Ivan and I were woken up at 3 am on November 26, 2012. We packed our things and then had breakfast at 3:30 am.
The group left shortly before 4 am. The entrance to Machu Picchu is only 2 minutes away. The gate opens at 5:30 am. There’s a bench that fits the first 50 people. I don’t know why we had to wake up so freaking early just to wait forever in the cold. I was resting, stretching my legs and massaging my legs. Ivan played games on the phone.
The gate opened early at 5:15 am. The group started walking towards Intipuku (Sun Gate). Ivan and I took our time and took an hour and 30 minutes to get there.
It was really cloudy there, so we couldn’t see Machu Picchu. The group left and we stayed for a few minutes. The clouds started clearing.
Ivan and I took an hour to reach Machu Picchu.
The views were quite lovely of the mountains and Machu Picchu.
There’s 65 steps shortly before Machu Picchu called the Gringo Killer. It wasn’t as hard as everybody makes it out to be. I was just so happy that I made it to the end. My legs were simply killing me, but I did the Inca Trail!!
We caught up with the group and took a great group picture.
Our group walked to the entrance to Machu Picchu. Ivan and I had a vegetable wrap and an apple pie.
At 8:30 am, we entered Machu Picchu. Alfredo started his tour of Machu Picchu. He speaks great English, but he’s not that interesting to listen to. I was falling asleep while he was talking and Ivan was zoning out. We listened to the beginning of the tour. The rest of the group took off on the tour after, but we went to walk around by ourselves. My legs were really hurting, so it was nice to be able to walk at my own pace.
Machu Picchu is pretty big and takes awhile to walk around.
Ivan and I walked around for an hour while I took lots of pictures.
We walked back to the entrance. Ivan and I each got a great tuna and avocado sandwich. The avocados are so fresh in Peru.
Soon after, we got the bus to Aqua Calientes (also known as Machu Picchu town). Ivan and I used the internet at the internet café. 1:30 pm was the meet-up time for the group at a restaurant.
We passed by Restaurant Fortaleza and a guy outside said our group were waiting for us. I looked up at the 3rd floor and saw Jessica. We headed up and saw a few people from the group. A few people paid $60 so they could climb Wayna Picchu which has a nice view of Machu Picchu. Ivan and I definitely didn’t fancy another steep hike after 4 days of hiking. Some people were too tired to do the hike even though they paid for it. I don’t blame them.
Ivan booked me a leg massage with a shower.
I walked to the massage place. I soaked my feet first and then took a nice hot shower. I was feeling so gross since I hadn’t showered in days. I had a great leg massage which was rough since I was so, so sore – but I needed it hard so that it worked out my muscles. The massage was shiatsu with hot stones.
Ivan and I had a tasty vegetarian pizza at the restaurant.
More people started coming back. We found out that Wilko proposed to Kerry at Machu Picchu. How sweet!!
The group walked to the train station around 3:45 pm. The train left at 4:12 pm. Some of the group wanted to do the 24 hour challenge which involved staying up for 24 hours straight from 3 am this morning. Ivan and I weren’t interested and were tired. Ivan started falling asleep on the bus and Will put a cup on his head. A few people would bug the people who were trying to sleep. We thought it was rude since not everybody wanted to do the 24 hour challenge, but of course nobody really cared that they were being extremely loud and annoying. I felt bad for all the other passengers on the train. We got served a muffin and bread sticks with a drink. I decided to try Inca Cola which wasn’t that flavorful, but it did taste similar to Irn-Bru like I was told. I read Private Games during the 2 hour train journey.
We reached Ollantaytambo. The group boarded the bus. Ivan tried to sleep, but couldn’t because people kept screaming at Pete so he wouldn’t fall asleep. I fell asleep, but I could still hear the noise. The bus arrived an hour and a half later.
Mel and Franco were in a lobby with a sign congratulating us on completing the Inca Trail and with bubbly drinks for us.
Later that night, the group went out to the Irish pub. A lot of people wanted to stay up until 3 am to finish the 24 hour challenge. I was too tired and stayed in. I ate half a Snickers and an energy bar. Ivan went out to meet up with the group. Ivan came back a few minutes later with dinner. He thought that he’d be too late since it was awhile since the group left. The group would already be buzzed or drunk.
We ate falafel wraps for dinner and watched a show on the laptop. Then, it was off to bed for lots of much needed rest.