Memories of: Inca Trail 2008, Day-3

Links: Pre-Hike, Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4- Machu Picchu!, Post-hike Inti Raymi!

This campsite was simply spectacular! The snow-capped mountain in the distance was called Cordillera Vilcabamba and I could have sat there all day and breathed it in. Again we woke to a bowl of hot water, a wash cloth and a cup of tea. There were a couple of passes to climb on this day so we had to get moving. The walking was somehow much easier today despite the ups and downs. At one point the stone path descended through a gap between two huge boulders. Vikki made sure to hold it open for us with her walking pole…

There was a couple of set of ruins today, one of the more interesting being Phuyupatamarca (3,850 metres) which translates to something like “Town above the Clouds”. It really started to dawn on us just how much work he Inca’s had to do to build these ruins and to construct the pathways and staircases leading to them. It all seemed endless. And this was just a few of the sets of ruins and just one trail, Peru had thousands of kilometers of trails and a civilisations worth of ruins.

As we arrived at the campsite, our favorite porter, the shorter tubby, stocky one, high-fived us as we came in! Seriously this trip was just fun. The Campsite was well established and was just a short walk away for the Winay Wayna ruins. This was my favorite set of ruins other than Machu Picchu itself. We could free roam around them, thoroughly exploring despite feeling tired. I think we entered every room and climbed every staircase. I was feeling quite cold and tired at this point and was blaming coca leaves for the sickly feeling in my stomach.

Just before the evening meal I became horrendously ill. Thank goodness the campsite had a real toilet block. Could it have been the fish from the night before? Was it the altitude or the water or just a bug? I remember the feeling coming over me very quickly, I excused myself and headed to the loo. I ended up running to the toilet block, not quite making it, throwing up a little in the hallway of the toilets before finally bursting into a toilet stall and purging. I was gone for ten minutes. All I could think of was the mess I had made in the hallway. When I had finally emerged from the toilet bowl I grabbed my toilet paper and headed out to wipe up but the cleaners had already beaten me to it. I suppose another hiker reported the mess or it was simply seen by the cleaners themselves. Its possible I didn’t actually make a mess and caught everything. Needless to say I wasn’t eating dinner. Which was a shame because it looked extraordinary! It was a kind of mountain high tea! Popcorn, nutella on a cracker, some kinda of meatloaf with a carrot in it (?!), skewers, a pasta bake and an amazing meringue type cake (mango?). Celso, our guide, told me that I needed to eat but I just couldn’t so I went to lie down. There was a little shop near the toilet block that was used to purchase beers for all the porters to thank them for their efforts. The girls had an excellent evening!

We would be waking up extremely early the next day, hiking in the dark so we could reach the sun gate to watch the sunrise over Machu Picchu.

Links: Pre-Hike, Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4- Machu Picchu!, Post-hike Inti Raymi!

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