Machu Picchu August 2019
The WAG Team has successfully made it to Machu Picchu. Everyone did a fantastic job making the final push up to the Sun Gate and then it was all downhill from there. What a stunning place to end the day.
After dinner, many drinks and showers we’re settled in for the night. Tomorrow we return again very early to Machu Picchu to tour the ruins and climb Huayna Picchu, the cone-shaped peak in the pictures. Everyone is missing friends and family back home.
I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.
Dispatch #4 & #5
The WAG Team continues to march on with gusto. All are well and enjoying the amazing views, food, and lively companionship. Yesterday was a tough day and one of the toughest on the Inca Trail. It’s a steep ascent of 5-6 miles to reach the camp for the night at Llullchapamp at an elevation of 12,467. Angus, our youngest WAG member, was the rockstar and led the way all day.
Today the group started early to climb three passes. The first pass is the Dead Woman’s Pass at 13776 and the high point of the Inca Trail. After a few thousand feet of descent the climb begins again to Abra Runkurakay Pass at 13,022. After another descent it begins again to ascent the final pass of the day the Abra Phuyupatamarca Pass at 12,136 and the camp for the night.
Today is the most preserved part of the Inca Archaeological complex and needs to be see to believe. A few thought that yesterday was harder than today, so maybe everyone is getting used to the altitude.
Tomorrow is a short descent and then a few hours climb up to the Sun Gate where the first views of Machu Picchu are possible and then on to Machu Picchu.
Hello to everyone back home.
The WAG Team.
Today the WAG team properly began our hike of the Inca Trail. We left Ollantaytambo, and drove to Km. 82. The portion of the trail we hiked was only 10% original due to past damage but it follows exactly where the ancient one went. Our guide informed us that the trail we took, which goes high along the valley, was a special trail for important people because it grants such unique views.
One of those special views was Llaqtapata which is a sacred ruin in the shape of a local flower of the valley. We also learned about a special bug that produces bright magenta dye when crushed, but then changes to blue with the addition of salt, and orange with the addition of lime.
Afterwards, we had a beautiful hot lunch of traditional soup with and freshly caught rainbow trout. Before our last push up a big hill, our guide taught us the benefits of the Coca plant. We learned it is a superfood, high in iron, b-vitamins, zinc, fiber, and more. We chewed it as we ascended to our campsite for tonight, where we were met by our lovely porters who had set up tents and warm wash bowls. It was a good first day.
The WAG Team
Today the WAG team left Cusco and travelled down to the Sacred Valley. We saw ruins, and then went to a large market in Pisaq where we saw traditional Peruvian instruments, jewelry and weaving! We continued on to lunch and then shortly after visited Mama Mercedes who let us try her chicha (fermented corn beer) which is made in the same process as the Incas made it in the 14th century and earlier.
Finally we continued onto the town Ollantaytambo (which is still 50% Inca construction today) where we stopped at the hotel before trekking up to some more ruins. Everyone is doing well and looking forward to starting the Inca Trail tomorrow. Hello again the friends and family back home.
The WAG Team.
Everyone has arrived in Cusco healthy and ready to go. Cusco is a stunningly beautiful city with narrow Inca stone streets, interesting Inca and Spanish architectural designed buildings and most charming feel.
Today we had a city tour that took us to the central cathedral, sun temple, and local market. Afterwards we had lunch at a local restaurant. Tonight we had our trek briefing and now everyone is packing and repacking. Hello to everyone back home.
Thanks for following along.
The WAG Team.