The Inca Trail Day 4 – Hooray for Machu Picchu!

Day 4 – 8km, 3.10am start, we were told no stairs. They lied.

I really enjoyed this part of the trek. The end was near, the trail was foggy and mysterious, and I’d finally slept the night before, thanks to Hetesh, the doctor in the group who’d given me a Valium.

I was with Budd and Katan, moving at a fast pace, through the fog, around tight corners, up Inca stairs, through ruins, discussing our thoughts of the experience.

I was worried about what my reaction to Machu Picchu would be – would I make it through these 4 tough days only to get to Machu Picchu and be disappointed with an ‘ all this for a bunch of fucken rocks and grass’ attitude?

Thankfully, I am pleased to say that when I did eventually make it to Machu Picchu, I was blown away by these ruins, the second best I’ve seen. It was beautiful. The grass, the well placed rocks serving different primitive purposes, the background of clouds and mountains. The alpaca’s grazing. I spent five snap happy hours in this lost city. And now that the trek was over I was very very happy to have finished. Sure I smelt like a camel, and I was probably going to have knee-joint issue’s from the never-ending downhill Inca stone stairs. But it was an amazing unforgetable experience and I had no regrets. Now that it was over.

I learnt a lot about the serpent, puma and the condor, which represents the past, present and future in Peruvian mythology. 4 days of trekking and 3 sleepless nights had given me a lot of time to think about all the things I appreciated in my ‘normal’ life. I learnt that walking up 2000 Inca steps in 4300m altitude did not necessarily make me a better person. If anything it made me a slightly worse, meaner person on the second day.

I have a really great, comfortable, life back home in Sydney. And if anything the pain and discomfort of doing something this hard makes you really appreciate the big ‘easy’. And a good toilet.

Or as my best friend Dale put it ‘I guess sometimes you have to put yourself out of your comfort zone to really appreciate how much you enjoy being in your comfort zone and how being out of your comfort zone sucks goats testicular glands.’