Day 2: Climbing 3,000 feet just to go back down the other side isn\'t fun but very beautiful

Machu Picchu Travel Blog

 › entry 2 of 4 › view all entries
moss covered trees on the way up
When the guides told us that day 2 would be much harder than day 1.... they weren't kidding.  Day 2 basically consisted of climbing more or less 3,000 feet straight up the side of the moutain and climbing about 2,000 down the other side, not to mention at about 11,000 ft altitude making the air virtually impossible to breathe (well for us beacuse the porters were again running up the steps).  Although the task was arduous, it was worth it, really worth it.  On the way up we passed through jungle like surroundings, with moss covered trees and small waterfalls.  It was a little scary because the steps were a bit slippery from the moistness of the air.  It was kinda of rainy.. doing that thing where it looks like you're walking through a cloud (I guess we were lol).
the trail
 

Halfway up we stopped for lunch which was a break well recieved.  Again, it was delicous.  Although the break was wanted it made starting over again all the more dificult.  And what was the most dificult wasn't really the steps.. although my legs were sore at the end of the day.  What made it so hard was the thinness of the air.  I had to stop almost every 3 to 5 minutes just to catch my breath.  I was getting down on myself but then I realized everyone in the group was having the same problem, even a man from Austrailia who was a very fit personal trainer.  We eventually made it to the highest peak.  While I was tryin hard to garnish as much energy for the walk down, I saw a couple tour guides from other group lighting up.
our campsite
  I wans't sure if he was stupid or lucky as hell to have that type of lung capacity. 

If the way up was hard... the way down was just has bad if not worse.. at least for me.  On the way down I discovered something very new about myself.. the fact that I HATE going down steep steps.  I always new I didn't really like going down steep steps but I guess since I don't have to on a regular basis I didn't realize how much I feared them.  I swore I was going to topple of the side and fall to my way to young death.  I was the last person to reach to bottom and I think I annoyed a bit the tour guide who had to wait for the last person because I was waaaaay and I mean waaaaaaaaay behind the group.  I was by myself and crying all the way down wishing I was there with someone.
the porters, myself, and an argentine group member
  On the way down we stopped at some ruins and got a chance to walk around them.  Unfortunately I got there way late and didn't get the spiel on what the ruins were exactly but I got a chance to take some pics.  On the way down from the ruins (we had to walk up  more steps to get to them) I started crying in front of everyone (sooooo emabaressed to be that girl..) but I pulled it together and made my way down.  We continued down for what felt like hours and finally got to our campsite for the night.  It was an amazing site at the bottom of the mountain with a small casacade in the background.  Picture perfect. We washed up a bit in a stream near by and I washed the bottom of my pants which were now a bit mud encrusted from walking in the jungle part of the trail.  We had dinner and passed out waiting for the next day ahead of us. 
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
moss covered trees on the way up
moss covered trees on the way up
the trail
the trail
our campsite
our campsite
the porters, myself, and an argent…
the porters, myself, and an argen…
at the highest point of the trip
at the highest point of the trip
Machu Picchu
photo by: NazfromOz