Day 3 is what is considered the long day and the day of the 'Gringo Killers' aka stairs so steep the gringos aka white people aka non-Peruvian people puts undo stress on all their joints trekking down these steps. The beginning of the day was rough. We traverse another peak, this only slightly lower than 14,000 ft but still very high. Again, the elevation kicking my ass and I wanted to die from being out of breath. And while the incline is a total bitch and I'm out of breath constantly, going down is a whole other beast. It's not as tiring but it's nerve-wracking. It was raining. I forgot that part. It started raining profusely about halfway up the peak and misery takes on a new name. Combine steep stairs, uneven rocks, and rain...no bueno. (FYI--that's Spanish for 'no good' heh heh).
After a large portion of steep stairs the trek evens out and it is a completely enjoyable and even-tempered part of the hike. I wasn't exhausted, the only shitty thing is that it was rainy and foggy as hell so the views were obstructed. Oh, well. It can always be worse...but it was pretty bad. Stopping for lunch was the highlight of the day. It was warmer, because the rain made it freezing, and we were told lunch was going to have a special surprise and I legit said, 'OMG, is it a cake?' and lo and behold at 11,000 feet elevation our chef made a fucking cake. I almost weeped with joy. Anybody that knows me knows how much I love cake. Close to as much as I love my Mom and Harry Potter and Beauty and the Beast...shit is serious. We also had soup which was hot and delicious, copious amounts of hot chocolate and tea...I'm only going into detail about the food because the weather and cold was so miserable it made an impression. So, the rest of the day is still going downhill so we had to be careful and we walked around some beautiful ruins overrun with grass and so much greenery, it was gorgeous...see pics...seriously. Words cannot express how AMAZING these ruins were. Add in the fog and it upped the creep factor and it was perfection!
Day 4 (!!!!!!)
Day 4 is the final day!! We reach Machu Piccu in a few short hours! I woke up, while tired and cranky, legit like a kid on Christmas morning. I was SO excited to get the final day started! So we wake up, quick breakfast, and its off to wait in line at the entrance to final leg of the trip. Why are we waiting in line? Because today's hike is a legit trail on the side of a mountain and if you fall, you're dead. They used to not close it off and people would try to hike this portion to be at the Sun Gate for sunrise but it is so dangerous in the dark that people died...so they closed it off and only open it up once the sun has risen. The fun part about this is you go up actual gringo killers. The stairs are so steep it's almost rock climbing a wall. So fun. Seriously.
After about an hour we get to the Sun Gate and hello, lovely, you sure are beautiful. The view from above Machu Piccu at the Sun Gate is one of a kind. We were blessed with a beautifully sunny day and it was incredible. Picture taking here is a must and go crazy but be polite. I had an encounter with a very rude French couple...and people dare say Americans are rude...fuck right off...no idea where they would get that impression...*cough*
After the Sun Gate it is all downhill and to say some of us were actually running towards Machu Piccu is not a lie. I was SO incredibly excited I couldn't go fast enough! Machu Piccu is gorgeous, don't get me wrong, but honestly, if you hike to Machu Piccu and don't just take the train, I feel like the MP is juuuust slightly anticlimactic because the hell you have endured for 4 days and getting to the peaks of 2 mountains, MP didn't give me as much of a high as getting to the top. But maybe it's just me. We spent a few hours at MP and I will talk about that...in my next post! Stay tuned!