Inca Trail Day 3 - A celebration of UK New Year
Trip Start Feb 26, 2010
371Trip End Feb 26, 2011
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Where I stayed
On a campsite somewhere on the Inca Trail
We had another huge breakfast of porridge, omelette and toast before a brief session with the porters talking about ourselves and themselves through Bill’s translation
We could hardly see the ruin as we approached but could hear the noise of running water through the clouds. We were told that the water here was thought to provide eternal youth. We soon saw the sacrificial tables where both animal and human sacrifices were given to the Incan gods while there were chairs built into the table facing the other way. The terraces around the site provided an almost amphitheatre type effect, but it was probably the water falls in the ruins that captured our imagination the most. There must have been about 7 manmade bathing houses with a small waterfall in each to bath. Bill started telling us about how cold the water was and how the Incans on the way to Machu Picchu would cleanse their soles were by meditating under the freezing cold water until they were in a spiritually different place. He then started chanting and singing to show how the Incan’s built the whole place with acoustics in mind, with the mist and cloud clearing and reforming you could almost imagine this place up and running 400 – 500 years ago. After about 45 minutes admiring the place and seeing newer and older paths that have been found, along with Bill’s passion for wanting to find other ruins of which he is convinced many more exist (indeed one was found last year in the jungle that is thought to make Machu Picchu seem very very small).
Anyway another amazingly steep descent started, however at one point I spun to take a picture of the ruins and a humming bird flew straight at me then just hovered in front of me almost looking at me. We maybe descended about 1.3km in height before finding a few other sets of ruins which Bill told us all about. We finally found camp at about 1pm which gave us time for a shower (what a luxury) before donning the dirty clothes having a short rest while the early birds from other groups arrived. We had afternoon tea at 4pm then headed for probably our greatest part of the whole Inca Trail (yes better than Machu Picchu). We took our most valuable possession carried for the last three days, two cartons of cheap red wine, and had probably about a one – two hour guided tour around the ruins of Winaywayna or Huinay Huayna. We then sat up above this amazing site completely on our own, drank our two litres of red wine, watched the sun set offering shades of reds over glaciers and mountains, a clear evening with the clouds below us. I passed around coca leaves to everyone and we placed some in some of the walls while Bill said some traditional Incan prayers to the Incan Gods. At 7pm we then wished each other a happy English New Year (note the Australian New Year was several hours before). It was completely pitch black but we all had our torches and made sure we cleaned up after ourselves and were greeted by our porters who had sent out not one but two search parties thinking we had got lost or something had happened