The Inca Trail - day three (unforgettable)
Cusco Travel Blog› entry 10 of 30 › view all entries
The Inca Trail â€“ day three
This was perhaps the hardest day for me. Today would be an 8 hour hike over two mountain peaks.
When we woke up it was still raining. By now it had been raining since midday on the first day. Everything was wet, all our clothes, and it was cold. There were no grand vistas because of the clouds and fog.
On our hike to the first mountain pass, we arrived at a small Inca fort with a splendid view of the Dead Womanâ€™s Pass. This fortress was meant to guard the pass. Next to it were two little lakes.
It is an
Inca tradition to take a little rock from the bottom of the valley and put it
on top of the mountain once you reach it.
The trail went on, down again. We went through Inca tunnels and there was another big ruin on our way. This time we could only reach the ruin by leaving our backpacks on the road and ascending a very steep, narrow stairway. Ruins and Inca paths like these are still found around here by Peruvian archeologists almost every year! The ruin looked like a small town and showed the Inca way of using the natural rocks and surroundings in their city planning. There were very tiny moskitos too.
On our way to the second pass, more people from our group got sick. The bad weather and exhaustion was too much for some. Also, it might have been pizza. Listen:
Tip! Donâ€™t! Eat! Pizza! In! Cusco!
to our Inca Trail guides, almost everyone who eats pizza in Cusco gets sick
during the Trail. The problem is this: the restaurants in Cusco present their
pizzas very nicely, they bake them in a stone oven and then present the pizza
on a wooden plate.
After the second pass came the hardest part of the day, if not the hardest part of the entire Inca Trail! We had to descent 1,200 meters to our campsite. It is a very steep descent over 1,500 small, steep, wet, slippery Inca steps. These steps were not made for big dutch people with big feet. The guides named this descent the Gringo Killer! And the rest of the trip through Peru I have felt my knees ache when going down some steps. I was so glad I had a walking stick. It took about 2.5 hours to go down.
The nickname Gringo Killer almost became reality when one of our group was pushed from the path by a porter. Luckily the fall was only half a meter or so. You get to be very careful with these porters. There are more porters on the Trail than there are tourists. Whenever one wants to pass by, always stay on the rock side of the path!
By the end of the day almost half of our group had got sick one way or another. But then our cook entered the tent. And with him he had a huge cake! It happened to be the birthday of one of our group, Amber, and the cook had made this huge, delicious birthday cake! Incredible!
It was still raining outside and while we were eating the birthday cake we were all very nervous for tomorrow. Would the rain ruin our experience of Machu Picchu? Would the sick people be able to finish the trail? Would it be all for nothing?