Inca Trail – Day 5 – Machu Picchu

Inca Trail – Day 5 – Machu Picchu

Woke up feeling somewhat refreshed after a decent nights sleep and a hot shower.

The team made their way up from the Bus stop in Machu Picchu Town (Aguas Calientes) up to the Machu Picchu Ruins for our tour.


What an amazing place, the ruins are spectacular. After much climbing of stairs and descending stairs and taking all the photos we could, the group split up with one group continuing the tour and then heading back to town for a well deserved beer (Imagine which group I was in 😉 )  and the other group went up the Mountain.

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Now yes I did have a ticket to do the climb, but there was one thing that was painfully evident to me over the last four days is that I’m rather slow going up and I was also physically exhausted so I opted to not climb it.

Here we can see Vince and his ode to Pachacutec, the 9th Inca Emperor and probably the one who did the most for the Incas in terms of Expansion and Cultural advancements.



The group rejoined in town for our Lunch – An amazing place called Indio Feliz, the food was absolutely amazing. I opted for the quiche and the apple pie and ice cream for desert.  The team left feeling rather full for the train station.

We hoped aboard the train headed to Ollyntaytambo and settled in for a 2 or so hour train ride. We were in F Class, no idea what that means but it was good. We got drinks and a snack and later on the staff in that carriage put on an amazing fashion show showing off all the alpaca clothing available. OH and let me not forget the character that preceded the show, amazing 🙂

After arriving at Ollyntaytambo, we headed to our bus for the 2 and half hour ride back to Cusco.  Boy that was a long Bus Ride. Back in Cusco, we headed to our rooms to settle in. What an amazing day.

Inca Trail – Day 4

Inca Trail – Day 4

After a rather abysmal night, but an awesome sleep I woke up feeling somewhat refreshed.

Have a look at some of the photos I took while at our camp site, Phuyupatamarca. Located approx 3,650m above sea level – we were actually camping above the clouds!

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After having some  breakfast we set off on the final leg of our trip to the Sun Gate at Machu Picchu.

We have to descend from the “Place above the Clouds” and passed some ruins, as we continued onto lunch. Lunch was great, and it was there sadly we bid farewell to our lovely team of porters who had done such a fantastic job for us. What an amazing bunch of people.


Continuing along, we got towards the “Gringo Killers” a set of stairs aptly named if you ask me as they are exceptionally steep (approx 48 to 52 stairs in total).

After that it was just a short hike and one last final set of stairs until we we at our final destination – The Sun Gate (Machu Picchu). What an absolutely amazing view, and very emotional for all the team. We had all worked so hard to get here and finally, here it was.

After photo’s and relaxing for 10 /1 5 minutes we descended down to Machu Picchu and the Bus stop which would take us into Machu Picchu town. We got squared away in our hotel, went up stairs to level 6 for pre dinner drinks then headed off for our meal. There was a religious festival on as we walked up the street, with an entire parade going down the street. I wish I had brought my camera, some of the costumes and designs were simply out of this world.

After that we headed to bed – I woke up at about 1am and went for a little wander, having a bit of a look around and actually meeting one of the bar attendants from earlier in the evening at our hotel. Was a really nice guy, showed me around. Headed back to the room about 2am and got some more sleep.

Inca Trail – Day 3

Inca Trail – Day 3

Waking up today, we all knew it was going to be a big day for us. Today is the longest day km wise as well as ascending Dead Woman’s Pass, descending again and then climbing to our second peak of the day and descending.


After having our breakfast we set off on our way. Apparently Jimmy (our lead guide) thought it best I lead the group up the pass, a 2 or so hour ascend of the stairs to Dead Woman’s Pass. We all did amazingly well on this, and getting to the top of the pass was an achievement in itself. 4,200 meters above sea level. What an amazing view.

Dead Womans Pass - Inca Trail

Descending the stairs into the valley bellow, we then started our ascension to the next peak of the day.

After stopping here for a little while we started to go down again, noticing that the clouds were building. We are approx 45 minutes away from our lunch spot when the heavens opened and the deluge came down on us. It even caught the guides off guard since it usually doesn’t rain in May on the trek and if it does then its usually only spot rain.

Getting to our lunch spot, we were drenched / cold and I was feeling rather abysmal to say the least. After lunch the rest of the group headed to the camp site under the watchful eyes of 2 of the guides and myself and the other guide slowly made our way to the campsite.

Suffice to say it was a very very long day, and we finally made it into the camp site at 7:00pm – after resting and getting warm we had dinner, but I didn’t linger long as I was so tired. In bed I feel asleep and slept probably the best I had on the trek.

Inca Trail – Day 2

Inca Trail – Day 2

Waking up early, we had breakfast and set off on Day 2 of the trek.

First off we explored the ancient ruins near the camp site.


Day 2 was very challenging for me, I think the sheer enormity of what we were doing finally settled in and by about midday I was exhausted and suffering from the affects of Altitude Sickness. At the day 2 checkpoint I almost called it quits. I simply didn’t think I could do this.

Speaking with the lead Guide and the other guides they said that I could turn back and meet the team in Machu Picchu, but that they thought I had it in me to complete the trek. Hearing this, something inside just clicked and that was it – my mind was made up. This wasn’t going to beat me, I was going to make it all the way towards the end.

We made our way to the camp site on day 2 and got there about 4:30/4:45pm – the sunlight was just starting to retreat and it looked amazing.

Llulluchapampa was an amazing camp site located approx 3,680m above sea level.


During dinner we were asked to give some background on ourselves and what our motivations for the trek had been. Listening to all the stories the group had and the experiences with Leukemia was very humbling and all together a rather emotional section of the night. So so many brave and strong people in our group, all united by a common cause – to further Leukaemia research.

Bed time came, it was very cold during the night but I managed to sleep very soundly.


Inca Trail – Day 1

Inca Trail – Day 1

Today is the day! We officially start out Trek of the Inca Trail, suffice to say we were all rather excited by this.

BTW if you are looking for an amazing tour company for the Inca Trail then you should definitely check out Amazonas Explorer and see if you get can Jimmy as your guide. Well worth the money and you really do not want to skimp on this part, trust me it makes all the difference.

After an early start we headed towards Ollantaytambo (2 / 2.5hrs travel by bus) to investigate the town and ruins located there.

After stopping to buy the last remaining items needed before starting the trek, we split up into 2 groups. One group looked around town and  got to see some of the local housing while the other group ascended the stairs of the ruins and have photos taken and listen to the history of the area.


Back in the bus we headed to the start of the trek, where we had lunch and met our porters for the trek.

Let me just say in hindsight these guys are fantastic and we couldn’t have done the trek without them.

They cook some real mean grub, let me tell you – in fact during the whole trek we ate fantastic food prepared by the chef and his assistant.

After a quick run down and the porters weighing the bags (They are allowed to carry 25kg – 21kg for the company and 4kg for their personal items) we headed off to the Check Point. At the check point we showed our passports and tickets and then crossed the bridge and we were off.

Inca Trail - Day 1

It was approx 2pm at this stage so we walked for 3 or so hours till our first Camp site of the trek (Llactapata)

The camp site was situated 2,788m above sea level in between the valleys of Aobamba and the Salcantay.

This was next to ancient ruins and a running river, very magical.

Camp Site - Day 1

After getting settled into our sleeping tents, we had afternoon snack and then an hour and half later dinner.

We had our day 1 debriefing and day 2 briefing just after dinner and then took to our tents for a well deserved rest.