Well, yes this is the Real Inca Trail and not of of those fake Inca Trails I warned you all about, but one thing to note is that apparently the only official bit from the original Inca Trail starts halfway through day 3. But this particular part of the Inca Trail is where it got more interesting and tougher. Days 1 and 2 had been a walk in the park.
By 3pm on the third day however I was feeling slightly more tired and we still had 3 long hours of hiking to go. But never fear, this was a constant amazing experience that tiredness, fatigue and never ending unknown Inca paths fade into insignificance. Besides, it was CHRISTMAS EVE,
Even I had forgotten that. Being from a background that believes in the Bible and having had many exciting Christmas Eve’s before (including a lot of times at my Granny’s flat in the Cregagh Estate in Belfast – we went there almost every year from I was born until I moved away from Northern Ireland).
But here amongst history, miles from civilisation, Christmas Eve faded into the same kind of mist I’d been walking through for 3 days…
So after lunch at the lowly and idyllic Chaquicocha, we moved upwards onto what is basically a different terrain – more stones, more intensity and clearly more time was spent by the Incas on this part of the Inca Trail. Because apparently this was the Real Inca Trail. I even got the white Christmas feeling seeing white leaves on this tree (above) but again the sky was only rain and mist…
The way round included a view to a waterfall.
We also went into a cave.
Where water dripped and I had a fake shower. The Taiwanese couple took this photo and I was very surprised nobody wanted to join me in this natural shower. Main reason being none of us had showered for 3 days!
There was a dangerous cliff edge where Dave and I joked about leaning off.
I posed with my Northern Ireland flag on the edge there.
The group became much more dispersed at this point of the trail, mainly due to tough-ness of the terrain. However when we reached one of the early peak view points (probably around 2pm) just before that, all 17 of us were there together and posed for a photo. In fact that photo, on day 3 is probably my favourite photo from the entire hike.
This was the view on round.
The wilderness was staggering and just when we seemed to be getting to a clearing, trees and rocks would turn up again.
With Dave on the way round to Phuyu Pata Marca.
Sonja, our leader had named a meeting point for mid afternoon at a very interesting and elevated Inca ruins called Phuyu Pata Marca. And there around 3pm, mid afternoon we were faced with the incredible ruins and vantage point of that very spot – Phuyu Pata Marca.
From that moment on, it felt like we were getting closer and closer to Machu Picchu and a magic encapsulated our every step…
From – Chaquicocha
To – Phuyu Pata Marca
Distance – 3 kilometres this bit only
Key Song –
NE-YO – CLOSER:
STARTING THE POST LUNCH CLIMB:
RELAXING WHEN WE GOT TO PHUYU PATA MARCA, MID AFTERNOON:
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