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Inca trail Marathon 2011 Peru Part 7

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Published on Oct 13, 2011

The inca trail Marathon - Peru 18-08-2011
Video from Jan Vandepoele ( Belgium )
Journey to Peru Andes Adventure

Early breakfast and start of the "Inca Trail Marathon." The trail continues along the Cusichaca River and follows it upstream on a gradual climb for about three miles leaving behind the Urubamba valley and a magnificent view of snow-capped Mount Veronica (18,865'), the highest peak in the Cordillera Urubamba. We reach the village of Wayllabamba at 9,100 feet, the last inhabited village on the Inca trail. Penetrating the spectacular Llulluchayoc gorge; the trail becomes steeper as we enter mossy woods and continue our uphill climb through a thick forest, before emerging into a large meadow "pampa" Llulluchapampa high above tree line at about 12,400 feet. We continue about a mile to Warmiwañusq'a pass "Pass of the Dead Woman" at 13,779 feet, the highest pass in the Inca Trail. A short rocky descent into the valley brings us to the Pacaymayo River. We will have an aid station here. Ascending steps, we begin the climb toward Runkurakay pass. On the way we encounter the Runkurakay watchtower ruins at 12,464 feet. We pass by a small lake before reaching the Runkurakay pass at 13,100 feet. From here, you will have excellent views of the glaciated peaks of the Cordillera Vilcabamba. Most of the climb is behind us; the trail descends rocky slopes and reaches the strategic fortress of Sayacmarca "Dominant Town" at 12,234 feet. Beyond Sayacmarca the trail enters dense groves and you will find impressive evidence of Inca road construction, with its six feet wide and carefully constructed stone-paved trails. An amazing engineering accomplishment!

We will negotiate a 20 meter Inca tunnel with carved steps and soon the trail becomes a magnificent stone staircase leading to Phuyupatamarca "Town in the Clouds" at 11,674 feet. We summit the third pass and have our first look into the deep gorge of the Urubamba River. Just below you find the ruins of Phuyupatamarca, we will have an aid station here. The trail follows down a series of hundreds of steps, passing by ceremonial Inca baths where mountain water still flows through carved stone channels. As we descend into the cloud forest, we will be surrounded by abundance of exotic varieties of plants, orchids and flowers until reaching the ruins of Wiñay Wayna "Forever Young." We run down a dirt trail for about three and a half miles to Intipunku "Gateway of the Sun" at 8,860 feet. Suddenly, the full grandeur of the world's greatest ruins are revealed - the domed peak of Huayna Picchu and the lost City of the Incas, MACHU PICCHU at 7,900 feet. Our evening includes Machu Picchu Pueblo (previously known as Aguas Calientes), where we will enjoy a celebration dinner. "Running the Inca trail in one day" is a significant accomplishment, as most hikers take an average of 3 days.

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