I had made a lot of research prior to this trip. I booked everything in advance, made sure that I had everything necessary for visiting Machu Picchu – and hiking the Montaña. I was ready for everything… except rain.
As we were on the train to Aguas Caliente, the rain was getting stronger and stronger. Then we had to wait in line for the bus to Machu Picchu, and the line was incredibly long. We waited for about 1 and half hour… under the rain. Although we got some vinyl ponchos, by the time we boarded the bus, we were already soaking wet.
There was of course a long line to enter Machu Picchu, and by the time we got inside, it was already 9h50AM. You can only enter the Montaña trail until 10AM. It was still raining and there were so much clouds. However, hiking this mountain was a personal challenge for me and I wanted to give it a try. So we started.
The stone stairs were high and slippery. We quickly became hot, but couldn’t really remove our ponchos because of the strong rain. I was really worried if it was worth continuing as all we could see was more and more clouds. What if we can’t see anything from the top?
Still, we continued. I’m not in good shape so I thought I would be struggling with breathing, but for me the worst was my legs. As I said, the stairs were quite high so it was very tiring for the legs.
We somehow made it to the top. I think it took 1h30 to 1h45. As we were getting closer, the rain stopped. At first, we couldn’t see anything, only clouds. Then magically, the clouds moved away and we got to see the amazing view. It would have been better with the sun, but still, we were really happy and I was glad I made it.
Going down was much harder than I thought. That’s when my legs started hurting a lot. On the way down, since the sky was clearer, we were able to see all the beautiful views we missed on our way up.
Once back to the Machu Picchu site, I was so exhausted I almost didn’t have any strength left to visit the ruins. I wanted to see the sun gate, but just looking at how far it was made me give up. I regret it a bit, but my body just couldn’t follow.
Making it to the top of Montaña was a big and meaningful accomplishment for me, so I’m really happy that I didn’t give up.