We woke up around 6:30 and killed a bit of time before breakfast. Our zip-line tour would be around 8:30. On the second day of the trek, Alex and I had unloaded some of our gear onto the donkeys (each person was allowed 11lbs), however, the donkeys were only available to carry the stuff through day 3 of hiking. After that, everyone had to carry all their gear. Alex and I were fortunate that we'd packed such that all our stuff was in one pack. There were many people who had counted on using the donkeys the whole time and didn't have one singular pack, but lots of small bags, so this made it difficult for them on the 4th day.
We had a quick breakfast; it would be our last one with the chef. He baked a cake! It was even decorated. It was a very dense cake and not very sweet but we all really enjoyed it. We tossed together a bunch of cash for tips. We were even given a "bagged lunch" for the rest of the day. The plan was to zip-line in the morning, meet at the lunch spot, then hike the rest of the way to Aguas Calientes.
The zip-line was fantastic! There were 5 different zips that went across the valley and over the Urubamba River. We had a great time and the weather was wonderful!
With the full-body harnesses, you could do the zip-line upside-down so Alex and I both tried it!
The gear was really good stuff
At the end was a suspension bridge
It was such a nice change from hiking and to give our feet a rest. Once we were done, we were driven to the Hydroelectric Station where we'd meet the rest of our group. We ate our bagged lunch; pasta, potatoes, chicken, and a juice box, then geared up to hike to Aguas Calientes. It would be about a 4 hour hike along the railroad tracks.
The hike along the railroad tracks was really nice. There were a lot of really pretty flowers and it was mostly shaded so it wasn't too hot.
Then it began to rain, while still bright and sunny
Getting close to Aguas Calientes!
Made it to town
Here we would stay in a hostel for the night and get up super early for the hike up to Machu Picchu
Aguas Calients is definitely a tourist town but it's still a neat place
We checked into our hostel in A.C. and got ready for dinner. We were very excited to be sleeping in real beds and have a shower and real toilet. It's amazing what you take for granted! We had a quick dinner at a local restaurant where we were given the details for our last day and hike up to Machu Picchu. Everyone exchanged email addresses to keep in touch and talked excitedly about the day to come! We went to bed as early as possible and set 3 alarms as we had to be up at 3:30AM!