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Published: July 29th 2017
I had a pretty sleepless night. Not sure if it was a combination of 2-3 of the guys snoring or the fact I knew I had to sleep to get up 330 but didn't really get much rest.
I woke up before our 330 wake up call and was devastated to hear the sound of rain against our tent. We had to pack everything up really quickly as the porters had to run to make their train. Breakfast was simple bread and butter and the porters took the tents down as we ate. We then walked 5 minutes to join the que waiting for the gates to open to machu picchu. We were there about an hour before. Most of us laid out some ponchos to sit on. I think a few managed to get a bit more sleep. I read my Kindle on my iphone to pass time.
Once gates opened we walked to the Sun Gate with a few short breaks along the way. When we arrived unfortunately there was a thick cloud covering our view. No views what so ever and no chance of clearing any time soon. We took a photo of Joel holding his phone over the thick cloud showing what the sun gate should look like.
We then hiked down to machu picchu again could barley see anything once arriving. Everyone stayed positive and no one complained but I did have some negative feelings running through my head that I walked four days and then no views and I would have to come back – but next time I am getting the train.
We exited the site to use bathrooms, get a coffee and meet Andreas to take our walking sticks.
Joel took us back inside and gave us a tour of the complex. Clouds parted slowly, then came back, then slowly then came back. Joel kept saying it would be ok but I was sceptical but sure enough eventually everything cleared and we saw how amazing and large the place was. This made us all incredibly happy.
We had a few hours spare time before we had to leave but didn't think we could make it back up to the Sun Gate both due to time restraints and exhaustion so we just walked up to the the other look out points for some photos. This place is so beautiful and such an achievement after the 4 day hike. I think hiking makes you appreciate it so much more. We were jealous of how well groomed and well dressed the other people who trained in were and how much nicer they would look in their photos. However looking and smelling like shit was worth it. I would do the hike all over again and recommend it to everyone young or old. I also would come back via the train. Its definitely somewhere I would like to return to and Cusco and I really want to get out to rainbow mountain in the future.
At the lookout it was a battle for space at times yet we all managed to get our shots. I think us stinking helped. At one point one of the ladies removed her jacket and then we ended up with a whole lot of space between us and everyone else. Not sure if that was coincidence or not but we were all pretty happy about that.
We explored the site further for a while, got our passports stamped and then had some coffee and chilled out until it was time to leave.
We had to get a bus and find a restaurant called Hot Springs II where our duffel bags were being stored. We had lunch here also. I ordered a burger which was pretty good to wake me up and keep me going.
As a group we then walked about 5 minutes to the train station to get the train back to Ollantaytambo. The train ride back was very pretty and scenic. Had a little nap on the way though so did miss some of the view.
Back at Ollantaytambo we jumped on another private van to drive 2 hours back to Cusco. We arrived about 7 pm and were given free time for our own dinner plans and then met 10 pm to go party. Showers and toilets were a much missed luxury.
At 10 we headed to some bar in the square. Another 2 or 3 G Adventures groups were there along with heaps of guides. We were given a free drink token which was for 1 rum and coke. Then we got the pisco party started. It was happy hour until mid night with lots of 2 for 1 drinks. The bar was very touristy but so much fun. Great music and lots of salsa and dances lead by the staff. Lots of the group ended up dancing on the bar. We had a late messy night. My biggest in Peru. But one a trip is fine and all I can manage these days. I was amazed I lasted as long as I did tonight considering how early we got up. I don't think I made it till 3 am like most people. I think I went to bed around 1 am.
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