Last time on my Machu Picchu trip post, I was half way through my trek. This time I’m going to finish the rest of my trek but first of all I want to talk a bit about booking my trip.
In my opinion, there is only one-way to go to Macchu Picchu, and that’s via the classic Inca trek. This has to be booked through a local company and you have to join one of their guided groups. You’re not allowed to trek by yourself. There is a daily limit of 500 permits a day which includes porters and guides as well. If you read my last post, you will remember there was 4 support staff just for the two of us, that means the quota for tourists isn’t a lot.
The entire route is closed every February for restoration, then you have the wet season in March to April, and October to January, so in reality you’re left with around six months in the year which is the dry season. Trekking permits are thus snapped up very quickly. I went in late October 2015, but had to book my tour in March that year, that’s the longest in advance I’ve ever planned for a holiday. Luckily, as you can see from my photos, the wet season hadn’t started yet. So a little tip, if you’re planning to trek the Inca trail, plan early.
Back to the remaining of my trek to Machu Pucchu. There are various checkpoints en route where you have to have your passport stamped by the authorities. For my 2 day trek, there were two checkpoints, the first not long after I started at Km104, and the second one at Winay Wayna after lunch. Here’s the stamps on my passport.
好了，繼續我馬丘比丘之旅。步道沿路上有好幾個檢查站，而我2天的旅程(其實實際在步道上只有1天而已) 就要經過有2個。第1個在早上出發後不久，而第2個在午餐後Winya Wanya 附近。每次經過檢查站都一定要在護照上蓋上印章，這就是我護照的印章。
The afternoon trek is shorter but more strenuous than the morning. There are uphills and downhill and we went through the rainforest. Eventually we got to the Monkey Steps, so called as it was so steep that you might have to use all fours.
After this final climb, we got to Intipunku, the Sun Gate, the moment that all the trekkers have been working towards. Words were beyond me when I got here, partly because I was already quite tired, but mainly because I was blown away by the beauty of the site.
This is the moment where you see what you have already seen hundreds of times already on TV, the internet and magazines. Yet, this moment was special, as you’re seeing it with your own eyes, it’s real, it’s actually in front of you, you’re within reach of an incredible piece of history and culture ~ Machu Picchu.
At 2720km, the Sun Gate is the highest point on the trek. From here it’s another hour’s walk till we actually get to Machu Pucchu. I’m getting closer.
And we made it at last!
Time for a bit of loving celebration with my guide. How often do you make it to the Macchu Picchu, so yes, a bit of silliness is allowed!
The best thing about arriving at Machu Picchu in the late afternoon was that most of the tourists have left for the day, and we pretty much had the whole site to ourselves. These are my own photos, not from internet!
After a quick walk through the site, we took the bus down to our camping site, where our fantastic porters had already set up our tent, and were preparing dinner. Tomorrow, we will go back up to Machu Picchu and explore this magnificent piece of history in detail. Stay tuned for my next post.