The reason why I came to Peru was finally here. It was 3 AM, and I was super excited to get to Machu Picchu. We stopped in the lobby, and the receptionist had two lunches packed for us, they knew about our journey and wanted to make sure we were fed.
We had decided we were going to walk to Machu Picchu and not take the bus from Aguas Calientes. Partly because we wanted to do the adventure, but also because we wanted to save $24.
The walk from our hotel was about 30 minutes. When we got to the hiking trail, we had to wait until after 5 AM for them to open the gate. There was a line of about 100 people already waiting. When the gates finally opened, everyone was beyond excited.
A pitch black trail going uphill and nothing but a few flashlights and the light of our phones. We were all walking one behind the other. I was glad I had gotten in shape before I came here. It was a lot harder than I though.
Eventually, people started getting tired; some fell behind. My husband was one of them. I am a bit embarrassed to say that I didn’t wait for him. I gave him a kiss and told him I would see him at the top.
I started feeling tired, but I couldn’t stop. Part of the reason was that I didn’t want my husband to catch up to me. So I went, and I climbed, and I passed people. My coat came off, and I was a hot mess.
I got to the top around 5:55 AM. My husband followed about 10 minutes after I did. I greeted him with a smile.
They saw our lunches, and they immediately told us we had to check it in. I had a few granola bars, Gatorade, and water in my backpack, so I knew it was going to be OK.
We went through those gates, and honestly, I was overwhelmed. There was so much perfection in the in one place. We saw the sunrise and contemplated the view.
We had entries to the Machu Picchu mountain, but we couldn’t go in until 9 AM. Someone suggested going to the Inca Bridge. It’s ignored, and there was not a lot of people walking that direction. The trek was about 30 minutes or so. The views walking that path were beautiful.
We also met a young couple. He was from Chile, and she was from Brazil. They were super nice and told us all about their upcoming adventures.
We walked together and took a ton of photos until it was time to start walking to the Machu Picchu mountain. They realized that they didn’t have an entry to go up and were super bummed out. We took one last picture together and asked another tourist if he could take it for us. His name was Maximiliano. We realized that he was also heading to the mountain, so we asked him if he wanted to join us. He did.
It had been two hours since we had climbed to get to Machu Picchu. I thought by then my body was rested. It wasn’t. The hike to go up to the mountain was way worst. All three of us were dying. We tried to distract the pain by talking and sharing stories. The pain wasn’t going away.
We kept bumping into people who were part of the first group to go in. They kept telling us 10 minutes more. That didn’t happen. The most difficult part of the trail was probably the last 30 minutes. The steps got narrower and taller. One hour and thirty minutes later, we had summited. So worth the view.
There were about 30 of us contemplating the view and taking pictures. We decided to rest for a bit, and each had a granola bar before we went down. They ask everyone to start walking down around noon because that’s when it closes. So we did.
We got back to the Macchu Picchu City around 1 PM. They close the park at 4:30 PM. We still had about three and a half hours to explore the city. We tried to walk every single corner, but by then our feet were done. We still managed.
Before the park closed, we went to the restaurant to grab a beer to celebrate. Maxi gave us some insights of what else we needed to see in Peru. He had been in the country for over two weeks already. Sadly we only had four days left pretty much planned out.
We had to catch the train soon, so we left the park around 4 PM. We again didn’t get a bus ticket to go back to Aguas Calientes, so we walked. It took about 45 minutes to get to our hotel. We said goodbye to our dear friend Maximiliano, and off we went.
The hotel we stayed at let us borrow a room to take a quick shower. If you travel to Machu Picchu, I recommend La Cabana. One of the best, friendliest hotels I’ve ever stayed in.
All freshen up we rushed down to get to the trains station. We bought a couple of juices but quickly realized we didn’t have enough cash to pay for both. We had spent it all on souveniers on the way to the train station. The lady gave us one! So much kindness everywhere I turned.