The Inca Trail

Trip Start Feb 03, 2011
Trip End Jul 01, 2011

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Where I stayed
Picolo Locanda

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Sunday, March 27, 2011

For four days, a group of 11 people walked THE Inca Trail. Did they survive Dead Woman´s pass? Was anyone hurt along the way? Did they make it to the famous Macchu Picchu?

Day 1.
Sunday March 27th, 5:15 am. Our assitant guide knocks on the door of our hostel. We were instructed to wait inside during our briefing, because many people have been robbed waiting to be picked up for their Inca Trail trip. It´s pouring down rain outside and to be honest, I wasn´t looking forward to walking in it. We put on our ponchos and headed towards Plaza de Armas, where our bus and our fellow Inca Trailers (Danish, Norwegian and Argentinian) were waiting for us. We stopped for breakfast along the way and arrived at our destination around 9:30 am. There we had to show our passports and our tickets and then we continued. We walked the bridge that led us to the beginning of the Inca Trail. After about an hour it started to rain again. So, we all put on our ponchos. Our guide, Maria, told us we would arrive at the campsite for lunch at 13:00. Great! Only 3 hours of walking in the pouring rain. I hated it! I thought to myself, ´why would anyone pay this kind of money to get soaked?´. ´You´d have to be out of your flippin mind, right?!´ Ofcourse it didn´t help that my backpack (with poor quality straps, no foam!) was way too heavy. Tristan ended up taking my 2 kg sleeping bag and sleeping mat, because I couldn´t bear the pain of these straps cutting in my shoulders any longer. While walking in the rain, I imagined myself sitting on my couch with a hot cuppa PG tips (with milk) and some nice biscuits and the radiator turned on. I must say, visual imagery is a powerful tool and it somehow made the whole ´walking in the pouring rain and hating it´ situation more bearable. I still was quite happy to arrive at the campsite for lunch, though. After lunch, the weather had cleared up and I was so relieved. No more sweaty wet poncho! At 5:30 we arrived at our campsites, where the porters had already set up our tents. We had survived day 1 of the Inca trail! Day 2 was going to be a lot tougher though. Dead woman´s pass is 3,5-4 hours of steps - solo arriba.
Day 2. Monday April 28th, 5:30 am. Warmiwañusca, or Dead Woman´s pass, awaits us. Supposedly, according to Maria, wanting to kill any man who walks it, by letting their lungs explode. I had never been more happy to be a woman ;-) Warmiwañusca and I were going to get along just fine. After 4 hours of hiking to the top (4215 meters), I was thrilled to have arrived unharmed. And the views were amazing! Tristan arrived about a half an hour later, due to a knee injury. From then on, it was steps going down for 2 hours. This was actually more of a challenge than you would think. Not very good for the knees, I can imagine. Good thing we had our walking sticks. After lunch we had some more steps to walk up and down for a couple of hours. Arrival at campsite: 6:00 pm. Everybody ´hi-fived´ each other upon meeting at the campsite. We had survived day 2 of the Inca Trail!
Day 3. Tuesday April 29th, 7:00 am. Today was going to be easy-peasy. With a hike just until lunch. After breakfast, we started hiking. Going through Inka tunnels and up & down steps again. Tristan, Maria and I finally arrived at the campsite at 1.30 pm. It was quite crowded, as this campsite ´housed´ all of the people on the Inca Trail (roughly 400-500 people).
There were some more Inca ruins to see, only 10 minutes away from the campsite. So, Ulrik (Danish), Knüd (Norwegian), Petter (Norwegian), Maria (guide) and I went to see them. I´m so glad I did. These Inca ruins were the best I´d seen so far! At the campsite, I got to enjoy my first shower after two days of being smelly. Very nice.The campsite also had a restaurant/bar, so there were people everywhere having a nice cold beer and just hanging out.
Day 4. Wednesday April 30th, 4:15 am. Macchu Picchu day! No breakfast today. Just a, what Maria called, ´boxed lunch´. So, I guess boxed breakfast? We walked to the gate at 4:45 am and upon arrival Maria said. "Ok, now we wait to the gate open, at 5:30 am". Holy cow! Wake up that early and then having to wait at the checkpoint for 40 minutes. Not only that, we had to listen to, quite bad, music from the British youngster group (or the Brits Brats, as the Norwegian couple in our group called them) waiting in front of us. The gate opened at 5:30 am and everybody almost ran through the gate. At the top, we were supposed to see Macchu Picchu, but it was all cloudy and unfortunately, there was nothing to be seen. So a little ways down and as we got closer and closer, the view of Macchu Picchu got clearer. We had arrived at our final destination! Maria gave us a tour of Macchu Picchu. It started raining again halfway through. After the tour was done, all I wanted was my dry clothes and a nice meal in Aguas Caliente. Our train back to Cusco left at 5:00 pm and we arrived at our hostel at 9:30. I don´t think I´ve ever appreciated my bed more than that night!
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Bob & Cathinka on

Hi Daan,
Well done! The Inca Trail in the pooring rain! Apparently you make a nice team with Warmiwañusca: She makes mans longs explode, you make Tristans knees explode. You make him carry your 2 kg!!! sleepingbag. Have you ever heard of low weight camping gear? Next time rent a mule to carry your king size bed ;))
Nice to read about yor trip, you will have lots of stories more to tell, we like to hear them all. When will you be back?
All the best, be carefull with Tristan, we look forward to see you here.
Bob & Cathinka

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