The Last Day - Arriving at Machu Picchu

Trip Start Dec 14, 2007
Trip End Nov 04, 2008

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Where I stayed
Hostal Machu Picchu - after the jungle everything is good!

Flag of Peru  ,
Monday, April 7, 2008

Getting up at 4am in the cold and wet, after we were all dancing 5 hours before is a tough call, but everyone really wanted to get to Machu Picchu and see if it was really worth all the effort.

One of the things we found out that morning, was that the porters had been sleeping on the ground without any tents all along. No wonder they all look extremely aged even though they are mostly in their twenties.

Anyway, after a good strong breakfast (pancakes are always present) we started walking to get to the check point to get into Machu Picchu. The control starts at 5.30am so we were all there at 5.10 am to make sure we all got in within the limited numbers they allow.

The first hour of the morning involved walking along the jungle with torches which was good fun but slow. After that we trailed along incredible cliffs which meant a sure death if anyone slipped off.

After 2 hours we finally arrived at the Sun Gate, which is where the classical postcard picture of Machu Picchu is taken. However, the god Sun Inti was not on our side, and fog covered the whole area. Without the photgraphic opportunity we continued our walk downwards and much to our surprise after 20 minutes the sun started appearing and clearing the fog.

Small stone structures started appearing in the distance but nothing prepared us for what we would see when we finally arrived at 100 metres distance of the ruins.

The pictures show how the day evolved from foggy moments to a strong sun which continued the rest of the day.

The ruins of Machu Picchu are inmense and well worth the effort of the 4 day trek. Luckily we managed to arrive before the hundreds of tourists which start pouring at 9am, so we could stroll along viewing everything empty (a must).

William took us round for 2 hours explaining all the ruins and the site, and then challenged anyone with sufficient strength to do a last 2 hour climb to the top of Winya Picchu. Marcos and Uri accepted the challenge and after the tour climbed up.

The climb to Winya Picchu is not an easy one and people are warned that they must be fit and health as the steps are incredible small and at some stages ropes are necessary to assist the climb, as well as crawling on knees and hands to pass a very small tunnel. The last effort was well worth it in any case as the view from the top on a sunny day is incredible.

At 1pm we all descended to Aguas Calientes on a bus and checked into our hotel (4 people stayed and the rest went back to Cusco). We only had energies left for some food and straigth to the hotel to get some well deserved rest...
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