It goes without saying that Day Ten is the reason I signed up for this trip, just days after it was announced in January.
Machu Picchu is a “bucket list” item for me. It has been a distant memory from high school and curiosity that never seemed to go away. I was worried that Machu Picchu wouldn’t be able to live up to the high expectations I had set for it, but I never should have worried.
After a half hour bus ride, we were unloading and in through the main gates. We looked around briefly, taking it all in, before heading over to Wayna Picchu. They had bought us tickets to Wayna Picchu in advance (only two hundred people are allowed up a day) and we wanted to begin the two-hour hike promptly at 8 am.
Wayna Picchu is tough; especially after the hike we had just completed days ago. Its about 1000 vertical feet up on stone steps. Just imagining how it was built was insane.
I had been waiting for some friends behind me, but ended up hiking up Wayna Picchu by myself. It was tough and sweaty, but so worth the effort. The views of Machu Picchu and all of the surrounding mountains made the struggle worthwhile. The hike down was scary in places. I understood how people died hiking this and went down one set of stairs like a ladder. Safely back at the bottom, we were all grinning from our accomplishment and ready for Zac to give us a tour of Machu Picchu.
Many pictures later, our tired group headed back to the buses and towards the train station.
One more group dinner and night at the Casa Andina hotel and our unforgettable FDX Peru trip was coming to a close. We had “campfire” on some couches in the restaurant and recalled what a truly unique and inspiring journey it had been. Once again, FD has managed to renew my spirit and provide that burst of energy, focus and camaraderie needed to take the ordinary and make it extraordinary. Thank you First Descents!