We survived the Inca Trail....just!!
Trip Start Nov 29, 2008
38Trip End May 08, 2009
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Bright and early we were picked up and started the journey to Ollantaytambo, and it wasn't long before our bus encountered a few difficulties and then overheated so we had to get another one. We love Peru! After a while, another bus arrived and we set off again. Had breakfast and bought some cool walking sticks to aid our mammoth task ahead.
We had a brilliant, multicultural group of 16 trekkers and had 21 porters to carry all the equipment for the group. Most of our group hired porters to carry their sleeping bags, roll mats and most of their clothes but we decided to be hardcore/stupid and carry all of our bags which weighed about 9kg in the end. The porters are allowed to carry up to 20kg (they used to carry up to 28kg before the law changed) and they practically run the whole way so they can set up camp and afternoon tea (lots of luxurious snacks) for us before we arrive. They also clapped every time we arrived at a campsite which was really encouraging for us when we arrived panting after struggling with our backpacks. Victor told us about the porter race which used to happen every year until 2004 - the porters run the Inca Trail and the current record is 3 hours and 50 minutes (this is the entire Inca Trail that we do in four days!).
After a nice first day of walking, we ate some great food and played some interesting and violent card games with our group (who we love!) in the dark with our head torches. Our campsite was surrounded by mountains and we could see lots of stars during the night - we spent most of the night unable to believe where we were and what we were about to embark upon as we had heard a lot about "day two".
What got us through day 1: knowing that it was defined as "easy"
Day two of the INCA TRAIL (12km, 7 hours walking - CHALLENGING)!
What got us through day 2: for Hev, Super Trouper by Abba, and for Jill and Georgi, will power, good banter and stopping every 10 seconds.
Day 3 of the INCA TRAIL (16km, 10 hours walking - UNFORGETTABLE)
Day 4 of the INCA TRAIL (6km, 2 hours of walking - UNIQUE)
This day was the day we did all the walking for, it was the day we got to Machu Picchu. We got up at the ridiculous hour of 4am and had some breakfast (Jill was very happy as she managed to eat for the first time since day 2) and headed off on a nice easy 2 hour walk in the rain. We didnīt mind that it was raining as we had been so lucky with beautiful sunshine the rest of the time, despite the forecast for rain and the fact that we started only 2 days out of the rainy season. When we got into Machu Picchu we couldnīt see that much of it due to heavy cloud, but as it started to clear it definitely added to the atmosphere and look. Machu Picchu was absolutely amazing. It was built by the Incas to be inaccessible and it definitely felt that way! It was completely surrounded by huge mountains. It was way more impressive and beautiful than any of us expected and it made all that trekking worthwhile. In the afternoon we had some lunch and went to the thermal pools in Aguas Calientes for a well deserved soak of the muscles.
FINAL HORSE/LLAMA SCORES:
Runner up...Hev: 4
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Where I stayed
in the mountains in tents!