It was a long trek up the first afternoon and as we got higher and higher our breathing also got harder and harder, or it could just have been me and Leanne chatting at the back that took our breaths away, in addition to the amazing scenary we were seeing at every pace!
The view from our tent on the first morning up the mountain.
This morning was a relatively early start, although not as early as yesterday, and after waking to amazing views of the mountains and llamas outside our tents we had an amazing breakfast and continued up the long trek to Dead Womans Pass.
Dead Womans Pass, and I think it nearly was, is at 4200 m or 13650 ft.
The team at Dead Womans Pass!
We did really good actualy, and did it I think in just 2 hours (or so). Nik had already been at the top for half hour and the others had made it just before Leanne and I, and because of this we had time for just a few postcard pictures and a quick snack then it was off back down the other side!
Me at Dead Womans Pass.
By the time we reached Sayac Marca (meaning Dominant Town) the skies were clearing and the sun was coming out, we could see our campsite for the night in the distance, about another half hour walk but in the meantime we enjoyed a well needed rest and a chance to soak up the amazing views,as well as the sunshine, and learn more about the Inca history and culture.
The ruins show the Inca tendency to incorporate the natural structure of the site into the architecture. A large projection of rock is surrounded by several of the interior rooms in what looks to be a temple and there is a lot of stonework built right out of the existing stone surface of the site. Steps lead up and down to the various levels of the site as it conforms to the shape of the ridge. There are also the remains of an aqueduct system still visible coming coming off the ridge above into the top of the site.
This was to be our easiest day with just a pleasant sedate walk down the other side of the final pass to reach our final destination of the hostal and bar at around lunch time.
Steps, steps and more steps!!
Back at camp we treated ourselves to a well deserved beer, or Pisco Sour, and a nice relax before dinner.
Nik was very keen to be the first at the gate and after breakfast of a fully iced cake at 4.30am he ran off to reserve our place. While we were packing up we saw another group head off but we were secure in the knowledge that Nik was racing for our team!
Our first real view of machu Picchu!
Following our visit to the site we headed off into the nearest town of Aguas Callientas for lunch and a beer to celebrate.
Aguas Callientas is a strange little town which seems to serve just Machu Picchu and the route between here and Ollantayambo where the tour buses pick us up to take us back to Cusco.
What was strange about this town was that the train came right into and through the main street, we were sitting there having pizza for lunch when straight past us went the train!
A great little town though and the perfect spot for a beer to celebrate our triumph before we headed back to Cusco, exhausted but happy!