Megtekintve 320 alkalommal, letöltve 13 alkalommal
közel Machu Picchu, Cusco (Peru)
This is by far the steepest path I have ever walked. It was completely overcast when we started out and as we approached the guard shack where you sign in to start up the trail proper it started to rain. The guard was discouraging people from doing the trail as probably as waste of time and many turned back. We continued on saying to ourselves we could always turn back if the weather got worse. I was nursing a respiratory infection and not feeling the greatest, my partner was just getting over the same bug.
We went the first quarter mile or so and reevaluated and decided to go on a little further. A few hundred meters on we met a woman on her way down who had just turned around, giving up because it seemed the visibility was getting worse. At about the same point the path changed from a steep stone path with steps every few feet to a staircase of uneven granite steps with small landings only where it was necessary to change direction for a switch-back. We persisted.
At about the 1/3 way point we came to an overview and just as we did the clouds parted briefly for a view of the Citadel. This gave us the boost we needed to continue on. At about the 2/3 way point the path seemsed to change again. Maybe it was my imagination but the steps seemed to get steeper. It looked like from here on the grade would be at least 45 degrees or more. We sat for a long time and contemplated our chances. Finally I agreed to going 1000 more steps. It looked like there was a nice viewpoint there and if I made it that far I would call the trip a success.
With no small effort we made it to the look-out but it was clouded in. My partner continued on while I rested and asked myself if it was a good idea to go on knowing I would have to return back down the same steep trail and one bad step would mean rolling down several granite rock steps before either being stopped by another hiker or tumbling over the edge.
Then the clouds parted for another view of the Citadel and that was enough to encourage me to move on.
I got to the top just as my partner was beginning to descend. She turned around and went back to the top with me for awhile. While we were there an Andean Spectacled Bear cub showed up at the look-out platform to beg for scraps from the hikers. These bears are considered rare. The guides do not discourage guests from interacting with this cub and it has become accustomed to begging from people. While we were there one hiker was scratched by the bear when she got too close, so be careful.
The trip down was faster than the trip up but not without excitement. More great vistas and at least a few heart-stopping moments when my tired legs would not do what I told them to.
We arrived back at the Citadel with plenty of time to wander the complex but without much energy left so we took a slow walk though the main areas and returned to the entrance to wait for a bus.
- You can hike from Aguas Calientes to the park entrance but most people take the bus service. Plan to wait an hour or so in the line for the bus.
- The line for the bus back down is just as long, so take this into consideration if yu have a trail to catch.
- You can and should buy Machu Picchu entrance tickets in advance on-line. Plan way ahead. We went in the shoulder season and tickets to hike Huayan Picchu were sold out a month in advance.