Yet another early start today as we set off at first light. We are going to walk on an Inca trail up a mountain where there is a view point across the valley to Machupicchu. Meaning we´ll see it today from a distance, a bonus we think.
The main reason for the early start is that it is going to be a real long slog up hill and not advisable to be doing in the heat of the day – probably the reason all the other groups are going later in the day by minibus, or maybe their agency didn´t offer this option.
No roads, no people, just us and a lovely wooded walk up a very steep hill. It is really nice and much more what we had in mind. Bernice struggles a little with the heat, and a little hayfever too probably going up, but going down the other side after our photo session and pit stop at the view point she kicks ass. In true KIMM/OMM styly we run down the hillside, which would be a real pain if we didn´t as it´s pretty muddy and slippery for the most part. Nigel and Jason finally abandon their reliance on their walking poles and follow suit. We get down in a fraction of the time Enrique thought we would so we reward ourselves with another dip in the river at the bottom.
It isn´t till we get to the hydroelectric power station at the entrance to the Machupicchu national park that we see any of the other groups. Here is the railway and some groups are taking this to Aquas Caliente – the town at the base of Machupicchu, we are walking along the railway tracks the 9km journey, after lunch that is.
Before that we have to say farewell to our wee cook as he´ll be taking our bags on the train into town for us and then heading home. Awh :-/
Aquas Caliente is a sprawling tourist town that only appears to exist to supply tourists a base from which to reach Machupicchu from. It´s ok though and a hostel, hot water and a bed are most welcome. Well for some of us anyway – the boys share a room on the other side of the hallway to us, we have hot water, they don´t. You win some you lose some 🙂
We have some time to buy some snacks for tomorrow and get organised for our big day before meeting Enrique for a drink and food. The boys spot some Inca Kola t-shirts and we all end up getting one to wear tomorrow. We know we´ll be having another group joining us for the tour of the Machupicchu site and it´s a bit of a group giggle, we even go back and get Enrique one too.