It was very tough, much harder than either of us expected. The trek was both physically and mentally demanding. The second day was the hardest for me as you spend about 4 hours just going up and up and up until you get to Dead Woman’s Pass – I must admit I did get a bit emotional when we finally reached it as it was such hard work. For Lenny, the third day was the hardest as you basically spend all day walking down hundreds of large steps and cobbled path ways and this played havoc with her knees. As she’s got a bit of arthritis already it meant she was in agony as the day progressed and got very emotional as it seemed the steps would never end. When we finally reached the camp site on the third day we were both so knackered we were in bed by 8.30pm.
On the fourth day we finally made it and were lucky enough to be treated to spectacular views of Machu Picchu. The cloud stayed away and it stayed dry so we took loads of photos and spent a few hours there on a tour and then just snoozing in the afternoon sun. We took the bus back to Aguas Calientes where we met up with everyone else to catch the train back to Cusco. I must admit, walking through the main street in Aguas Calientes with my ruck sack on, sun hat, mud caked trousers and boots and stinking (probably – I hadn’t had a wash in 4 days!) I did feel like a "proper" Lonely Planet trekker and not just some tourist who takes the train up to Machu Picchu! It was a weird but nice feeling.
We got back to the hotel last night and slept for about 11 hours – we were both so tired.
Unfortunately, during the trek it’s very hard to stay clean and I picked up an ear infection from somewhere, meaning I went deaf in my left ear for a couple of days and had to pack cotton wool into it to soak up the discharge – yuk! I picked up some antibiotic ear drops yesterday and they already seem to be working as my hearing’s back and I’m on the mend, although I am still on Aspirin to keep the ear-ache away. Also I got badly bitten on my left leg by some bastard mozzies which really hurts, so if I sit down and don’t move for a bit, my leg goes stiff and I can hardly walk – there’s a nasty red rash around my shin but it’s also slowly getting better.
I am not particularly looking forward to going back to work on Thursday – it’s going to be a bit of a come-down having to drive to Basingstoke when I’ve just spent the past week trekking in the Andes! 🙂
(Note: Photo’s seem to appear in the wrong order)