Being awoken at 3:30 am in order to get to the Sun Gate for Sunrise, we bundled up, donned our headlamp flashlights, quickly packed, ate another delicious breakfast, and were off by 4:30. The best part of breakfast was the quinua, oatmeal and applesauce porridge. Yum!
As the finish line approached, Marianne and I started to talk about the amazing team that we have come to know through this experience. This has definitely been one of our favorite parts of the trip, as every person was a fascinating, accomplished person in their own right. We started to reflect on how much we would miss them, as our little family would soon be coming to an end. Exchanging emails, we promised to stay in touch, and to hopefully see each other again. We wish everyone of them the very richest of God's blessings in the future.
We had to leave the ruins in order to take a bathroom break and to buy some much needed junk food. Some members of the group bought themselves a beer, but Marianne and I enjoyed a nice chocolate dish of ice cream. Ahhhh! Back into the ruins, we enjoyed a guided tour in which Reuben explained more about the site, and what historians believe to have been its function. Given that there was no recorded history of the Incas, they believe that this was a type of Inca university where people came to learn from the elders. There are homes for the Emperor of the time, as well as homes for the students who lived there. It is also thought that this site housed virgin young women, who were chosen for their beauty to become sacrifices to the Gods.
After finishing exploring the ruins, we took the bus to Agua Caliente, where we had a couple hours to explore the cute little mountain town with great character. We took the bus from there to Ollantayyambo, then caught our tour bus back home to our hotel in Cuzco. A shower and clean clothes were absolutely heavenly. After a quick supper, trip to the laundry with our filthy camp clothes, and calls to our loved ones back home, we were soon off to a delicious sleep.