Waking up at the Sanctuary Lodge, by Machu Picchu was a luxury we loved. We had planned to sleep up to 6:30am, but the buses were already arriving and excitement in me made me get up at 5:40am. We both got ready and left to the gate. I was discouraged to see all those people in front of the gate, but I soon discovered they were groups waiting to get in…. so the two of us entered quickly and headed straight to the stairs in the direction of the Guardhouse. We wanted to see the view of the city from that point at sunrise…we were not the only one with that idea. We walked the stairs, took breaks, watched the view and finally got on top. Wow! Even if we’ve been there the previous days, this view was always amazing and looked different depending of the time of the day with the sun’s shadows and clouds coming in. After taking pictures we descended back to the exit to enjoy breakfast at the hotel’s restaurant.
Big buffet set-up on the bar, and made to order eggs. After eating a great breakfast once again, we were ready to start our last day with Machu Picchu.
The first thing on the list was: walking-up to the Sungate (Intipunku) the last 1.5 miles of the Inka Trail. Amazing walk filled with more stones monuments, flowers, lots of butterflies, and the view of the sungate…in the clouds. At this time of the day (morning), clouds are low in the valley and they come and go. We got lucky to see cloudy Machu Picchu, partially cloudy valley and clear view. We experienced the first view of Machu Picchu seen by the people walking the Inka Trail after few days. It is breath taking. Very quiet, relaxing and peaceful view.
After coming back from our walk from the sungate, we explored the Royal enclosures, the Ceremonial Rock, the Main Square for the first time and walked on the entire site hand in hand stopping to watch the view, witness the lamas, alpacas and chinchillas playing or hiding in their homes.
In mid-afternoon it was time to say goodbye to Machu Picchu. We sat down on the bench we sat down the first time we visited. I was feeling so calm, at peace and relaxed. I was looking at Machu Picchu, the mountains and tears were running down my cheeks. I am blessed to be here. I am so lucky to have seen this amazing wonder and experienced it with my husband.
It was very hard to go and leave the bench. I felt like I wanted to stop the time and stay there…but we had to get back to the hotel.
We had time for late lunch. We enjoy great food and great service. Picked-up our bags, took the bus for Agua Calientes. It was pouring rain. We reached the train station. We relaxed at a table while looking at some of our photos.
We had a great train ride. Arriving at the train station, we follow the pack to take our bus to Ollantaytambo. It was still raining a lot. We finally got into a bus and left the train station. Goodbuy Machu Picchu…
The bus ride was very nice and easy, until we came to a stop. We all looked in front of us to see only red lights for miles in front of us. We were stuck. We did not know what was going on…neither did the driver at the beginning. After waiting for 10 minutes, someone called the driver and let him know that there were four trucks stuck in Ollantaytambo and nobody could move. I forgot to say that it was still pouring rain outside. We waited a very good 2 hours in the car trying to find out what was going to happen. Suddenly, the rain stopped. We learned that we were only 10-15 minutes walk from Ollantaytambo market. My husband and I decided to walk back to the bus station to meet our taxi that was waiting for us to transfer us from Ollantaytambo to Cuzco. We had a plane to catch early the next morning.
I put on my headlight, picked-up my walking poles and we left. It was such an adventure. We arrived at the market and then I realized that we had another 20 minutes or so to walk and reach the taxi. No problem, we know where we are, the rain has stopped and a very kind boy confirmed us that we were on the right track for the bus station.
Arriving at the bus station, it was like on a movie-premiere. Everybody was looking at us, but nobody knew who we were…when we found the sign with my husband’s name, we made a very happy guy. His wait was over because we walked to meet him… several fellow drivers high-fived our driver and off we went!
The ride to Cuzco was about 2 hours…we arrived at the hotel right before midnight. Checked-in, got our bags and got to sleep after a warm shower.