The Road to WaynuPichu: How I learned to exhale and appreciate pure air.

Machu Picchu Travel Blog

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So it was about 8 in the morning when started the steep stair climb up to the gate at Machu Picchu.  The steps seemed to be normal in height, but after a few minutes the steps were just too small, about four inches high.  I don't know what's worse, too high or too low but it became agonizing and strenuous to our legs and knees. After about 40 minutes on what could have taken 20, we stopped and rested five times to catch our breath as the air seemed to get thinner and our our breath heavier.    We finally made it to the entrance and we circle around the citadel, but it was not until we met Tatu, a French girl who became part of the group down in Aguas Calientes, she was traveling solo and decided to join us.    "We have to get to WaynaPicchu" she said.  We all turned around in a way of asking for further details.   She pointed out "the peak"  It was not like we did not see it, we just thought it was not part of the trip.  I looked at it and thought, that's steep! 

We got to the entrance, a gap between a three ton rock and a tree that was hanging on by its root from the cliff, the gap was probably 24 inches wide.  To get to the main peak we had to climb down a few hundred feet on what seemed like a natural bridge made out of trees and rock connecting the peak with the old city.   The trail starts with a steep loose terrain, at an about 45 angle and after a few minutes the trial starts to zig-zag.  This is the lessen the steepness but it comes at a difficult price.  Steps, big steps, about two feet high with a surface of about ten inches, just enough for the ball of your foot.  There were some points were robes were there for the people to hang in case they loose balance and not fall over backward down the green abyss.  After about twenty minutes my legs started to shake and started resting and resting more often, but it is a narrow road and people are coming behind (fitter people) trying to pass you, sometimes it can't be done and you must move up until you reach a safe spot.   Sarah (german) and melissa (canada) fell behind.  Joao and the rest moved on.   Melissa began to scream to wait for her.   I yelled at her and told her that I was close and I would wait for her.   I sat down for a moment and my breathing for some reason began to fall short, it felt like I was not getting enough air and the more I tried the harder it got and began to fade out until a couple of people told to breath slowly and calmly and gave some water.  They thought I had asthma, but I don' t have asthma.  I started to panic because I was fading and getting dizzy it felt like my chest was shrinking! 

Melissa got to where I was and I was lying on my back on the dirt as people kept asking me if I was ok.  "Just dizzy" I replied. 
We made it to the peak, and at that point I realized how important to me the trip was.  The perks of traveling are the advert adventures.
skimonty83 says:
Sounds like quite the trek. Machu Pichu being my dream destination I enjoy the tips and hearing the challenges. Gives be a better idea of what to expect when I make it there.
Posted on: Mar 25, 2008
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Machu Picchu
photo by: NazfromOz