the day that we would visit Machu Picchu…