I don't know if I have it in me to try to recreate the post I just worked on for 30 min and lose it again!! Stinking technology! This definitely won't be as good as the first one.
Machu Picchu was everything and more than you would expect it to be. More people, more lines, more mosquitoes, more stairs, more llamas..... It exceeded all expectations!
We woke up early at our hotel in Aguas Calientes so we could make it to our scheduled hike. We had tickets to start our hike to Wayna Picchu, the pointy mountain in the back of all the classic MP photos, between 7-8am. We knew there was going to be a line to catch the buses that head up the mountain to MP, but we didn't know there was going to be a LINE! It stretched almost the entire length of the main road in town. We thought we were going to be early, but now we were worried we might miss our hike. After a 30 minute wait we found ourselves on the insane adventure bus ride. It was a 30 minute race to the top on a narrow dirt switchback road. We unloaded with 7 minutes to get through a ticket/passport check line and across all of MP to the gate for Wayna Picchu. It was the craziest thing to have our first experience at MP be running across this HUGE ancient city to get to the other side. I felt completely dwarfed by the size of this place. Pictures don't do it justice. In typical Carter fashion we arrived with our friends at the gate at 8:05am and were some of the last to be let in.
Already hot and sweaty, the sky was blue and the sun intense, we could tell within minutes we were in for a workout. Over a thousand steps switchbacking up Wayna Picchu led to the ruins at the top. Hard to imagine ancient people living and farming on this very steep peak.
Back off the top of Wayna Picchu we hurried back to the entrance gate to eat our packed lunch and meet our tour guide. Thankfully Hector was waiting for us to lead us on a 2.5 hour tour of the Incan city. He was so knowledgeable and taught us so much about how they think the Incans lived. Because all records were destroyed, they really know the entire story of this civilization.
After the tour, we started another stair climb to go and see the Inca Bridge. Although our feet were tired and quads aching, it was definitely worth the hike.
10 hours after we started our Machu Picchu adventure, we were back in Aguas Calientes. After a shower and a nice dinner we did what all should do after a hike- get an Incan foot and leg massage. It was heaven!!
No wonder our legs were tired- Emily's phone tracked our movement. It said we took 20,560 steps and walked 12.43 miles. Whew