Aguas Calientes, Peru
We got on the trail around 5 am. Today is the most difficult day where we will hike at least 9 miles Consider that we’re hiking at a very high altitude plus we’re going up to Dead Woman Pass at 14000 feet then we have to go down hundreds of steps I would say it was a most emotional and spiritual Day. The entire path is made of stone by the Incas. It’s been here for centuries and it looks like it was created yesterday! For the hiking part after Deads woman pass, I decided to go at the end of the pack; I wanted to take in the beauty of the mountains, I wanted to fill my lungs with the pure clean air. I wanted to observed how the incas chiseled the mountains granite and let if fall into smallest pieces of rock so they could build this magnificent trail that will probably last for centuries. The inca empire expanded From Peru to Chili to Argentina. The king with the long name I cannot pronounce built this empire in only 80 years;; we would encounter miles and miles of pathway and many archeological sites The Incas had no written language, so to carry messages they would use runners to deliver messages from one town to the other! I would also enjoy the waterfalls and streams cascading down the mountains gurgling underneath the stony trail. Every so often I would cross Emily always in silence deeply involved in our own contemplation and awe. We arrived at the camp for s wonderful lunch. I love the soups but ate very lightly as I’m not that hungry at this altitude. After lunch I dip my feet in the cold stream since the water comes from the glaciers. It is such a relief on my feet! We suit up again and had to climb back up to the second pass , on the way we visited another archeological site which looked like a fortress. We slowly climbed up to the next pass called Runkurakai.; it started to get chilly and by then we were exhausted. It was quite late so we didn’t have much time to rest at the top of the pass. We started to head back down to the campsite. The stairs were treacherous narrow and steep. Then we went through a steep cave, I don’t know how fat people manage that one! There was one last large archeological ruin, which looked like it could have been a large palace and it had a fabulous view of three trails. By then it was getting dark- so I raced to the campsite- this site was huge with a great view. I did not attend Happy hour, I was so exhausted that I just laid down for half hour on the pad before setting up my sleeping bag . It gave me an opportunity to clean up a bit and change so I could get ready for bed. Dinner time was much quieter that night. They gave us hot water bottle to keep warm in our sleeping bag. It definitely helped. I slept well!