Hiking the Inca Trail: Day 3

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The day started off with a big breakfast, then we went into introductions with the porters. We all lined up and took turns telling the porters our names, ages and where we were from. The oldest porter was in his 60’s! Then it was time to get back on the trail. The third day was only a half day of hiking the Inca Trail. The guide told us that once we reached the lunch spot that we would also be camping there for the evening. It was such a relief after the long day we just had. With a relatively short day of hiking over the Inca Flat, we got to enjoy the cloud forest around us and the spectacular views of the Andes in the distance. During the first couple hours of hiking I started to finally feel normal. The downhills were easy for me, and I was able to pick up my pace. The group stuck together most of the day unlike the previous day, and we all got excited as we passed through Inca tunnels. The most impressive Inca sites were seen this day. First, Phuyupatamarca and second, Winay Wayna. Both had stunning views of the Urubamba River and were both on an elevated perch. The group took a moment to sit and relax on the edge of the Inca terrace, gazing into the distance and enjoying the peacefulness of isolation. As we continued on we saw two llamas grazing near the ruins. I think Michele and I got the most excited at first. She went straight up to it and got a photo feeding it, while I simply settled with a photo of it standing behind me. 

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Irrigation for the agricultural terraces and drinking water systems – still intact

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Slippery Inca Steps

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Hey llama!

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Our campsite was set-up not far from Winay Wayna at 8,792ft. Once we reached our campsite, most of us found the opportunity to take a nap before going to see Winay Wayna. The tents were located directly in the sun, so it was too hot to sleep in. Mike and I set up our inflatable sleeping pad outside on the ground in the shade. I could hear locals giggling at us as we tried to sleep with our hats covering our eyes. Michele even captured a photo of us. It was so relaxing and tranquil to be able to nap outside. Frank, our guide, organized a few of us to see Winay Wayna, which was impressive and the largest Inca site we had seen so far. It started to rain and we each took our turn capturing photos of the incredible ruin, then we split up to explore.

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Back at camp we gathered for a longer dinner, where we celebrated how far we have come. The chef made a delicious cake for everyone to share and we thanked our chef and porters. It was an early evening for everyone but such a perfect night. What an incredible experience it was and to share it with a great group of people.

 

Read about the first, second, and last day on the trail. Looking for tips on what to pack, how much it costs and how to make it through the hike?

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