The 'Inka Trail'

Trip Start Jul 08, 2008
1
6
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Trip End Jul 20, 2008


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Saturday, July 19, 2008

We arrived in Cusco after the most uncomfortable bus journey ever. The bus was excellent, with a meal provided but the road over the Andes was bloody awful. The town was okay, but super touristy with pumped up prices. It was necessary to stay a couple of nights to acclimatise to the altitude. We booked onto a tour through our hostel, and this is how it went....
 
The first day we got a bus up to Abra del de Malaga pass (4319m) and cycled down hill to Santa Maria. The ride was 50km with a drop of over a km, and took 4 hours with breaks. This was awesome, with views over the valley, though there were a few too many shrines and debris over the edge of the cliffs! Once in Santa Maria we booked into a hostel and had food with our group, only 9 people which was lucky as some groups had 20 people and were chaotic and unorganised to say the least.
 
Day Two we got up early and set off on the walk to Santa Teresa through Amazonian jungle. The walk wasn´t too bad apart from one massive uphill where we almost died! One thing kept us going...the thought of the hot springs just outside Santa Teresa. They were huge and...really hot, just what we needed.
 
Day three was a walk following train tracks all the way to Aguas Calientes, the town from which you go to Machu Picchu. Along the tracks was where we got our first glimpse of the site. The walk was a lot easier than the previous day, and we were relieved to reach Aguas Calientes.
 
Day four was the big one. We had to get up at 5 to catch a bus up to Machu Picchu. Once inside we had to race to the other side of the site to the registration booth to Wanya Picchu, the mountain over-looking the Inca city. Only 400 people are allowed up each day, and we had to be in the early slot of 200 as our tour was at 10am.....we made it in at number 160, after a few arguments with ´pusher-inners´! The views from the top were awesome. After a tour of the grounds we had a nap in a small building, took a few more photos and headed down at about 4pm. So impressive, made all the trekking worthwhile!
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