Day three was a welcome respite from the previous day. Despite a rather steep initial climb, the day, in general, was pretty relaxing. Livo guided us through a couple of ruins (the first of which was where "Chaski" was set in stone). We had a relaxed lunch, where the Jaffe sisters taught us their song for the evening's tipping ceremony.
The final camp site was, in my opinion, the most spectacular of the lot. At 11,000 feet, the sky was crystal clear, with snow-capped mountain peaks ringing our site from a healthy distance. We were able to get a view of the flag on top of Machu Picchu mountain, and could almost spot our destination for the following day. Some of us hiked off to another hill to get a view of the sunset, which was regretably shrouded by rising clouds. But, after the sun ducked behind the mountains, we were greeted by a spectacular violet sky, with venus shining 20 degrees off the horizon. I couldn't resist staying behind, enjoying the view and snapping dozens of pictures.
After a fabulous spaghetti dinner, we held a tipping ceremony with the 22 porters and Issac the chef. In the immortal words of the Jaffe sisters:
Just like heaven, Machu Picchu,
This was followed by the telling of many jokes, made more humorous by Livo's understandable confusion of "making sex" and "having love." The most memorable line of the evening, however, was uttered by Zack: "Death! Death by cuchalabamba!"
[If you can't see the "twilight" navigation on the left please click here.]