At 6:30am we headed for a morning walk thru Machu Picchu to the Sun Gate. It was very foggy and misty so we weren't sure what we were going to be able to see when we got to the top but decided to go anyway! Only 6 out of the 38 decided to make the walk up to the 2400 metre level. The round trip took us 2 1/2 hrs of pretty solid climbing, up sets of stairs, some steep and some not so. It was a great climb and every so often we were rewarded by glimpses of views. We only stopped once on the way up and when we got to the top we were rewarded with some spectacular views! As all the mist and fog had cleared.
When we got to the top we took a few minutes to catch our breath and take some photos! Wow! All worth the climb.
We then wandered over to the Guards hut for more photos and then headed back down to catch the bus down the 16 switchbacks that they call the curves in the road. One of the photos shows the road...and how close the buses are to each other to get up and down. They are very narrow buses, you have to walk sideways down the aisle to your seat. One side of the road is a straight down cliff, not a road for the faint hearted! We think the bus drivers have bets to see who can go up and down the mountain the most times in a day!
After checking out of the hotel, we walked down the street to have lunch. We couldn't believe our eyes when the heavens opened and it poured rain. We were so lucky that it held off and hadn't rained while we climbing....that would have been most unpleasant and probably pretty dangerous on the walk that we took!
After lunch we got back on the train and headed back to the Sacred Valley then took the bus to Cusco. Amazingly, it took us over an hour to get out of the train station. There was a march going on for one of the candidates as elections will be held this week. That clogged the road so no one could go anywhere. Thankfully we weren't heading to the train as we would have missed it! The road was so narrow it was quite difficult for the bus to get past the cars. They had to halt the cars coming in to let the buses get out to free up the road. Quite a sight. So what was to have been less than two hrs to our hotel was over three.
We stopped on the way to stretch our legs and take photos of the glaciers.
A quick dinner and then hit the sack, only to be jolted awake an hour later with what turned out to be a 4.9 earthquake that killed 8 people.
The high altitude really got to me and I called reception at 2 in the morning for some oxygen. It helped a bit but when I woke up in the morning I was no better so I asked reception to call the Dr while I had more oxygen as I had the worst ever headache and still was having trouble breathing. The Dr diagnosed pneumonia and took me to the clinic, which is a mini private hospital. I was hooked up to a drip for 6 hours so they could administer antibiotics and prednisone. What a difference after a couple hours...I felt so much better. Our local tour guide stayed with us for a few hours so she could translate what was needed although the Dr and nurses spoke pretty good English. They even rang my insurance company in Aust who said it was an excellent clinic, the best one inCusco, which was good to hear.
Got back to the hotel in time to shower and change to go to the farewell dinner. Fabulous meal and some great entertainment! It was an excellent group, everyone got along, helped each other when needed and had a great time together!