Along the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu
Trip Start Aug 21, 2008
11Trip End Sep 14, 2008
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We met the rest of our group at 5:45am in Cuzco before boarding a bus for the three hour drive to the start of the trek. The rest of our hiking group were a bunch of friends from the US and would provide us with lots of entertainment over the next four days. With the nine of them and our porters and guides, our total team was 31 which sounds a lot, but was a good number to share the trek with. The first day started out hot, but soon we were climbing and seeing the first of many ruins along the way
We started off at about 7am after pancakes and fantastic porridge for the longest day´s hiking. There were two passes to cross. The first, Dead Woman´s Pass, was the highest at 4200m, and then another had to be crossed after we had dropped down 600m. Melissa hung out with one of our guides Valentine who showed her local plants while I ran ahead racing the younger guys down the hill.
This was an easy relaxing day with some of the best ruins after getting to camp at lunchtime. We were close to Machu Picchu and there was a small hotel here that meant we could all have a hot shower or even massage that one of the girls took up.
Awoke at about 3:30am to another cloudless sky and started packing so that we could head off to Machu Picchu for sunrise. A lot of groups left early, but we waited until 5:15 which ended up making more sense as the gate that was 5 mins from camp didn´t oen until 5:30. There was more climbing that expected but I ran most of the way to the sun gate for the first view of Machu Picchu. It was definitely the best way to get to it. We eventually walked down to the site for a tour amongst the other hundreds of tourists before a long trip back to Cuzco via the hot springs at Aguas Calientes.