**unable to get photos down from “the cloud” will try to update as soon as I can find a tall enough ladder.
We awoke sore the morning of day 3. Hiking downhill for 2000m of elevation was definitely a wear on our joints. The day also started fairly cool but promised to get quite warm as we were in the jungle and heading even farther downhill. Looking back on our campsite after we started our hike was pretty cool as it turned out this village was set basically on the side of a cliff and looked down onto an impressive river. Alas, the trek was on, we gained and lost a fair amount of altitude and wandered through some cool rest stop “villages”. They were a great spot to get snacks and at one point a couple guys struck up a match of soccer.
We hiked for about 4 hours that day and it did end up getting pretty warm, so we were relieved when we reached the end of our hike for the day and got into a van that drove us to our lunch spot. Lunch was delicious as always and then we watched the Germany soccer match (the one where the guy scored on a free kick right near the end to win the match). The 4 Germans in our group were pretty excited! Amazing that in a town in the middle of what could be described as nowhere, there was a 50 plasma with perfect reception for the soccer match.
After lunch we got back into the van and were driven to our “campsite” for the night. It was essentially a hotel with a stand in the back for the tents. Before we could get too cozy we were back in the van on the way to the hot springs! 5 pools that all had varying levels of warmness, sadly I couldn’t call any of them “hot” but I’ve been spoiled by hot springs in Alberta and Iceland. They definitely helped with the muscles and were a great respite from not having showered for 3 days. The third night was also the “party” night (wow, I’ve used “” a lot this post). It was pretty fun to have some beers with the group and get to know everyone’s lighter side, I’m also pretty sure the beer helped our muscles too but mainly by forgetting the soreness. To add to the excitement we got to see some serious dance moves from some of the more reserved members of our group and I would pay to see that again.
The next morning no one looked too rough which was good because we were going ziplining! Nothing like paying to zip line versus going for an extra 11km hike. The zip lines were great and included one where you fly head first for a kilometre over a river. After the ziplining we got into a bus and drove to our lunch spot where more soccer was being shown so the conversation was limited. After lunch we had a 3 hour march along some train tracks to get to our final destination of Aguas Caliente and the Base Camp of Machu Picchu. After exploring the town and enjoying our final official meal together we went to bed with alarms for 3:30 set and dreams of ruins in our minds.