Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Machu Picchu - The Lost City of the Incas

We flew into Cusco from Lima and did a day trip to the Sacred Valley before our 5-day trek to Machu Picchu.

On the first day, I underestimated what was waiting for me and I cursed through the 10-hour trek. I didn't take a single photo as I was just trying to make it to the camp in one piece!!! I finally calmed down when I started meeting other people from our group and I learnt to laugh again.

The second day, as expected, was a bitch! It was a constant uphill to 4,600m altitude. Again, I had no interest in the scenery until I reached the top alive. On my way back down, I realized I was surrounded by a beautiful scenery and I became stronger through the afternoon.

The third and fourth day were really easy, 5-hour trek each day. We ended the fourth day in Aguas Calientes where some of our group went to the hot spring which was pretty fun...and strange. Haha...everyone there probably hadn't had a bath for over 3 days but no one cared. It was a blast!

The fifth day was one of the most unforgettable days of my life. We got up at 4am and had to race up 2,500 steps (400m up) in order to get a pass to go to Wayna Picchu (there is a daily limit of only 200 people at 7am and 200 people at 10am).

It was harder than the previous 4-day treks and the 4,750m Santa Cruz trek because there was nothing other than darkness and 2 or 3 steps ahead of you. It was still dark and we had to trek with a head light. You know it's game over once you stop as there were tons of people behind you trying to get your spot.

I was really concerned with Rupert as he was really struggling. I, surprisingly, was getting stronger and stronger as we ascended. I still don't understand how I did it but I'm very proud of myself for achieving this.

I had tears in my eyes when we reached the top and were one of the first 200 to be there. I never thought I would make it and this had made me believe in myself more.

Machu Picchu was stunning. It's located in the middle of nowhere and its magnificent stonework and craftsmanship were just unreal. It was worth the all the hardwork, tears and sweat. No words or pictures can describe Machu Picchu. You have to be there to experience it. The Lost City of the Incas should lives up to it's title as the New Seven Wonders of the World.

To top such crazy day up, we went back in town only to realize our agency hadn't reserve Rup and my train ticket. No one know who to call to solve the problem and we were really stressed out!!! What made things worse was no one spoke English and no one gave a shit.

Thanks to my 3 angels - Menno, Tobias and Sven - who helped us translate, ran around from hostal to hostal and to the train station with their bloody backpacks! Somehow, we finally were able to get on a later train on the same night.

Thus, all in all, the 5-day trek to Machu Picchu was very adventurous, fun, challenging and rewarding. It was one of the most memorable experience of my life.