A very early start this morning though Im not entirely sure why seeing as though we got up around 4am only to get to the gate for around 4.45 to wait in a queue for the gates to be open. As soon as the gates opened at 5am, everyone surged forward and started walking at such a fast pace. Its not like Machu Picchu is going anywhere! But because everyone was walking at such a fast pace and we were all so close together coupled with the fact that the trail was very narrow so overtaking was quite hard, we all had to continue this rather rapid pace otherwise you would be holding everyone behind you up. We maintained this pace for about an hour and at the end of it, I was gasping for breath. I don’t think I’ve ever breathed that heavily before!
By the time we reached the sungate, it was light and we had a perfect view of Machu Picchu!! It was beautiful. We had heard of some stories from others that when they arrived at the sungate, they could see nothing because of fog, and that was just a few days ago, so I guess we were pretty lucky.
Me, John and Tom at the sungate
What I didn’t realise was that from the sungate there was about another 45 minute to an hours walk down to Machu Picchu. Though we took our time as we were one of the first ones to get to the sungate. We managed to get down to Machu Picchu ready for sunrise. It was amazing watching the sun rise over Machu Picchu. The grand scale of the site is unimaginable. Its crazy to think that this was built thousands of years ago with such limited technology.
Me and John at Machu Picchu
At Machu Picchu we were able to explore the grounds ourselves and when we were ready we just took the bus down to Aguas Calientes, a small town where we would meet up with Freddy for lunch. We decided against climbing Huayna Picchu as we were too tired and the sun was out so I decided to do a spot of sunbathing after exploring the grounds. I also started to feel a little bit self conscious about the way I smelt after 4 days with no shower and sweating like a pig every day as all the day trippers started arriving.
On the way out, we got our stamp in our passport showing that we completed the Inca Trail. The stamp was pretty good with a tag line of 100 years since it had been founded – definitely a nice edition to my passport stamps.
When we got to Aguas Calientes, we met up with Freddy and had a spot of lunch. We then said our goodbyes and he gave us our train tickets to get back to Cusco but the train wasn’t until the early evening so we had a bit of time to explore the town..though there wasn’t really much there. It was very touristy and probably not a place I would recommend.
The train we were on had glass windows in the ceiling so it made for a fairly scenic ride! We arrived in Cusco and were picked up by Wayki Trek staff. We decided to spend the night at the Wayki Trek hostel for convenience. That first shower back was amazing though I still don’t feel 100% clean! I went to sleep happy after 4 amazing days. I would recommend the Inca Trail to anyone and everyone!