Machu Picchu is one of the world’s wonders and definitely an magnificent sight even with thousands of steps to climb to reach it.
The next day, with our alarms going off at four in the morning, we jumped out of bed, packed our bags and met the others outside of the hostel. We walked through the dark, along a stony path to the bridge, where the entrance of Machu Picchu is. There was a huge line waited to hike up. We joined the queue and waited until 5am for the bridge to open.
Once we had shown our passports and ticket, we started the climb. There were about 1,000 steps up to the entrance. I thought the steps would be steeper but it was still strenuous with the altitude. I am not the fitted of people but I managed it. As the daylight started to shine, so did the rain. At first, it wasn’t too bad but it got worse. The climb made me hot and sweaty, so I decided to take off the layers including my rain coat. At one point I nearly gave up. My friend encouraged me and I managed to reach the top in about 45 minute. Success! I might have been hot, wet and sweaty but I did it.
We waited at the top under a shelter, as the rain was still pouring, for the rest of group and or guide. We entered the ruins of Machu Picchu, where we stood, mesmerised by the view of mountains around with fog settling around them. Our guide talked about the history of the Incas and Machu Picchu.
We walked around the ruins with llamas wandering the area, finding out more about the old building. The whole place was just incredible with the views, atmosphere and surrounding. I just couldn’t believe I was there. Lucky, the rain had stopped and the sun slid through the fog, giving picturesque sights.
After about an hour of so, our tour was finished and we bid our farewell with the guides and some of the others, who were going to climb the two mountains around. We took millions of photos from different angles and perspectives.
A small group of us, wandered around the place, following the trail and taking photos. We stopped to have some food, which we brought with us, before leaving Machu Picchu. We had to leave around 11am as we needed to be back at Hydroelectric before 3pm to get the bus back to Cusco. Some of the others were getting the train back, which was more expensive, but they didn’t need to be in Agua Caliente until 6pm.
I wanted to walk back down to the main town but the other wanted to get the bus. I gave in to peer pressure and took the bus back to the bridge, which was expensive but I wanted to stay with my friends and walk back with others. Once we had purchased our tickets, the two girls from Colombia, the Swiss girl, the Polish guy and myself hopped on the bus, which took the windy path down the mountain to the bridge.
At the bottom, we walked along the railway for about 9km back to Hydroelectric, talking and trying not to get too wet from the rain, which sporadically poured. Near the end of our walk, we stopped in the same restaurant, where we had lunch the day before. We ordered the three course meal as we were feeling hungry after all the exercise.
Just before 3pm, we arrived at our pick up station, where there were hundreds of extremely disorganised buses. It was so confusing. I had been told the company of the bus I would be riding back to Cusco. However, when I found them, I wasn’t on there list. I wasn’t the only person who couldn’t find their bus. Slowly, buses disappeared leaving a selection. I ended up asking bus driver and in the end I did find my bus. The whole situation was chaotic. One would have thought the bus collection would be organised as they do this every single day. I could see others were getting frustrated but I was happy to find my bus and have seat to get back to Cusco.
It took around 6 hours to get back with a stop at a small shop on the side road, where I bought a cheap sandwich. After pretty much sleeping most of the way through the windy, bumpy road, we eventually arrived in the centre of Cusco. I was feeling exhausted by this point so I walked back to my hostel and collapsed on my bus.