Salkantay trek day 5. Machu Picchu
The big day. The cherry on top of the beautiful lakes, mountains, jungles and experiences we took in getting here. Machu Picchu.
The day started wet and cloudy as we began hiking at 5am, and continued to be cloudy as we climbed the many many steps up the mountain to the entrance of Machu Picchu.
I'll say first up, I have never been to any tourist site as overcrowded as Machu Picchu, and this part of the experience was probably the least impressive. I think perhaps the hay day of Machu Picchu has passed and you spend most of your time taking pretty slow steps behind a sea of heads. Add to this the no toilets but if you leave you can't come back in policy, and the if you walk through a section you can't go back policy, and it feels more like an overcrowded theme park than a seventh wonder of the world.
Having said that, it is still cool to see, the cloud shrouded mountains give it a mystical quality and for me were the star of the show. I am glad we saw it, it was quite impressive, but for me only worth seeing as the grand finale to a great hike in the Andes.
Then a quick jog down the mountain, a 10km walk back to hidro-electrica, a super dodgy 6 hour mini bus ride along cliff edges, and just like that we were back in Cusco. Tired but very satisfied, and happy to have a great meal, a shower, and the latest episode of game of thrones 😁.