It’s finally that day, Climb Machu Picchu day! Start time: 4:20 am. Damn son. For some reason when I woke up I forgot to 1. drink water and 2. bring a water bottle on the trek.
From the hotel we stayed at in Aguas Calientes to the start gate to climb Machu Picchu, it was a 2km walk.
It was pitch dark outside without any street lamps, and so we had to use our headlamps to bobble down the street.
We arrived about 15 minutes before 5am, which is the time that they open the gates for climbers. The line was already looping around and so we joined it. You have to have your permit papers and passport/ID with you to get through the gate.
The hotel provided us with a small breakfast and some juice, which I ate half of before we started.
We laughed so hard because just as we were in a line to climb Machu Picchu, all the stray dogs in the city were also forming a line next to us. What an exciting life, to be able to climb Machu Picchu every day!
When we began climbing it was still pitch dark and our headlamps. I faced my head towards the ground and slowly began walking. Everyone was booking it, so Daniel and I stayed together and just kept pushing. It’s about a 45-minute hike straight up the side of the mountain and about 1,800 steps.
We were the last 2 to arrive from the group but it was rewarding hitting that last step. By the time we arrived the first busload of tourists was arriving. They. All. Suck. As tourists do so we had to wait in a line to get inside and meet up with our tour guide for the tour.
The geometric shape of the city shows how meticulous and exact the Incans were when building. They were also based many of their cities on the sun and the moon and the 360 degree rotations of the Earth.
We had entry tickets to Machu Picchu Montana, which is one of the surrounding mountains to Machu Picchu and is another 652 meters straight up. Meaning the peak sits at 3,082 meters. After our tour finished and I finally was able to get a drink of water, we headed toward the entrance of Machu Picchu Montana to climb to the top of the mountain.
Such a hard climb with uneven steps, precarious cliff edges, and sore legs from this mornings climb. But we suffered through it and my battle buddy Daniel and I stuck together again as we headed towards the top.
At the top we caught our breath and waited as long as we could for the clouds to pass and when we were freezing cold and out of time, we headed back down.
It seemed to take FOREVER.
Once we got back to the city from Machu Picchu Montana we made an executive decision to walk all the way back into town instead of riding the bus. It was a good decision, until we started walking down the 1,800 steps. We made it into town just into for a torrential downpour but at this point I was HANGRY and could care less about the rain because I needed food STAT.
We had a few hours before the train ride out of Aguas Calientes back to Cusco so we drank ourselves happy so we would fall asleep on the train. It was exhausting.
One of the longest days ever but not as exhausting as summit night for Mt. Kilimanjaro. After the train ride and a hectic bus transfer and a couple of hours driving, we did make it back to Cusco and I collapsed into bed at the hostel.
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