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Machu Picchu

Trail to the Lost City of the Incas

sunny 73 °F

Hola!

We hope all is well with everyone and that you enjoyed Halloween! We spent Halloween with an 8 hour layover in Lima (so we headed to Larcomar –a massive outdoor Cliffside mall (thanks Bart for mentioning it). It was cute to see that all the kids there trick or treating in the mall going from shop to shop and just shouting “Halloween!!!”

The big adventure since we left Pisco Sin Fronteras is that we did the classic 4 day Inca Trail trek. First we arrived in Cusco, Peru from Lima to acclimate for a few days...we found that burgers and beer helped the acclimating process. We really enjoyed Cusco after our time in Pisco. The central Plaza de Armas area of the city was so beautiful - very european-cobble-stone streets and little alleys. It´s the oldest continuously inhabited city in South America.

The Inca Trail was AMAZING. Truly some of the most breathtaking scenery and it all felt more fulfilling knowing we were working our butts off just to be standing just under 14,000 feet in the sky overlooking the Andean mountains. Our first day started off rough with a downpour and heavy winds, but by the lunch break the rain had stopped and the temperature had risen significantly. Basically each day we woke up between 5:30am and 6:00am to our wonderful porters tapping on our tent offering us morning tea. Dress, pack up sleeping bags and sleeping pads and clothes, eat breakfast and begin hiking. Hikes ranged from comfortable inclines to deathly peaks and valleys. Weather would go from cold to hot to freezing in no time at all. It was all gorgeous, difficult, and fun.
The start, rain and wind won´t stop us

The start, rain and wind won´t stop us



Our last day we only had about 2.5 hours total to hike into Machu Picchu. Our agency had us up before all the other companies so we could be the first ones in to the Sun Gate. That meant we were up at 3:00am and hiking to the checkpoint at 3:30am. We then sat at the checkpoint for 1.5 hours waiting for it to open at 5:30am just as the sun came up. Tim and I played cards with our dorky headlamps on the whole time. As the sun rose high in the sky we all cued up and we were up front. Then someone shouted, “ Sh@#! Look at those spiders!" and 50 heads looked up to see about 4 massive tarantula-looking spiders just above the ticket window (only 5 feet above where I´d been peacefully sitting playing cards). I screamed (only one to do so) and as soon as my guide handed my ticket over I sprinted through the entrance gate. We kept up the pace for the next 45 minutes arriving at the Sun Gate about 35 minutes ahead of schedule. Tim arrived at the Sun Gate in Second Place, and I was close at his heels.

The trek was ridiculously difficult at times, but it was well worth it. We met some great people in our group from London, Canada, Germany and, of course, the U.S.

We had two days back in Cusco to rest before Rio. We will follow up with a Brazil post shortly (we LOVE Brazil).

Lots of love,
Kate and Tim

Cathedral and Plaza de Armas

Cathedral and Plaza de Armas


Tim´s winning photo

Tim´s winning photo

Kate and Cusco streets

Kate and Cusco streets

The trail begins

The trail begins

First night campground...amazing

First night campground...amazing

Porters and group

Porters and group

Tim, toothbrush, and moon

Tim, toothbrush, and moon

So pretty

So pretty

Kate found a dog to love on the Inca Trail!

Kate found a dog to love on the Inca Trail!

Tim

Tim

Look at Tim and then look at the tiny red line in distance - those are our porters!

Look at Tim and then look at the tiny red line in distance - those are our porters!

Pretty

Pretty

Our victory routine

Our victory routine

The High-Five

The High-Five

The low-five

The low-five

Follow through

Follow through

Feeling like winners

Feeling like winners

The group

The group

Hiking

Hiking

Arriving at a peak that was in a cloud.  Cold and cool.

Arriving at a peak that was in a cloud. Cold and cool.

The group

The group

Speed racer up the trail

Speed racer up the trail

Tim and ruins along the trail

Tim and ruins along the trail

Beautiful glacier peaks in distance

Beautiful glacier peaks in distance

Ignorantly playing cards beneath massive spiders

Ignorantly playing cards beneath massive spiders

Arriving triumphant (and sweaty) at the Sun Gate

Arriving triumphant (and sweaty) at the Sun Gate

The mist enveloping Machu Picchu as we hiked in from Sun Gate

The mist enveloping Machu Picchu as we hiked in from Sun Gate

More of ruins

More of ruins

Kate and Cave

Kate and Cave

Playing in the Machu Picchu Rock Quarry

Playing in the Machu Picchu Rock Quarry

Machu Picchu - the postcard shot

Machu Picchu - the postcard shot

Llama - sort of - Tim got better

Llama - sort of - Tim got better

Llama at Machu Picchu (Tim put in great effort for this shot)

Llama at Machu Picchu (Tim put in great effort for this shot)

Night on our Cusco rooftop

Night on our Cusco rooftop

Being fancy at the Monasterio Hotel

Being fancy at the Monasterio Hotel

Fireworks in Plaza de Armas (we´re pretty sure these were for us finishing the Inca Trail...that or Day of the Dead)

Fireworks in Plaza de Armas (we´re pretty sure these were for us finishing the Inca Trail...that or Day of the Dead)

Kate with her second(!) bullseye!

Kate with her second(!) bullseye!

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Posted by PetCon 04:04 Archived in Peru

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Comments

WOW!(again). Great pics and story. The trail part looks tough. Glad you are back at sea level. love you!!

by johncpetry

Awesome story and incredible pictures! What an adventure you two ...

by cmccarthy2

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