Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Machu Pichu (30.01.2014 - 03.02.2014)

To spice up our visit to Machup Pichu we decided to do the Inka Jungle Trail. A 4 day / 3 nights tour with biking, hiking, zip lining, Machu Pichu and a train ride. Converse are not the best shoes for such a trip, so after running around town to find some halfway decent hiking boots and a backpack to rent we where off.

The first day consisted of biking down from the Malaga pass (at 4350m) to Santa Marta (around 1900m) where we spent the first night. The rainy weather didn't make this all to pleasant and all of us where drenched to the bone. We could have gone river rafting in the afternoon but decided we've been wet enough for a day ;)

We got up early the next day and made our way up to the old and famous Inka Trail. The Inkas built these trails for fast delivery of news and orders. Each royal messenger was responsible for a certain stretch at which end he handed over his message to the next guy. This way a letter from Cusco could be delivered to Quito (1'644 km over air) in less than a week! Our guide Rene also showed us all kind of plants, drinks and animals. As reward we ended our 23km hike in some hot springs, nice!
We had a lot of fun with our group: two guys from Germany, two girls from Chile, a couple from Wales and the two of us. This evening we all got hammered with our guide handing out "Inka Tequila" shots ;)

The next morning most of us where hung over, not ideal to be hiking up a narrow and steep path for 30 minutes. But then the fun started and we where zip lining down the mountain! The second of the 5 lines is supposed to be the longest in the world, at 1200m length and 200m height! Also the end was quite fun, as the line just stopped in midair on a platform from which we rappelled down.
Afterwards we took a bus to our next destination from which we had to follow the train tracks all the way to Aguas Caliente/Machu Pueblo. This time we skipped on the partying and went to bed early.

To see Machu Pichu before the huge crowds arrive by bus we got up ad 4:30 in the morning and walked to the entrance of the national park. At 5 o'clock the gates opened and the climb started! An hour and much sweat later we arrived at the site. Our guide showed us around and explained the different ruins and terraces. Some of our group had purchased an extra ticket to climb the even higher Wayna Pichu or the Machu Pichu mountain. But after the last two days of hiking no body felt like it ;)
We took some nice pictures and left when the huge crowds started to arrive by bus.
To pass the time before our train would leave we went to the hot springs, sadly not as nice as the one before. The ride on the train was nice, following the river all the way to Ollantaytambo from which we took a mini bus back to Cusco.

Machu Pichu