13:16.96S 72:53.39W To the Sun Gate

Tue 10 May 2016 05:03
The trail was so much easier with long mountain hugging stretches of level track, in beautiful forest of long stemmed orchids and dripping spider web hammocks and a cool mist pervading the v-shaped valleys.

It had been an early start as the porters had to be at the railway station in Agua Caliente (Machu Picchu Village) for the 5.30am train with all our goods, as it was the only train they were allowed to catch according to Perurail.

So we were awoken with mugs of coca tea and basins of hot water at 4.00am. Rob and I didn't fancy trying to get ready in 30mins so by the time our tea was delivered we had washed with baby wipes and were dressed and ready, just as well as they started pulling the pegs on our tent before we had exited!

Our packed breakfast was ready, cheese sandwiches, a bar of chocolate, piece of fruit and two sweets, along with a top up of boiled water, then off they ran, the porters taking 30 minutes for the rapid descent to the village, while we savoured our last 2 1/2hr hike. 

We didn't hold out much hope of seeing the sun rise through the gate overlooking the site as the clouds were clinging on to the mountains like a baby monkey to its mum.

Just before the Sun gate we had to climb 50 almost vertical stone steps. Rogart and Elvis took our sticks so we had hands free to crawl, iguana like upwards. Half way up Carmen called  "Hope you're counting Barb."

"28, 29, 30," I made it 51 but never mind. At the Sun Gate, our fog gate, pretty little birds cleared up our breakfast crumbs and the only sighting we nearly had was Australian Mike who threatened us with a moon, but fortunately was only teasing. This was after all a sacred plc to many including our guides.

After our 7.25am breakfast we continued to MP the trail was easy, my legs on top for,  so Rob and I led the way.