Inca Trail Day 4 Part 2: Intipunku/Sun Gate

Inca Trail Day 4 Part 2: Intipunku/Sun Gate

Dave and I walked most of this bit together, from the Winay Wayna Guard Post to Intipunku. I don’t remember much of it, other than there were a few gentle climbs and generally everyone just wanted to speed onwards. Indeed I don’t remember stopping even for a water break until we reached Intipunku. The reason for that was probably our eagerness to get to Intipunku…
Because at Intipunku we were told we would get our first glimpse of Machu Picchu. Clouds and mist were in the sky which also took time to drizzle on us.
It was a cliff hanging walk to Intipunku, and arrival there I feasted my eyes on the obvious sight ahead – Machu Picchu. Above there is the first ever live photo I took with Machu Picchu in it.

However having finally seen Machu Picchu for real, it disappeared after about 2 minutes of arriving at Intipunku (which translates as Sun Gate) as mist and clouds covered it from view. 

I was definitely in the first 50 or so to reach that point that day, and one of the lucky ones to see it before the mist came. Anyone arriving 2 minutes later would have missed the preview of the day’s main event.

The best view of Machu Picchu before the mist blurred it out of view, at least for the next hour or so.

The zig zag track we saw from here was interesting and many of us asked what was it. Of course it is nothing to do with the Incas, it is “the cheater’s way to Machu Picchu”, basically you can get a bus from the village of Aguas Calientes up to Machu Picchu. I have to be honest and say that anyone that goes that way doesn’t really deserve to see Machu Picchu. It would be a bit like getting a helicopter to the top of Mount Everest. Of course, those less fortunate and with handicaps is fine, but for anyone able to walk and hike, there should be no alternative route to Machu Picchu.

I flew my Northern Ireland flag from here anyway as I wasn’t sure there would be a chance to get a photo of it later with Machu Picchu in the background (which there were ample more!).

Machu Picchu is in mist just above me.

At the edge of Intipunku.

From this point at Intipunku, you could just sense with every step the nearing of the end of the hike.

“Misty peak at you?”

Further along the track we came across more Inca Ruins and a sense of wonder.

For a while this was my view for this part of the trail. Mysterious…
At this clearing we kept thinking we were there already but this was the small Inca Ruins before Machu Picchu itself.

There was this final mini Inca Ruins, and we all kind of knew that was our last bit of “sightseeing” on route.

After taking this photo of the end of these ruins, it was time to make the final descent…

From – Winay Wayna

To – Intipunku

Distance Travelled – 4 kilometres

Distance from Machu Picchu – 2 kilometres

Key Song:

SASH with TINA COUSINS – MYSTERIOUS TIMES:
(especially for the line “if you see what’s behind then these are mysterious times”)

 THE VIEW FROM INTIPUNKU LOOKING TOWARDS MACHU PICCHU:
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