After "brunch" we were at the beginning of the end of "Dead Woman's Pass". We hiked from 3100 meters to 4200 meters in only 12 km.
It was a constant Stair Master plus the lack of oxygen at 4,000 meters (13,000 ft.) and not being fully acclimatized made this hike so difficult - almost unbearable for some people on the trail.
The third day was the most enjoyable. A great balance of hills, stairs, ruins and weather. We started as a group again hiking up a dreadful set of stairs to get out of the Paqaymayu valley we had camped in the night before but were rewarded at the top when we reached Runkurakay ruins.
From Runkurakay we walked another two hours up and over, down and through mountain passes. The terrain slowly became more lush like a cloud forest. Right before lunch we stopped at Sayacmara ruins which sits high on a hill overlooking a beautiful valley below. After lunch the Inca trail leveled off to a mellow path with mostly flat evenly placed stones. This allowed us to finally hike along casually, giving us the opportunity to really pick up our heads and observed the magnificent surrounding.
The longer and further we walked the denser the forest became eventually turning into a jungle. We passed through a few amazing Inca rock tunnels, Phuyupatamara the astrological based Inca ruin, several funny grazing llamas and lastly our group took the long path (an extra 20 minute hike) to Winayhuayna- the Inca ruin above our third campsite. The first thing we noticed as we came across Winayhuayna was the abundance of agricultural terraces.