Day 4 started early as always. I devoured a protein bar and we headed off in the early hours of the morning. We were all a little excited because today was supposed to be a little easier (whatever that means). We came to realize that 2 more hours often meant 4 and easier was not necessarily a great descriptor. But we loved it!
We hiked for hours and hours today, chatting along the way. We reached our first Machu Picchu check point where we had to leave our names and passport information. Records of who was on the trail were etched in giant books on the worker’s desk. Then after a quick coffee tasting we were off. Our morning was quite challenging all uphill terrain which was very steep. We saw some beautiful ruins and had great views of the mountains. We were drenched in sweat by the time we reached our lunch stop and the meal was delicious. There was cold juice with our lunch, a rare treat on our last few days of trekking. We devoured it.
The afternoon was all downhill and quite steep. I was grateful for my poles which took some of the impact off of my knees. It was always faster going down because although it was hard on the joints we didn’t need to take rest stops. This made the time pass quickly and allowed us the opportunity to have conversation; something that wasn’t always possible on the way up. By mid afternoon we reached the train station where you could hop on or choose to continue hiking to Aguas Caliente. Stubborn we all were – no one took the train. We were a group of very determined individuals who were not going to quit. Let me tell you walking into Aguas Caliente was a sigh of relief, a real feeling of accomplishment.
That night we all had dinner and then went to our hostel to fight over the hot water for a shower. Then we all headed to explore the quaint little town, take in one of their festivals and get some grub.
It wasn’t long before we were sound asleep dreaming of Machu Picchu.