By Zachary Moses
I was awake ALL night. Seriously, the whole night.
I had A LOT of coffee. A LOT. I’m not complaining. I had a blast! I ended up partying with the porters and cooks into the wee hours of the morning. When I finally left the celebration, I couldn’t find my tent. For the life of me, I could not remember which tent was mine! There were at least a dozen tents that all looked alike. Usually at night, someone was around to hold my hand and show me where to go. Except tonight, someone (me) decided to stay up all night. It didn’t take long for me to start panicking. I’m usually calm under pressure, but I was exhausted and just wanted my bed. I also really didn’t want to go on playing creeper and accidentally unzip my neighbor’s tent….ugh.
For several minutes, I paced up and down the mountain side swearing quietly under my breath. Just as I started to lose hope, I saw something pink. I tiptoed between the tents to investigate. There it was, right there in front of me…my underwear. Yup, my pink underwear. I had found my tent!
Day 6: It Turns Out That Coffee Keeps You Up!
I never did fall asleep.
Here is our happy (mostly rested) group the next morning. As you can imagine, the guys in the chefs jackets are extremely tired.
Everyone was excited to leave for Machu Picchu except me and Iris.
If you look at the picture above, I’ve got a knee brace resting around my ankle. This is from an old injury. As the journey has progressed I’ve been having some pain creep up on me. Today there won’t be any donkeys, mules or horses to carry me if I have difficulty walking. So, to not potentially ruin the group’s experience, I opted to ride in a support vehicle today. I felt sad that I didn’t get to finish the hike. Today’s hike along the Salkantay Inca Trail would have taken me to see the rarely seen back-side of Machu Picchu. Oh well, Iris and I ended up having an amazing tour of our own.
While we waited for the van, this hilarious guy kept making coffee for us. I had so many jitters that my jitters had jitters! He even let us roast the beans over an open fire! We ground the beans with a traditional hand grinder. It was ridiculously fun!
Since a van could never drive up the steep slopes of these mountains, we had to walk our way down to the mountain’s base. We hadn’t realized it but we’d been in a village the whole time. All the buildings were just hidden under dense greenery. It was beautiful! When we reached the bottom of the trail, curious children came out to socialize with us. We had no idea what the kids were saying to us, but cuteness is pretty much universal.
Our van took us to the train station where we spent a few hours chatting with the locals and backpacking tourists. When the rest of our group arrived, we caught a train the for the final leg to Machu Picchu Town. The town sits at the base of this famous mountain.
As our train deposited us at our hotel, the rigorous hike soon gave way to us relaxing in natural, hot spring pools. All the aches of our days of hiking quickly melted away.
Day 7: This is it! What We’ve Been Waiting For!
Wow! It’s practically impossible to describe Machu Picchu and do proper justice to it. Photographs could not capture this breathtaking marvel. Even the 360-degree virtual reality pictures can’t quite do it justice. There is something magical about this ancient place.
It’s even more magical when the mountains are shown in double like this.
Or if you’ve got a group of friends with you. None of us knew each other before the tour, but many of us are now life-long friends.
So grab your hiking poles, because this is a view that no one should miss! It really is no wonder why they named this one of the New 7 Wonders of the World.