The long awaited day was finally here!
I was up and packed by 4am. The hotel provided breakfast from 4 am to 8am, so we had our breakfast and Alex came and picked us up at 4:30. The gate at the bridge opens at 5 am. By the time we got there, there were already a lot of people in line.
Once the gate was opened, everybody got their passport and ticket checked and then we went up the stairs for 1 hour. Machu Picchu's gates were open at 6 am and the first bus had already arrived so that next to us dripping with sweat, there were people who took the bus up.
Alex gave us a tour of the ruins for about 2 hours and then left us to roam and enjoy the day as we wanted. His job was done, he had to go down and get a train ticket back to Cusco since locals could not book their ticket days in advance like tourists do. We had seats on the 6pm train.
At Ollaytambo, we had a cab waiting to take us back to our respective hotels in Cusco. We got in town at around 10pm. That ended the 5 days we spent together going up to Machu Picchu.
One bucket list item could be crossed off for me. Although the trek was in no way easy, I loved doing it. My phone registered an average of 30,000 steps for each of the 5 days we were trekking. The scenery was beautiful and it was the experience of a lifetime. The choice to take a lesser known trail was, I felt, a great decision. The washrooms were not as bad as predicted and the trail, though busy with other groups, were not as crowded as what I imagine the Inca Trial to be all the time. In any case, what an adventure I had in the Andes!