Climbing Machu Picchu had so much more to offer than just hiking mountain paths and fighting altitude. Every day of the trip had something new and exciting from amazingly deep conversations with new people, fun activities and blissful nights feeling indescribably proud. There was something mentally refreshing about being disconnected from the world and my iphone, and i found myself feeling more content than ever before. I had this strange appreciation for simplicity and the outdoors, and the emotional feelings through out this trip were just as memorable as the views.
Day five brought some mental refreshment in the form of fun activities like visiting a local farm high in the mountainous jungles, a dip in the hot springs followed by a night beside the campsite bomb fire talking to fellow travelers and trekkers. The mission for the day involved making our way from Collpampa to La Playa, which meant hiking for over six hours. This day was pretty tough due to steep hills and the scorching sun beating down on the team, as much as i love the sun my Irish white skin and the endless hours of walking made it a tad difficult to fully enjoy the warm weather. Although i was much more happy about the heat than the previous night in the freezing cold. At this stage i had lost a toe nail and was the owner of more than three large blisters, stiff legs and crampy calves.
After more than six hours of hiking the jungle, over water falls, taking gorgeous photographs, looking at hummingbirds and tropical plants we made our way to our pick up point, where our bus driver drove the team to a local farm. This was such a fun part of the trip, not only did we enjoy food here we also got to pick coffee beans, avocados and bananas. Check out the images below to see me attempting to pull an avocado from a high tree. We also enjoyed a well deserved lunch here a long with the chance of playing some local games, which was pretty funny.
The day ended with a simply wonderful experience, visiting the hot springs at La Playa. The turquoise blue water was filled with travelers and locals enjoying the facilitates and appreciating being surrounded by gorgeous mountains and scenery. The entire team jumped in and it came as no surprise after days of walking, sore feet and painful muscles.
At this stage waking up on day six my mind is filled with excitement, thinking that tomorrow we will reach our goal of Machu Picchu. Not only were we one day of hiking away from our goal, but we were also one hike away from a night in a hotel bed. With many reasons to be happy came many reasons to feel sad, as we waved goodbye to our last camping site and also our porters and chefs. I was totally blown away at the amazing food we ate every day, organic and all made with no access to a kitchen. These guys were so impressive and hard working, and i even enjoyed many conversations talking about Peru and the culture. Day six involved leaving La Playa with a short bus trip to Llactapata, where we signed the official book at the gates of Machu Picchu sanctuary. From then we continued our hike in 36 degress to Hidroelectrica. Check out the photos below before leaving the camp, enjoying a peruvian coffee
Below signing my name at the gates at Machu Picchu sanctuary and some of the views on route to Aguas Calientes
We made it to Aguas Calientes, FINALLY. A beautiful city snuggled high in the mountains, a very modern and bustling town where travelers could unwind before the last short transfer to the sight of Machu Picchu. On arrival we were welcomed by a huge Machu Picchu sign, and colourful markets and bars. Check out my photos below of the blissful moment of arriving at the last town.
I honestly cant describe how wonderful this trip was, day five and day six although challenging were two of the most wonderful adventures where i laughed endlessly with new friends and overcame hardships. The feeling of arriving in the last destination and the feeling of a hotel bed was just unreal. I have one more installment to share with you, which will be my last Peruvian diary, sharing my day at Machu Picchu (which surpassed all expectations) and also my last day in Cusco before flying back to Dublin.
Oh also i am pretty excited that all of the promo for TREK4LIFE 2016 has begun, and i am thrilled to be involved once again in such a wonderful campaign in association with The Irish Cancer Society. Again don’t forget ill be sharing the girl guide to packing for a hiking trek and i will also be sharing tips on fundraising. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you want to get involved, possibly join me in climbing Kilimanjaro in September.
For more information
or call the wonderful Kate here 01-2316609
Twitter / https://twitter.com/itskellydonegan
Instagram / https://instagram.com/itskellydonegan/?hl=en
Facebook / https://www.facebook.com/kellydoneganireland