Cusco-Part 2

Cusco-Part 2

Salkantay Trek – Day 3

Waking up at the camp around 6 a.m.: The day is long but flat. It rains at the beginning of the day, but it adds a little charm to this jungle.

We continue to walk and climb the valley in a good atmosphere. We cross along a few small shops allowing hikers like us to refuel a minimum in chocolate bars, ice cream and drinks. The lush jungle is rather friendly, you can see immense butterflies, flowers of all colors, birds, waterfalls …

The sun returns quickly and after 6 hours of walking, we find ourselves in the small village of La Playa to enjoy a great lunch.
Unfortunately I have to say goodbye to my group after the meal as I chose to do the trek in three days to spend a full day at Machu Picchu. So I will follow another guide with another group for this afternoon and visit the famous city the next day.

One hour bus takes us to the railway station, Hidroelectrica. From there, we will need another 2 hours walk (along the rails) to Aguas Calientes, the tourist town below Machu Picchu where we will spend the night.

We arrive in a very tourist but rather cute city, and after a dinner and some pisco shared with this new group, we go to bed to be in shape for the visit the next morning.

Trek du Salkantay – Day 4: Machu Picchu

We attack very early for this very hard day. Wake up 3 hours of the mat ' after just over 2 hours of sleep. We start walking at 4 o'clock with the frontals to be down the Machu Picchu ready to be unstitched.
At 5 h The bridge opens, one can finally attack the climb to the city, more than 400 meters of elevation.
We try to go fast to be able to enjoy the place without tourists for a few moments. The atmosphere of this ascent is peculiar: The stone steps never seem to end and it is still rather dark.

The sun rises as you gain in altitude

I climb in 35 minutes and arrives among the first ten of the day in the famous Inca city.
I do some pictures and I finally appreciate this magical place as it should be.

Arrival at the city in the early morning

The guide joins us and explains the discovery of the city, the life at the time, the reasons for its location, its construction and makes us a small visit.

The sun taps well and we can continue the visit as we see fit. I have for my part all day to discover the place, but I also took the option: the Montaña, which allows to climb up the great mountain behind the city. Obviously I see an option entitled "Mountain" I do not hesitate ^^.
So I have a moment in the shadows to enjoy the site before attacking this climb.
It should be known that the name Machu Picchu which means old mountain in Quechua comes straight from this mount. I start the climb with 5 Englishmen who look as motivated as me, it's gone for 700 meters of descent only in staircase.

It takes a sacred physique and a lot of time to climb this mountain, the steps are increasingly steep and narrow, but it's worth the effort.

And voila, 1000 meters of elevation in half a day

The view at 360 ° is impregnable, in short this mountain is crazy! A thunderstorm seems to be approaching, so I come down in trotting to avoid the wet stairs, because it can still be very dangerous. Returning to the city and the storm apparently passed by, I headed towards the door of the sun without knowing the walking time to reach it.

I still need more than an hour and a half to reach it, which is where the famous Inca trek arrives at the city.

The view of the city from the gate of the Sun

The fatigue begins to feel but I still take a tour of the Inca Bridge, another path that allowed to arrive on the site in the Inca era. Now the bridge is condemned because of its dangerousness.

The old bridge, finally it's just two planks on a cliff …

It's 3 pm, it's been a while since I walk and 12 hours that I am standing, it is time to go back down to Aguas Calientes where I am ready to take a nap.
In town I cross members of my former group with whom I started the trek of the Salkantay, they must visit the site the next day. Despite the fatigue, I decided to join them at the restaurant for the evening, as the atmosphere was really very friendly in this group.

Back to Cusco

I had a long and good night to recover from the hard day of the evening before. Today I have only two hours walk next to the railroad to join a bus that has to take me back to Cusco. I enjoy the morning to visit a little Aguas calientes.

Aguas Calientes nestled between the mountains

It is very nice, the return to the bus is so nice.

I find the bus despite the messy organization and the number of tourists that there is. There are still 6 hours drive to Cusco, where I will find the hostel that I had left 5 days before.

Trek Summary

These 5 days have been a very good experience: magnificent views, warm encounters and splendid mountains. The visit of Machu Picchu was the icing on the cake, the site is really amazing although this day will remain one of the most physical of my trip (for now).

I deserved a few days of rest in Cusco:D

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