it was 4am i think, i shouldn’t have been awake. it was pitch black, cold and i was tired - i’d been ill for days, and had myriad different antibiotics coursing through my veins that were finally allowing me to move from a horizontal position but i was in aguas calientes so i had to move.
aguas calientes means ‘hot waters’ or ‘hot springs’ in spanish and i was there because it was the closest town from which i could access machu picchu - something i’d been trying to do for 10 days, but like i said, antibiotics.
i had planned to trek to machu picchu over 3 days; walking along the inca trail, and accessing them from ‘the sun gate’ at sunrise. i had wanted to walk down and see the sunlight beginning to flood over the ruins, but instead i was walking uphill in the pitch black with only my phone for both light and company. not that there wasn’t any other people climbing the same way as me, there was, but 10 days of not moving had made me weak and the walk was not easy, and as more and more people began to over take me, i began to worry, would i make it up for sunrise?
the walk itself was steps, lots of steps, that seemed to go on forever, seemingly getting steeper and steeper as i progressed, but i knew that if i stopped for a rest i wouldn’t get back up again so i kept on, one foot in front of the other, racing the quickly rising sun.
looking around as the first light began to illuminate the face up which i was climbing helped to push me onwards; i had a perspective of my surroundings that i hadn’t been able to appreciate whilst down in the valley, it was incredible, there wasn’t any colour yet, just shapes silhouetted against the early morning sky, but i was able to let myself start to get excited about reaching the top; i knew i was close.
out of breath and sweltering hot, i walked through the entrance, i could see the sun in front of me, on the cusp of finally rising, so, quickening my pace (i was nearly jogging now), i rushed along the path in front of me, willing myself onwards to find a spot to finally sit down and take everything in. though i hadn’t done it the way i had imagined or wanted to, as i sat down and rummaged around for my camera, the previous 2 weeks (and even the morning’s walk) became a faded memory as i finally sat watching the sun rise over the ruins.