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Pommy’s Travel Diary

Sunday, 05 Aug 2007

Location: Machu Picchu, Peru

MapHey all,
Iím just waiting for the photos to upload of Machu Picchu so thought id write a quickie while I wait. The trail was a 4 day, 3 night malarkey, and it was absolutely amazing. The 1st day was pretty easy going, about 6 hours of walking but with not much up or down it was easy even for the likes of me. The scenery was incredible, walking through the Andes with snow capped mountains on either side, the sun was shining, all was good in the world. We stopped for lunch and had some incredible food, the best Lomo Saltado (stir fried steak in red wine sauce) that weíve had so far, had a siesta then set off for the last 2 hours of the day, a bit uphill but nothing to complain about. We camped in an amazing setting, could see no one else, just the mountains, and settled in for the night. We got up at the crack of dawn the next day and set off for our day of hellÖ2 mountains in one day. The first was 1km uphill then about 1/2km downhill, and then 1/2 km up and 1/2 km down. All in all 16kms of walking. Sounds easy but trust me it wasnít. It wasnít as hard as I was expecting actually, and the scenery at the top made it worth all the lung and leg aches to get there. We took it at our own pace, and made it up Dead Womanís Pass (the highest peak at 4215m) without any tears, which was a miracle!! We then settled at an incredible campsite at 3600m and had some tasty tasty food again, ready to set off for another day. The 3rd day was again pretty easy walking, saw some ruins, made our way though the Andes to get to our next camp. There were 15 of us in our group, but it didnít really feel like it was that many, b/c we all took it at our own pace, so we were split up most of the day, and the Andes are pretty big, so you can lose yourself really easily. The 4th day was Machu, so we got up at half 3 am, had some breaky and then made it to the checkpoint before it opened so we could be the first group though. We almost ran it to the sun gate (an Inca ruin) where you can watch the sun rising over Machu, took some snaps, and then headed off again when it got a bit busy to another ruin where we fully watched then sun hit Machu. It was incredible. We were all shattered, having scrambled our way up there for 2 hours at that time in the morning, but it was definitely worth it. We then headed into the site, and had a tour for 2 hours or so then had some free time, where Andy promptly fell asleep, twice, and we just sat and took it all in. Pretty intense 4 days but I absolutely loved it. Having been in Cusco for sooooo long, and every single person weíve met having gone to machu and saying itís brilliant, we got a bit blasé about it, just another thing that everyone does, but really, itís incredible. Neither the pictures or my chat give it justice, especially when you`ve walked for 4 days to get there. The 22 porters that took our stuff were just exceptional, while we were all wheezing our way up the hills, they would literally run past us, all of them with 30kgs on their backs, most without backpacks, just tied onto their backs with ropes or material, they were machines! They have a race every year, and one of our porters won it last year, and did the whole trail which takes us 4 daysÖin 3 ¾ hours. Makes you feel preeeeeetty unfit!!!
But the photos are now done, take a look at our cheeeeesy pics is you have a sec, if not Iím sure to bore you all with them when I get back!!
Righto, love to all as always, muchos besos xxxxxxxxxxxx