What sounded like a fun, enjoyable hike to the peak behind Machu Picchu turned into a rather dangerous climb of insanity.
We were excited!
Sure we read the sign that said the hike was 1 hour, that you needed a heart to do it and that it was a steep path. Steep is not an appropriate word. Vertical would be the right word.
The rain started about the same time that the path got vertical. Narrow, steep stairs carved into the side of the mountain and a lack of hand rails made for a slippery and slow climb.
Oh and don’t forget the altitude factor – the summit sits at a cozy 8,600 feet.
After much huffing and puffing we finally got to the first terrace of buildings and walls. But there was still more to climb and as the peak’s surface area lessened, the feeling that we could literally fall off the mountain grew.
Seriously though, if you fell they would never find you. Its so high up. And made the massive Machu Picchu look tiny.
The last little bit of the climb was a slap in the face. You must scurry up a rickety ladder, then crawl through a water filled cave and climb out of a hole on the other side. At that point in the hike we did not appreciate the Incan humor.
But the view from the top was worth the struggle. Wow. What struck us most was how very high up we were and yet how very high we were not, as we were surrounded by other mountains whose peak’s reached far into the clouds.
Its what I imagine Nirvana to be.
Nirvana with a lot of other people and with the constant thought that those people may just knock you off the summit. So not really Nirvana at all. It actually got pretty scary with how crowded the space was.
And then there was the descent. Which was far more terrifying that the ascent.
Crazy steep. Crazy slippery.
And seriously lacking safety standards.
By the time we reached the MP ruins again we were exhausted. (Plus we haven’t really prepared for a hike and only had 1 bottle of water and 1.5 energy bars between 4 people).
Waynapicchu was definitely one of the highlights of Peru. A lot of work for a huge reward!