After four days in heavy clouds and rain walking the Inca trail it’s very nice to be back in Cusco and a dry bed.
We left early on Monday starting our with a few hours drive to Qorihuayrachina / Km. 88 where we met our guides and porters. We got checked in and started our hike. The first part was easy going and we missed most of the rain, we even got a bit of sun.
After lunch the going was a bit tougher and we got a little taste of how the terrain would be on day two.
The views were great and we ended up at Wayallabamba where we had dinner and our first camp at 3100 m.s.l.
Day two – climbing Dead Woman Pass
Day two is the most strenuous part of the Inca trail. It’s a 9 km walk ascending 1100 m from our camp at 3100 m.s.l. to the top at 4200 m.s.l.. And then down steep steps to out camp Paqaymayu at 3500 m.s.l.
The views going up is great but not far from the top the rain came and even I came to the to there wasn’t much to see. Walking down was a bit easier than going up but some of the steps are rather lathe and where there are no steps you got a rocky round that I felt was unpleasant under feet. We walked the whole route without any lunch stop and a got lunch at the last camp. I did this part in about 8 hours and was quite empty when I arrived. I ate a little, rested a bit in my tent and then we sat around talking until dinner at seven. We got the briefing for day three and then we went to bed. That night was the coldest on the trek and we woke to rain in the air and fresh snow on the mountain tops.
Day three – Cultural day.
The third day was also a long walking day, but by now I’ve got a bit more user to the surface and the going was easy. Our first so was at Runkurakay a fortress overlooking the valley where we spent the night. We got some guidance by our guides but it was raining so we didn’t spend much time there. The going to the first pass that day was steep like the day before but much shorter. Our second stop for the day was the Inca town Sayaqmarka, a well preserved Inca town. The rain held back for a while and we got some more information. Then we went to Chaquiqocha where we had lunch.
After lunch we started on the last eight km for the day. This was a really nice walk and if it wasn’t for the fog we would have a great view. The last two hours was mostly stairs, and the rain was pouring for most of the time. Now and then it would clear and we got some great views.
Our last camp was at Winay Wayna. Here we had dinner, a five soles hot shower and a small ceremony where we handed out tip to our porters who has been with us these days. Then we went to bed.
Day four – Machu Picchu
The last day started with a wakeup call at 0300, we had a quick breakfast and then went to the last checkpoint in the dark. There we had to wait got one and a half hour until 0530 when the gates opened and we were of to the Sun Gate, in the rain. This was a six km walk and the terrain was good. At the Sun Gate we got our first site of Machu Picchu. It was a bit foggy and my camera lens got foggy. Got only a few images from there.
In Machu Picchu we got a guided tour and then had a lot of time on our selves. We walked around for a while but it never really cleared up.
We went down to Machu Picchu Town where we had dinner and waited for the train to Cusco
Our train left at 1845 and since a occupied a whole carriage it turned into a disco south people dancing in the isle and drinking beer. Even managed to get the staff in the carriage to join in. The train took about two hours and then we got on to buses for the last leg. I was back here around eleven at night, had a quick shower and slept like a baby.
After another day in Cusco it was time to say goodbye to some of out fellow travellers that was doing only half the trip and head out again toward Lake Titicaca and eventually Bolivia.
First stop Puno at the great lake.