4th day of trek: Last part of Inca Trail, to Machu Picchu

Friday 18/05

Vlog by Ludivine: see below.




By me:

Wake up at 5:45am. José is coming to pick us up at 6:20am to walk to the train station to catch the 7am train to Machu Picchu Pueblo.

The night was good, with a large (single) bed and a warm duvet.

We take our breakfast pack prepared by the hotel and leave.

We walk 10′ to the train station.

There are many trains to Machu Picchu per day; there are indeed 3,000 people visiting the Machu Picchu per day.

Everything is well organized, with a boarding procedure nearly similar to the one of airlines…

The train journey lasts 1h30, for 43km! We go down 800m. The service in the train is impeccable. We are lucky: we are nearly alone in our wagon.

We stop at Km107. From there we start the uphill (at 8:40am) to join the Inca Trail.

It takes us 1h40 to reach the Inca Trail, 500m higher (2km only). We are at 2,750m. The path was quite difficult, with many stairs and it was warm (28°C). It has been quite a while we didn’t sweat this much.

We take a good snack (apple, energy bar and Milky Way). It’s good to rest a bit.

We go and visit Wiñaywayna (2,666m). This Ican ruin is built into a steep hillside; the site consists of upper and lower house complexes connected by a staircase and fountain structures. Above and below the houses the people built areas of agricultural terraces.

We eat sandwiches for lunch, which were carried by the porter (as well as the water).

We walk the (“classic”) Inka trail during 6km; lush vegetation flanks us on either side.

We arrive on the Machu Picchu site through the Sun Gate (Inti Punku). As we step through the old stone gateway, Machu Picchu appears laid out before our eyes. What a great (and rewarding) way to discover the Machu Picchu. What a view. Wow!

After admiring the long-awaited ruins, we walk (down) 2km more, to the terraces above the ruins, from where everybody takes the famous pictures.

We enjoy the view during nearly 2 hours. We don’t go inside the ruins (that will be for tomorrow). Ludivine recreates pictures taken by celebrities.

I still can’t believe that we are in Machu Picchu. We’ve been talking about this site since so long (when Isabelle and I went to Bolivia in August 2000). When we first mentioned the name ‘Machu Picchu’ to the kids, about 2 years ago, we asked them if they know what it was. Their answers were kind of… disappointing: for Florence it was a football team, for Ludivine a Pokemon character and for Jules something to eat…

We take the bus down to Machu Picchu Pueblo around 4pm.

Today, we walked 8km.

We arrive in the hotel at 5pm. We have a dinner with Jose at 7pm. We can rest for 2 hours. Good hot shower. Isabelle and I go to have a drink for our 16th wedding anniversary. We go in the lively pedestrian street (where our hotel is located). There are shops and restaurants (and massage parlours) for tourists. It’s happy hours. We each take 2 drinks, pisco sour for Isabelle and caipirinha for me.

At 7pm, we go and eat in the restaurant booked by the agency. It’s a 3-course menu; we can choose between 4 choices for each of the course. It’s good, nicely presented and quick which is good since Jules and Florence are tired.

We are in bed by 9pm.

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