As we follow Canuck Duck and Karen through the third day of their Machu Picchu adventure, Canuck Duck reveals that he is indeed a true Canadian. He misses his beer but is polite enough to settle for something else.
Since only 200 people (and one duck) are allowed on the Inca Trail per day, the various Trekking Companies stagger their distances so that some have an easier day on the 2nd day and others have their easier day on the 3rd day. We are looking forward to our easier day.
We sleep late (6:00 am) and there seems to be less urgency to get started. We watch the sun hit the glacier peeking through the clouds.
Today seems to have more downhills. Although it’s easier on the lungs it seems harder on the muscles. David pulled a Quad muscle on Day 1 and he is really feeling it as we try to manoeuvre the high and uneven steps. My short little legs have to be placed very carefully on each step. If I fall, I will roll all the way to the valley below.
We explore the farming terraces which were built with sand, silt, rocks and soil brought from the river below. As on other days there is much to see along the way.
Arriving at our campsite in the early afternoon we are thrilled to see western toilets and a lodge that houses showers and a bar. One of our trekkers claims she had a warm shower but the rest of us are having trouble believing that. Even cold water feels good after 3 days on the trail.
Before dinner we don our headlamps and take a short walk to the Temple of the Rainbow where, amazingly, we actually see a rainbow. Wilfredo tells us about the temple and the ancient ways and then performs a coca leaf ceremony accompanied by his flute. It seems quite surreal to be high in the Andes taking part in a ceremony that has been performed here for centuries.
The bar is out of beer but we treat ourselves to a glass of wine with dinner. It’s not advisable to drink alcohol at high altitudes but we feel that we deserve it. It takes effect a little quicker than usual.
The group is in high spirits as we organize tips for our guides and chaskis. Our trekking company is highly regarded and we know that they are paid well by their standards but they work so very hard. We have a small get-together with them to deliver our thanks as the chaskis will pass us in the early morning hours tomorrow as they head back to their families or a whole new trek.
We have a short night ahead as we will be arising at 3:45 am in order to get to the Inti Punku (Sun Gate) for sunrise.
Read the final chapter Thursday Aug 4