Category Archives: Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu

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. 

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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.

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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.

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Machu Picchu is pretty big and takes awhile to walk around. 

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Ivan and I walked around for an hour while I took lots of pictures.

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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.

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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.

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Inca Ruins

Ivan and I were up early again for breakfast on November 25, 2012.  Breakfast was porridge with a chocolate pancake.

The porters introduced themselves to us and then we did the same.

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Our group starts ascending to the second pass.  We see the Inca ruins Runkurakay.  Later, we see the citadel of Sayacmarca – you have to walk up 98 steep steps to get to it. 

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Ivan and I decided to rest instead along with Katie.  The rest of the group heard information about the citadel from Alfredo. 

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The views are quite lovely when you’re hiking. Ivan was reading his book while hiking. People thought he was crazy since he wasn’t enjoying the views. He thought reading a book time passed by a lot faster.

In the distance, we saw Qonchamarka. 

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The group started hiking towards Puya Patamarka where lunch was served.  The hiking was really hurting my legs since the steps can be really tall and I have really short legs.  My calves were getting very tense.

Ivan and I start walking towards Wiñay Wayna (Forever Young).  Alessandro told us there were two options: to head to Wiñay Wayna or to take the shortcut to the camp.  We decided to go to the camp.  Alessandro isn’t good with how long it takes to get to places.  If he tells you 30 minutes, you should add 30 minutes to it. 

It took us about 45 minutes to reach our camp at Wiñay Wayna.  I heard that somebody had a shower there, but it was freezing cold.  Ivan and I figured we’d just take a shower tomorrow back in Cusco.  I was glad to be at the camp since my calves and thighs were hurting really bad.  I massaged my legs in the tent.  Raoul suggested that I stretch my legs since there was more hiking tomorrow.

That night, the vegetarians had soya meat in a tomato sauce with rice.  Dessert was a fruity pudding.

Ivan and I were knackered (tired), so it was another early night for us.  Tomorrow, we’d have to wake up super early at 3:00 am.

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Hard Hiking

Ivan and I were woken up at 5 am on November 24, 2012.  It was time to pack up our sleeping bags, mats and pillows into our duffel bags.

Breakfast was at 5:30 am.  The group had an omelet, porridge and fried plantains.

We have three guides which were Alfredo, Alessandro and Ronnell.  They’re supposed to stay at the front, middle and end of the group.

The group took off at 6 am.  Today was going to be our hardest day according to Alfredo.

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We hike for three hours up which was a hard hike for me.  The group took a short break and then off for more hiking up. 

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When I’m going up, I take more breaks since I get short of breath. 

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We reached Warmi Wañusca or more commonly known as Dead Woman’s Pass which is the highest point at 4,200 meters (13,776 ft.).  There would have been a great panoramic view but it was very cloudy, so we couldn’t see anything.  It started raining.  I put on my pink pancho.  Bob said I looked like Bubblegum. 

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The group headed down to where we had lunch.  Our lunch consisted of stuffed peppers with cheese and quinoa.

It was time to head down to the camp.  Too bad it was raining because all the rocks were wet.  The group started hiking down.  I was afraid I was going to fall so I used both walking sticks.  It was really slippery, so I was going slow since I was being cautious.  I’m glad we brought our gloves since it was really cold out.  One of the guides is supposed to be behind us the whole time since I’m the slowest one.  But, that isn’t the case which I don’t think is right – I guess they figure it’s okay since Ivan’s with me.  The guide waits for us to catch up though.  It took us 2 hours to reach Paqayayu which is the largest camp site on the Inca Trail.

Tea time was at 5:30 pm with cookies and popcorn. 

At 7 pm, we had dinner.  There was a vegetable soup, eggplant omelet, rice with veggies and a chocolate pudding.

Some people were playing cards while Ivan showed the porters magic tricks.

Ivan and I went to sleep early since we were tired from hiking a lot today.

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Inca Trail

Ivan and I left with the group at 6 am on November 23, 2012 which was the start of our Inca Trail trip.  Lil Dave was going with his long lost uncle David to the Inca Trail – I’m sure he’ll have lots of bananas and fun.  The bus driver drove us for an hour and a half to Ollantaytambo.

The group had breakfast in a restaurant.  Ivan and I each got a banana pancake which is quite big and filling and muesli with fruit. 

The bus then drove us to Piskacucho Km 82 which took about 45 minutes.  Our duffel bags were weighed.  Our porters would have to carry them along the Inca Trail which they can carry up to 40-50 pounds every day.  Our main guide Alfredo said the porters are called Machines since they’re fast and very strong.

Our group took a picture in front of the Inca Trail Km 82 sign.

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We saw the ruins Q’Anabamba.

Ivan and I were listening to music while hiking.  I was listening to one of Fatboy Slim’s mixes and one song’s lyrics are “Machines can do the Work” which made me think of how hard the porters were working.  Fatboy’s Slim’s fun music really keeps me going during the trek.

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Later on, we saw the more impressive ruins Q’Entimarka.

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We had lunch near the Llactapata Ruins.  Our cooks served up a great ceviche for a starter.  The main course was a tasty fried trout with potatoes.

The group started hiking again and reached Wayllabamba at 3,000 meters (9,840 feet).  The porters were already there with our tents all set up.  The porters clapped when we came into the camp site.  Ivan thought they were being sarcastic.  I’m sure they were just congratulating us on completing the first day of the Inca Trail. 

The hiking today was relatively easy.  It’s great that we stop a lot.  Ivan is great that he stays with me since I’m the slowest of the group.  He makes sure I drink lots of water and eat food.  We got plenty of coca snacks (the toffee ones are the best), candy and nuts.

Here’s a picture of us with our main guide Alfredo.

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Ivan always forgets his name and calls him another Italian sauce like Pesto or Arrabiata.

The group had free time before tea time.  Ivan and I put out our inflatable mats and read our books.

Tea time was at 6 pm with crackers, tea and popcorn. 

Dinner was an hour later.  The dinner was a mushroom omelet for the vegetarians and lots of pasta.  Dessert was a fruity paste similar to the one we had at the Arajuno Jungle Lodge.  We were definitely being spoiled with the great food and having our tents set up and put down for us.

 

 

 

Ivan and I were so tired after dinner that we decided to go to bed.

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