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Cusco - Machu Picchu Inca Trail

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We got an early morning flight to Cusco further south in Peru the view in the morning was gorgeous but it didnt help with the 3am earliness....

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Although we still managed a few hours sightseeing in Cusco before we headed off...

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We were scheduled for our prep meetings for our 4 day inca trail. We joined a group of about 15 other young people mostly from England and Ireland again so we were of to a great start as the banter and excitement was rife.. We went from Cusco to a place called Ollantaytambo to start our trail and stopped along the way at a community weaving community where yes ger kicked off a game of football in respect for the dubs as this was also the day of the dubs quarter final win, so ger was well dressed for the occasion!...and we also got our first glimpses of inca ruins, they were well cool.

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We were to get picked up the following morning to start walking and had to pack a duffel bag of no more than 7kg, which one of the 16 porters would carry for us! It was a huge operation as there was us lot in the group of hikers and then our entourage bumped the numbers up to near 40...
The day before starting everyone was taking it easy and trying to chill out as much as possible before the 4 days of toughness started, so yes we had a celebratory pint in the square at Ollantaytambo before we went!

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We got picked up at 8 the next morning and off we went. The sky was blue and it was roasting weather so we were off to a good start...

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The scenery was amazing and the smaller daypacks that we all had ourselves for water and that was grand to carry, but we had been warned that day one was known as the "easy day", it was crazy though watching the porters running past us with 25kg each on their backs - tents, tables, our luggage, food everything, they had to get to camp and set up and cook lunch before we got there, they would put you to shame, but as soon as we started myself ger and 2 friends from england - trainee doctors ( very handy!) hung out at the back of the pack and adopted the tortoise strategy as opposed to the rest of the hares that thought it was a race... we knew burn out wouldnt take too long so we had a right laugh at the back! And besides the scenery was too good too miss...

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We stopped for lunch half way up the first mountain and headed off again and actually got to camp for the night at the same time as the porters god love them... we were all too eager but that would change come day 2 though.. the campsite was well cool and the dinner and food was fab, 3 courses and our tents and mattresses and sleeping bags all set up for us, we had been expecting a lot harsher conditions...... Oh and we even had a incan shopping centre beside our first campsite...but not too welcoming though was the trantulla in our tent with us that night!

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Day 2 - the "hardest day" started early as usual as this was the day i wasnt looking forward to... we had to climb dead womans pass mountain all 4215metres of her.. with altitude it was gonna be tough.
We all started with enthusiam but very quickly everyone was quiet and all you could hear was heavy breathing.. we stayed at the back of the pack as usual but not out of choice this time haha i was finding it particularly difficult with the altitude and my chest and breathing and god love Ger he stayed behind me every step of the way with water and encouraging words. we stopped for lunch after having walked up constantly for 4 hours, but we only got to rest for about an hour and then off we went again as not only did we have to get to the top but we had to then make our way down from the top on the other side to the camp for the night! Someone was obviously having a laugh but oh no on we went....
It took a further 3 hours to get to the top and when i got there i got so emotional and cried, it just felt like a great achievement and we hadnt even got to the main event yet!

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Going down the 1000metres to camp then was a breeze as we were delighted with ourselves for having mad it to the top with our 2 lungs still intact, and we got an applause from all the porters for having made it as well...and as it turns out the tortoises won the day making it down to camp first as the burn outs arrived 45 minutes later!!

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Day 3 the " unforgettable day" started with sore legs from previous day, everyone was as stiff as a board and we were all waddling like ducks to try to get going again. We were lined up to pass by 4 inca ruins today before arriving at campsite that night, where i might add there would be running hot showers and a pub!! Until now we had been getting woken up at 630 each morning by the porters with a cup of tea and a basin with water and soap to have a wee wash in, or as my mum would call it a "quick lick"...

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We had such a good day and the views were amazing, not to mention going through an incan tunnel of love that me and Ger decided to go to long way home by ourselves to see more ruins one of which was known as forever young, before getting to the showers and the pub..oh yes and to show my support of the dubs i wore my socks...

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The 4th and final day we were up at 4am in the morning as we had to walk a few hours to reach the sun gate and be on time for sunrise. Even though our legs ached everyone was in great form and excited to get to the finish point - Machu Picchu.
Myself and Ger headed off and when we walked though the sungate and got our first glimpse of Machu Picchu is was just breathtaking, it had been worth every minute! Even though we all looked exhausted we felt fab! Even the Alpacas were up early to welcome us...

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Team Rueben - the slow tortoises at the back pulled through in the end and we were the first ones to arrive at site!

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Myself and Ger stayed at Machu Picchu for a few hours then just walking around the ruins and taking it all in, we just had such a feeling of achievement that we didnt want to leave the place, i even got mobile signal from the top and was able to call my mum!

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Our train was leaving at 230 so we left Machu Picchu at about 1130 and headed to the hot springs to meet the rest of the group and start the celebrations. The train back to Cusco would take about 4 hours but we didnt mind as the scenery along the way was great.

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Even though others...namely our tour guide opted for sleep instead!

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We got to Cusco at about 630 and had all arranged to meet up at 9 to had a good few pints, starting may i add in paddy o´flahertys irish pub in the main square! This was also the night that the earthquake hit Peru and we all felt the tremors, it was very worrying but we were all grand and it didnt stop us celebrating in the wee small hours for having completed our 4 day trek.. i even treated the peruvians to some famous ´dry the back´, ´floss the teeth´and ´do the shopping´dance moves on the bar!!

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Unfortunately the following morning we were scheduled to fly to the amazon jungle so as you can imagine the hangovers were not goodat 7am having only got to bed!!

Posted by geranddebs 11:50 Archived in Peru

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