2,000 stairs to Machu Picchu
Trip Start Jan 06, 2012
12Trip End Apr 01, 2012
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Where I stayed
What I did
Machu Picchu & Wayna Picchu
Since our tour group arrived into Aguas Calientes late in the afternoon we would be staying at another hostel before heading to Machu Picchu. This really allowed the anticipation to build up. After traveling to Tikal in Guatemala I knew that Machu Picchu was something that I had to see at least once in my life. I have read or watched shows about Machu Picchu and Incan civilization enough times to know that this is one of the greatest accomplishments of pre-modern construction known to man
After we arrived in Aguas Calientes we had some free time to take a much needed nap. We met the group around 7pm for dinner. Bryan, Brittany, and I all ordered lemonade to go with our food. While we were sitting at our table waiting Bryan happened to notice the bartender crack an egg into the blender and asked him if he was making pisco sours. He said no and nothing else. The next thing we know he was delivering our lemonades. We hadn’t paid close attention to the bartender and the egg after Bryan asked but we were a little afraid that the raw egg went into our drinks for some reason. We asked our guide if it was common to put juevos into the lemonade and he told us that it was. It adds a nice froth to the drink when you blend it up. We chose to skip the lemonades and stick with water.
After the group finished eating we got the spiel on Machu Picchu. For those of us that would be climbing the 2000 stairs we would be waking up at 3:45am and leaving around 4:15. This would allow us enough time to climb up and then be some of the first people in to do our tours. Anyone taking the bus to the top (Brittany) would leave a little later and had to purchase a ticket the night before
We made it about 30 yards before I heard some guy yelling at us. It was very dark out and a little sketchy at this point so I wasn’t sure what was going on. When I turned around he was grinning ear to ear and I said, "Que pasa amigo?" He held up my passport and waved it around a little. PHEW! In the frustration and commotion I had grabbed my passport holder and change and left my actual passport on the window counter. That could have been a total disaster! I thanked him numerous times and we were on our way.
Back at the hostel we hopped right into bed. No way I was going to over sleep or be tired for the big day. After about 45 minutes of laying there I finally started to drift off before our tour guides came banging on our door telling me it was “time to go to Machu Picchu” as a joke
When the alarm went off at 3:45am I had no problem hoping out of bed. I had all my stuff laid out and checked to make sure I had everything. I carried very little with me and setup a daypack for Brittany to bring on the bus with her. All I carried with me was a 2 liter water bottle, my passport (thankfully), my ticket in, a hoodie, two flashlights, and my poncho. It was really dark outside and the street lights are spaced about 100 yards apart. When we got downstairs and outside naturally it was raining and nobody from our group was out there. Bryan and I put our ponchos on over everything and started the 30 minute walk out of Aguas Calientes to the start of our 2000 stair climb. We were not going to waste time looking for our group or guides.
My legs were burning after about 50 stairs
Our water went pretty quickly and we were both sweating a ton in our ponchos. The humidity was high and the rain was only light for the second half of the hike so we ditched the ponchos. We took a few stops to catch our breath but we finally made it up to the top at about 6am. The sun had started to come out a little but it was still raining a bit. Brittany’s bus pulled up and we met up with our group to head in and start our tour!