Day Three of Machu Picchu
5am on the morning of Day 3 of Machu Picchu, we were welcomed with a cup of tea and a wake up call. We stepped out of our tents to see the most magnificent sight of snow capped mountains that surrounded our camp site. It was dark last night when we arrived and we did not see where our campsite was positioned. The cold morning air chilled us to the bone.
Yay! Lots of hot chocolate and porridge for breakfast to warm us up. Today should be an easier day but we still have to manage what is known as ‘the gringo killer’ 3000 uneven Inca steps downhill.
After breakfast we hiked the Inca pathway, most of it still in its original condition, with a crawl through an original Inca tunnel to top it off.
From there we reached the 3000 steps, all downhill, very steep and several of them Jane had to traverse on her backside as we headed towards Sayamarca. Situated at 3,497m above sea level it is an archeological complex which translated to ‘inaccessible town’ and was perched on the edge of rocks.
The trail winded through cloud forests full of rare orchids, hanging mosses, bromeliads and tree ferns. A gentle climb took us up to 3,700m which gave us incredible views of the peaks of Salkantay at 6,271m and Veronica at 5,750m. As we came to the impressive ruins of Phuyupatamara (a cloud level town) we had two options – either to go down the paved Inca road to the impressive site of Intipata or take the shorter trek, they both ended up at our last campsite at Winayhuayna at 2,700m. We chose the short trek which turned out to be the hardest, all down hill, either steep steps or a gravely dirt road where you slipped and slided.
Winayhuayna, named after a variety of pink orchids, was our last campsite of the trek. There were impressive ruins located minutes away which we had the option of visiting after lunch but we declined and rested in our tent. This is the only campsite on our trek that had shower facilities. Sometimes we hear that you may be lucky and have the pleasure of hot water but not this time. We queued and had an icy cold shower, it was our first in 3 days, very welcome, but we can ensure it was quick.
Our last night also meant our last dinner and of course a celebration as we had made it this far. We gave our thanks to the porters and their hard work, we complimented the chef for his great meals and tips were given out in appreciation. We were all in bed sound asleep by 8pm.
Day Three Machu Picchu – a 7 hour trekking day
Check out the rest of our Machu Picchu trek: