Dec 20, 2005
|Today was easily the most gruelling physical activity of my life. The painful climb up what I later counted as 111 zig-zag corners was required to reach the Inca ruins of Choquequira set up some 1500m above us.
As Amer kitted out our donkeys, I went off ahead to climb up a mountain face covered in mist. Some four hours later Amer & co. caught me up and we continued upwards before the path plateaued out. I cannot descibe how hard this walk was, it verged on the ridiculous.
By the end of the much needed flat section I got my first view of Choquequirau as the mist began to clear. It was still a way off but the sight spurred me on. After another hour and further steep sections I found the terraces so loved by the Inca's and 10 minutes after that arrived in the pentagonal shaped principal plaza.
I had made it, 3000m above sea level!
The relief was nothing like I have ever felt before. Not only because I reached the ruins, but because I had completed the 32k's of trail to Choquequirau, along what must be some of the hardest trail in the world.
Fantastic views surrounded me. To the left was the so called 'Triumphant Wall' and behind this, Usnu the sacred mount of the Inca. To the right was some exquisite housing and other buildings while the mountain scenery on all sides was awe inspriring. An absolutely fantastic location to rival Macchu Picchu. How they built a city up here is beyond words, it's absolutely incredible. As opposed to Macchu Picchu the stonework is totally different, smaller stone was used along with mortar to hold the structures together and it gives Choccy a rustic feel.
After looking around the lower sector I braved more steps and headed up to the higher sector. More terraces and important buildings although the excavations here are quite slow and there is still a lot unknown about the purpose of various buildings.
Next I headed over to Usnu, yet another climb and found the housing of Cusa Padre the most important figure of Choccy. After yet more exploring Amer led me down an unseen path via restorations and finally to our campsite.
What a day. An incredibly hard walk followed by incredible Inca ruins.
Day 306 complete