After our bonus one hour of extra sleep, we woke feeling a tad human for a change. The pace seemed to be more relaxed too. Our guides didn't push us with that "Vamonos!" (Let's go!) Attitude which was so prevalent the previous days. In fact, our walk through the cloud forest would be just that - a mosey along to the next campsite. Rumor had it, our "being on the move" chores would be completed before lunch. We were scoring time off for good behavior!
We heard positive descriptors about this stretch from our guides. It didn't take long before I realized they were spot on. Heaps of the original Inca Trail was what we trod upon. The route maneuvered through dense undergrowth and overgrowth. The choking foliage would have required a machete to plow through. I had a notion that if I stood still too long, the vegetation would steamroll right over me. It being the rainy season everything was slick, dewy and glossy.
The Inca steps were scary though. A few descents were at a ladder setting angle (about 70%). What made it even more fearful though was the "rungs/stairs." They were only 6"-8" wide. You descended by side stepping each one. A normal walk would have had you imitating the "Flying Wallendas" sans safety net. Imagine a head over bum free fall. A no Bueno moment for sure. It was quite apparent to me, there were no personal injury lawyers in the Inca Empire. Now that's an advanced civilization.
En route we came across a terraced ruin overlooking the Urabamba River way down below. The scene was simply amazing for want of other adjectives. Nearby a male llama was hoping to "get lucky" with a female llama of his dreams. He gave chase, while she played hard to get. A South American "Animal Planet" moment for all us Peeping Toms to enjoy.
After another group photo, we were all pleasantly seated at our campsite with lunch in front of us. The time? About 1:30 pm. Gasp! Free time! This was a concept I could handle.
Cheers from Florida,
I hear an IPA calling my name.