This was by far the most beautiful day on the trail. We had finally made it far enough into the mountains that we were surrounded by rain forest.
If you look closely at the picture, you will notice that there is a drop off on one side of the trail. There are many parts of the trail that are actually a wall built up along side the mountain and you are basically walking on the top of it! I kept thinking, how in the world did they build this?? And the truth is, they don’t know. They do not know how long it took for them to complete the trail. Like most ancient wonders, it probably took centuries to complete.
By this day, I think we were all pretty tired and I noticed there wasn’t as much socializing on the trail as there had been the first two days. Most of us walked alone. Sometimes there was no one within sight of me for very long stretches of time and I took the opportunity to stop and take pictures of the landscape.
I used this time to really try to relax and appreciate my pending accomplishment. There was a lot of reflection that went on for me at this point in the trek and it is by far my most memorable.
We seemed to happen upon an increased number of ruins. It was amazing to me how you could just look up at a mountain across the way and see old farming terraces or ancient structures. Our guide told us that the Incas traveled all through these mountains and a lot of the ruins are still yet to be found. Crazy, right?
It rained off and on a lot (a plastic rain poncho is a must!), but knowing that we were so close to our final night of camping, it didn’t dampen (ha!) our mood one bit! Because the trail was mostly stones at this point, we had to watch our step because it could get slippery. Especially when going through the Inca Trail Tunnel.
That night, we played lots of card games in our food tent, attempted (but never finished) to convert Cee Lo’s “F*** You” into a thank you song for our guide and porters and pretty much just enjoyed having survived the trail. All we had left was to wake up at the most ridiculous hour the next morning to attempt to beat everyone else the couple of miles to the Sun Gate and then on to Machu Picchu!