Published: January 9th 2012January 9th 2012
HOLA….HOLA…WHOOO!!!!! This is what we awoke to at 3.30am whilst the tent was battered with rain. It was the day we had been looking forward to for so long, and yet, we were more than reluctant to get up in the freezing pouring rain, in the pitch black.
Finally, we were up, had some breakfast and were queuing outside the checkpoint for the start of the final 6km to the Sungate and eventually into Machu Picchu. It was still pouring with rain as it reached 5.30am which was the time we could finally enter and start to walk the last tiny bit of the trek. Worry was starting to set in though, what if we had undertaken this trek for the last 3 days only to be denied the sight of the wonder of the world we had all come to see because of the rain that seemed to not want to stop? But then the doors opened, and suddenly we were through, and although the rain hadn’t stopped, all fears of the rain and cloud vanished, and we were on a mission to get to the Sungate as quick as possible. It was by far the fastest everyone had
walked for the entire trail and the pace was phenomenal. So much so, that we barely realised that the rain had stopped when we finally arrived at the steps that led to the Sungate. From the other side, we could hear the cheers and whoops of the people that had arrived there before us and made our anticipation build to maximum levels. So, Donna and I climbed the steps together and there it was…..in all it’s glory. What an amazing sight, but more so, what an amazing feeling to see the place that we had trekked over 45km and over 4 days to see. Again the group congratulated each other as we had done the whole way, and then the photos started to flow. After around 30 minutes here, we were all eager to get to the ruins and take the must have postcard view snap of Machu Picchu. So we set of for the final 40 minute trek.
On arrival, there was a real mixture of emotions. Firstly, before we saw the postcard view, we were reunited with the guys that were taken ill on the second day. They had come via train, and so were still able
to see this wonder. This was a great feeling and they were greeted by everyone like long lost best friends which was awesome. The next emotion though wasn’t a good one, as there was a guy lying on the floor surrounded by people just on the main plateau. It turns out, he had run down the final trail to see the ruins, slipped and fell about 5 metres head first into a rock. It was a horrible thing to see and we wish him a full and speedy recovery. Finally we turned and saw Machu Picchu in it’s full glory. The rain had stopped, the clouds had started to part and we were left with a view that is simply unforgettable. You see this picture on the TV all the time, in magazines, and in the paper, but nothing can compare to seeing this in real life. It’s simply staggering. Wow!
After we had admired the site for quite some time, it was time to take a look around. Fernando brilliantly set the mood and talked to us about the Inca’s and how this place was so sacred to these people. On Fernando’s advice we then kicked back, closed
our eyes, and just took in the sounds, the climate, and the atmosphere for a while, which was such an unusual, yet worthwhile thing to do amongst these incredible ruins. Then we had a few hours to wander round the place for ourselves, which to be honest was never going to be long enough, as you could easily spend days here and not get bored.
I could spend all day harping on about Machu Picchu, but I won’t, as I realise I’ve spent three blogs already trying to set the scene of this beautiful place. All I will say, is that if you are thinking of doing the Inca trail, and Machu Picchu, but are unsure…..please don’t hesitate, it’s a once in a lifetime experience, that you will never forget.
After our time in Machu Picchu, we boarded the train back to Ollantaytambo and all had a beer and a reminisce about our time over the last week or so. When finally off the train, and into the minibus, we had one more stop to make in order to play some pub games, and drink some Chicha beer (not recommended!!). Finally, on arrival back in Cusco, the tunes
went on loud in the bus, and the party started whilst in traffic back to the hotel. That night, we arranged to meet for a meal, and maybe a couple of cheeky drinks.
After a great dinner and a few drinks we headed to a local club called Mythology, and after 10 minutes or so our group totally took over the dance floor, and we partied like nutters! Never before have I seen so many crazy dance moves, so many dance-offs, and so many people lifted up horizontally so they all but touched the ceiling! A great night was had by all and it really just topped the whole week off.
All in all, it was probably the best tour we had ever been on in terms of organisation, the people, the staff and of course the Inca trail and Machu Picchu itself. We had such a great time, and will hold these memories with us forever. Thanks to everyone that made our trip so special, and if this blog inspires just one person to undertake the Inca trail and visit Machu Picchu, then I will be a very happy man indeed!
There are more photos below