Published: March 14th 2007March 14th 2007 Cusco and Machu Puicchu
After a 4 day trek we finally reach our destination, and there is even time for a timer pic!
The second country that we visited was Peru and are first night was spent in a cafe in Lima airport sleeping. At about 6 in the morning we caught are connecting flight to the mountain town of Cusco. We stayed here for 5 nights acclimatizing, resting, watching football and exploring the Inca surroundings. We looked at a very interesting Inca temple/fort on top of one of the mountains over looking Cusco. The Incas shaped Cusco as a Puma and this was seen as its head. The stones blocks used were massive and it was a very impressive sight. We spent a lot of time in Cusco at the hostel as it was filled with western travelers so it was nice to hear their stories and get ideas about where to head next. All the westerners meant that there were parties in the hostel nearly every night so very little sleeping was done during the night! After our five nights we set off early in the morning on the Inca Trail!
We started the Inca trail very excited and all 4 of us set off at reasonably fast pace together. No one was feeling the affects of
An Inca staircase winding down through the jungle.
the altitude and we thought that everything would go smoothly, how we were wrong... We went past our first Inca site, where the road split, either the 3 day trail we were taking of the short cut 1 day trail. There was an old Inca fort protecting the fort in the road with watch towers and terraced defenses. We were treated to some lovely food at lunch and dinner by porters who would run ahead set up lunch and tents, then clear up after us, over take us and set up dinner and tents for when we reached camp! Once ye did reach camp people started to fall... During dinner both Dan and Matthew started looking worse and worse and went straight to sleep to try and recover for the next days trek.
The next day they were really bad, crawling out of their tent to our guild Victor looking for help, who obliged by mixing some strong (and odd) smelling fluids and making them inhale them. With this failing, there was not much left to do for them except get a porter to carry there bags and watch them slowly try and continue the walk. The second day
Max looking over the jungle from an Inca path.
was by far the hardest day and there were no Inca sites to see, 8 hours of solid trekking! The second day also involved crossing the highest pass on the whole trail and the final approach up to that was one of the hardest things i have ever done. Max and I went ahead of the group and kept the pace of the porters most of the time but for the approach of the pass we were stopping after every minute an the twelve odd kg on are back really started to way us down. Once at the top he had the joy of being surrounded in clouds and so headed down the other side pretty rapidly. We got to a point when we realised that it was much safer, quicker and more fun to run down the steps and so headed down at an alarming rate. It felt like free running and was something we continued to do the rest of the trek.
Day 3 and i was starting to feel a little ill even though we had passed the highest point. The next pass was pretty steep with big drops on either side so i may have
Machu Picchu In Clouds
Our first real few of Machu Picchu, shrouded in clouds.
only been feeling ill because of my fear of heights. Once a the top i felt much better and we had a beautiful view of some near by snow capped mountains. One again down the other side me and Max went ahead sprinting down the mountain. Day 3 was the longest day because we visited lots of Inca sites on the way, temples, forts, rest posts and farms. after lunch we entered the most exciting part of the trek... The original Inca steps and stairs led down the mountain through the jungle and the scenery was so incredible. We went down spiral stair cases in the jungle that were hundreds of years old. The whole experience reminded me of something out of Pans Labyrinth. The final nights camp was only a 2 hour trek from Machu Puicchu, so our destination was just over the horizon.
We woke up very early in the dark on the final day so as to reach Machu before the crowds got there. However as we started walking the weather turned and for the first time on the trail the heavens open and we got soaked. When we reached the view of Machu Puicchu you
First Inca Ruin
The 1st Inca ruin we saw, where the road divided and we started the uphill part of our trek.
could barely see your hand in front of your face, let a lone the city its self. Lucky for us after and hour or so wondering the city soaked to the bone the clouds parted and the sun arrived. The day turned out amazing and we spent a long time exploring the ruins and climbing the different surrounding view points, The sight its self is just so amazing and I just cant imagine how the built it up there, it really was so good and definitely matched Angel Falls and maybe even bettered it. We descended the mountain with little thoughts other than how amazing the trek as a whole had been and considering what on the rest of our trip would match that experience... hopefully lots of things...
There are more photos below