Perú: a series (Salkantay Trek Day 3)

Heading into the Amazon on day 3 of the Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu.

I’m not gonna lie, I woke up super sore from day 2. Plus it was rainy and cloudy, so I really didn’t want to get out of bed. However, at 4:30am, my bladder won, and I had to not only get out of bed, but put on my 3 layers of clothes, and grab my toilet paper to go to the bathroom. Fun fact: you must bring your own toilet paper to 99% of the bathrooms in Peru. Even if the bathroom charges you to use it - which most do - they do not provide toilet paper. Also, you can’t flush the toilet paper.

We had another delicious meal provided by our chefs, and then had to bid one of them good-bye because he had to start his trek back home - the way we came - all of it in one day. These Peruvians are beasts, I’m telling you! Our guide gave a big farewell speech and educated us a bit on the indigenous people of Peru, since our cooks were 2 such people. He explained that many families only make about $250 (US dollars) a month. He also explained how up until just 15-20 years ago indigenous women would go in for a routine well-woman’s exam, and come out sterile - unbeknownst to them until months and years later they realized they couldn’t have any children. Tough stuff.

After our breakfast we headed into the Amazon in the rain and mud. We had to walk along the road instead of the trail because of all the mudslides, but it was a relatively easy jaunt through the mountains. Before we realized it, we had walked 11km and were at a cute little roadside, open-air cafe tasting different native fruits and honeys, and then in a van driving to our lunch spot in the jungle.

Lunch spot on day 3 of Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu.

With about an hour to kill, Mitchell and I took it upon ourselves to do some working out using the picnic benches. (I only throw this in to make my trainer and workout group proud.)

Lunch spot on day 3 of Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu.

At this point the 2 girls in our group were staying because they were on a 5 day trek, so we bid them adieu, and Mitchell and I took off with our guide to the hidroelectrica train station - the start of our next 11km, leading us to our final night, in Aguas Calientes. The path was relatively easy, but extremely rocky, and it was drizzling off and on. The views were amazing though, and we could see Machu Picchu towering above us - much too high above us for my liking, knowing I would have to walk my way up there tomorrow.

Final stretch from hidroelectrica to Aguas Calientes, Day 3 of Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu.

Once in Aguas Calientes, i was sad we only had one night because it was super cute. The town only has around 1100 people, and no vehicles. Our guide explained this is because the train companies charge so much, they want to keep the monopoly, and would lose it if people had cars and started taking people by car from one station to the other, or areas nearby. Also, as with most of the places we had been thus far, dogs ruled this town. There was one dog in particular that looked like a giant Chinese Crested, wore a jersey, and looked like he was on some sort of mission every time you saw him. Incredible.

Aguas Calientes. Final resting spot until Machu Picchu. Day 3 of Salkantay Trek.

Mitchell and I were exhausted, pushed further trying to find a simple loaf of bread for our sandwiches we were told to bring to Machu Picchu the next day. We finally settled on a couple rolls from a Panadería, showered, and collapsed into bed around 9pm, ready for our 3am wake up call to start the last (hahahahahaha, little did I know) ascent to Machu Picchu.