MACHU PICCHU

The Peruvian Travels IIIII

Machu Picchu was the icing on the cake and it was the perfect way to finish our challenge and trip. It really was the most wonderful reward and it was everything i hoped it would be.  I am thrilled to be able to tick Machu Picchu off my bucket list and now look on to my next trips and challenges. With 2016 fast approaching i am planning what is to come and new ways i can challenge myself and also see the world and experience new cultures to the fullest. I highly advise you all to sit down before January and write a bucket list and then make it happen.

Day 7 was finally here the day we had all been working towards, the target, the goal and one of the most talked about sites in the world Machu Picchu. We started the day with an early morning rising at 6 am in our lovely and comfortable hotel bed in the city of Aguas Calientes. The last stop and town before we reached Machu Picchu, a base point for most travelers. I don’t think i have ever experienced tender feet and throbbing legs quite like it before, after days of hiking up and down trails and mountain routes. Today was to be different than the rest of our days hiking, starting with a bus journey from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu.

On arriving to Machu Picchu i was a little surprised to see so many tourists, i mean hundreds. Ok maybe naive of me to think it would be tranquil but it didn’t take away the spiritual feeling of being there. On arriving the entire site was covered in low clouds making it very dramatic and an impressive first encounter with the ruins and the surrounding mountains. We enjoyed the first two hours exploring the area and the views, taking pictures and hearing about the  history of the Inka city.

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Never assume you are finished walking even when you are sure there is no more walking to be done. After exploring the grounds and getting the usual tour around Machu Picchu we decided to all walk to The Sungate. Roughly an hour walk uphill to ultimate photograph spot looking down on the entire area. Of course we sucked it up and made our way up to The Sungate all in the name of the perfect photo op, and sure why not one more last push and challenge. The day was so warm and i made sure to cover myself from head to toe with Suncream and insect repellent. The day was really wonderful and Machu Picchu was truly everything i hoped it would be. The truth is that is symbolized the end of our journey and that we had been successful in our challenge. We really hard to earn our right to view Machu Picchu making it so much more meaningful. The sense of achievement on that day was really unbelievable and looking around me i realised just how much experiences and adventure holds a bigger place in your heart or mind than any materialistic thing.

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This trip was so challenging, the hike is no laughing matter and it is a serious hike to take on. It is by no means easy but the happiness i felt through out the trip was like no other. There was something so mentally revitalizing about having no phone and just being present in the moment. Enjoying the company of my team and the beauty surrounding me on every day of the hike. It was genuinely the best ten days of my life and who knew signing up to a charity challenge could be so amazing. Ill be honest and say the fundraising and the hike is a serious task to take on but the rewards are just as big and i highly recommend anyone looking to travel and do some good sign up to Trek4life 2016.

After our day at Machu Picchu we headed back to the town of Aguas Calientes. It was pretty sad that our trip was coming to an end but we made sure to celebrate our success with a victory lunch in the town. I decided to be adventurous once again trying lama steak and also a local cocktail called Pisco sour, both were so good. The dinner was really emotional, where we were awarded certificates for our contribution to The Irish Cancer Society and we also found out we raised an amazing €45,347 as a team for the charity. The meal was followed by a 4.5 hour train journey back to Cusco city and our original hotel, we arrived back pretty late and all very tired but we did end the day on a high note toasting a pint of Guinness in the local Irish pub.

My last morning included an early breakfast in our hotel followed by a a short morning spent shopping around the local markets, buying gifts for friends and family (Check out my photos below) After we made our way back to Cusco airport for our flight back to Lima, followed by our long haul flight to Paris and then on to Dublin. We didn’t have any hotel stops on the way back and i was thrilled to be welcomed by family in Dublin airport.

Also pretty cool that i lost 6 pounds on the trip (Half a stone) which included eating whatever i wanted on the trip and enjoying regular beers. The amount of energy we used everyday during the hike and the organic food we ate along the trail proved to do wonders for the body. See it is totally possible to loose body fat having fun.

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For more information on getting involved in the Trek4life campaign follow the link below, i will be taking on Kilimanjaro in September 2016 and hope some of you reading will sign up to the challenge.

http://www.cancer.ie/get-involved/fundraise/challenge-yourself/trek#sthash.8mlZGu7c.dpbs

or call Kate here 01-2316609

For anyone looking to do a hike like this outside of charity work here are three companies worth checking out

Earths Edge

Intrepid Travel

G Adventures

KELLY

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