Salkantay Day 4: Agua Calientes and a painful hike


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South America » Peru » Cusco » Salkantay Trail
August 13th 2015
Published: September 3rd 2015
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It was not an easy sleep last night because the campsite was blasting loud music for much of the evening but I did noticed when I went to the bathroom there were not a lot of people out anyway. I woke in not great shape as I was running out of clean clothes and my knees were killing me because of all the walking. On top of that I had infections on my feet. I was in so much pain but I had a relatively short hike today.

After breakfast we had an optional activity which was the zip line. It was 90 soles and it came with 5 zip lines and a bridge. We took a van with a group of Belgians and a Uruguayan family. It was the first time I had ever met Uruguayans and I think they are the last of the South Americans I have met. We got our gear and we went to the first zipline. For the first zip line you lay back and start sliding. They give a quick lesson on how to slow down and stop the zip line. I must admit I was scared before heading out but I played "Crash" by The Primitives and the lyrics were quite appropriate. It was quite exhilarating experience and more than worth the money. We went through 3 zip lines until we hit the bridge which was the scariest part. you are strapped to a safety line and you walk across wooden boards that is the bridge. The boards are different widths and the distance between them are different so you have to watch your step. It is the scariest part because you are in control and you must force yourself to take one step after another. We all made across but one of the Uruguayans slipped and she briefly found herself swinging in the air but she managed to right herself. After that truly scary part we did one more zip line before the last zip line which was the longest one 1km and you go through it superman style. It was a great feeling flying like superman until the very end and I realized I was coming up short. Thankfully as I was sliding back they went out and retrieved me. I was not the only one who came up short. The wind had really picked up and it was starting to rain so the rest of the groups that went out had to wait out the rain.

If you are going to be in Peru the zip lines are both affordable and a lot of fun. After the zip line we took a van to the hydro electric plant which was our head of trail. It was a 3 hour hike but I knew I was in trouble already at the start. Puma advised that doctors were available at Agua Calientes so I just had to make it there. From the start my feet were killing me and by the end my knees were really hobbling me. It was a brutal 3 hours to get there but the thought of Machu Picchu kept me going and I marveled when we reached the base of Machu Picchu and I could see the ruins I would be in tomorrow. When we got to our hotel they immediately got me a doctor who got there 20 minutes after being called. He promptly punctured my blisters and advised me of the infections. He than gave me some powerful painkillers and antibiotics to bring down the infections. He also severely recommended against climbing Machu Picchu mountain tomorrow. After that I slept in the hotel to rest up as much as I could. It was evening before I was up again. I was feeling a lot better but still moving pretty slowly. We had dinner at a restaurant and Puma told us about the plans for tomorrow. It was an early morning bus to Machu Picchu and we had a 2 hour tour before we had free time in Machu Picchu.

After dinner we collected our bags and went to the bus station to get our tickets. It was $24 USD for the tickets round trip. Puma advised us to be at the bus station by 4AM so we would be first in line. Robert and I went back to the hotel and went to sleep so we could get up that early.

Tomorrow all the hiking and mud would pay off once I saw Machu Picchu.

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