The First Sighting

Another morning.  What day was it?  Not sure.  We woke up to another delish breakfast of granola, yogurt, fresh fruit, juice, and uh-mazing coffee, packed up our stuff, and headed out the door and downhill…into the jungle.

From high desert to snowy mountains to Scottish highlands to jungle.  Ridiculous.

But on this day, after some downhill through the jungle, we stumbled upon our first set ruins.

…and through that, our first view of Machu Picchu in the distance.

I feel almost stupid posting photos of it, because they simply don’t do any of this justice.  It was beautiful.

From here, we headed down some pretty steep, pretty muddy trails to a little place that was undergoing a renovation…

…for an amazing lunch of avocadosomethingdelicious.

After lunch, the we relaxed a little bit in the clearing, a few people took naps…

…and used the toilet that almost at Bernhard.

Finally, we rallied, and headed out into some serious downhill.

look how happy everyone looks!

It was muddy.  It was steep.  It was far.  There were a few minor spills.  It was hard.  Some even said it was our hardest day of hiking to that point.  When it finally started to flatten out, we hit this:

A suspension bridge suspended about a thousand feet above a raging, angry, rocky river.  Our guides were so confident in the engineering that they made us cross one at a time.  I was not a fan.

But we all survived.  And made it to the train station.

It was here that we grabbed a bite to eat…

…and Susie’s hair did this…

…and we said goodbye to our superamazing guide Johann, snapping a final group shot with him before he departed.

Then, were on the train…

…to Aguas Calientes…

…where we stayed in a RIDICULOUS “hotel”/village tucked into the foothills of the mountains.

Everyone was beat after all the downhill, so after a group dinner that evening at the hotel restaurant everyone prepared for an early, early morning (3:30am meeting time) to catch the bus up to Machu Picchu the next day.

Next up: Machu Picchu

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