Tuesday 12th November
Its 2am on the Inca Trail, we are camped illegally in some ruins, and it has been raying since we went to bed at dusk. All that rain has been trapped by the Inca walls that surround us and the tent is starting to float - we are awash! Rescue clothes and sleeping bags and tramp soaked back to the hostel under plastic ponchoes and in our underwear. Rosa the caretaker thinks it is hilarious and we sleep on the dining room floor.
Spend a restful day around the hostal and surrounding ruins. There is a grand series of 10 baths, and some houses clustered at the bottom. There is a little windowed courtyard right on the edge, a small ledge can be sat on, feet dangling of a 200m drop to the forest below. Sit and dream of incas past.
Torta and chips at the hostel cooked with great care by Rosa over a primus stove. Then an hours exploration along the side of the mountain through the forest along deteriorating side trail, in places the path has plunged into the void and mossy logs bridge the gap.
In the afternoon we approach the Gate of the Sun that marks the entrance to Macchu Picchu. There are only the 4 of us here and we approach separately at 15 minute intervals to get the first glimpse with the added drama of solo discovery. Its a bit special. Behind the main site, which now has some people wandering about from the posh hotel nearby, rises the jagged peak of Waynu Picchu, the lassoe hook on the saddle of Macchu Picchu, and around which at its foot the mighty Urubamba roars. It is spectacular. We retreat with out exploring further than the view from the trail entrance and camp again. Use ponchoes as aded rain shields over the tents. Enjoy last packet of soup. Rains all night but secure and dry in tent.