Inca Trail Trek – Day 3

Day 3 was the day I felt the best.  No more nausea, yay!  It was also the longest day with a lot of stops along the way.

We woke up early to a wet tent.  Amanda’s Camelbak bladder had leaked through the night and soaked a lot of our clothes.  The cooks were kind enough to hang our clothes to dry near the cook fire while we ate breakfast, so we were mostly dry by the time we took off.

After breakfast, we started down the long Inca road.  From here on out it was going to be uneven stairs going down down down.

We even went UP some stairs!

This day took us down to the jungle, but for jungle standards we were still really high in elevation (over 10,000 feet still).

Sayaqmarka

We stopped at the ruins of Sayaqmarka and explored for a little while.  The name means “inaccessible town”.  I can see why it earned that name! Eventually the clouds rolled in and suddenly we couldn’t see over the edge.

Clouds

Through the foggy forest

After that we continued on, descending further into the jungle.  We had one more set of ruins to visit before making it to our final camp.  The clouds stuck around for a while and other trekkers were few and far between.  Hiking through the clouds and forest (and cloud forest!) was peaceful and quiet.  The scenery and foliage were completely different than the first two days, and the length of the day’s hike helped make the trail much less crowded.  There were long stretches where Amanda and I were the only people around.

When we finally made it there, the llast set of ruins were very impressive!  It was a huge set of terraces carved into the side of the mountain.  We could see them from a distance for hours until we arrived, and once we were there it was impossible to really see how big they were until we were on our way out and looking back up.  The view from the terraces was spectacular, you could see the river and a recent landslide.  Our guide pointed out a trail in the distance that the 2 day Trekkers use to get to the campground before heading to Machu Picchu the next day.  We all agreed that the 2 day trekkers were seriously missing out on so much!

The view from the terraces

 

Llamas playing on the terraces.

Unfortunately, I don’t seem to have gotten a good shot of the whole thing.  Bummer.  From here it was another 30 minute hike to camp where a hot dinner was waiting for us.  It was a long day full of stairs, everyone was happy to be done and excited for tomorrow’s big day!  We all went to bed early with the early wake-up call coming at 3:30am.

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