Along the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

Trip Start Aug 21, 2008
Trip End Sep 14, 2008

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Flag of Peru  , Sacred Valley,
Thursday, August 28, 2008

We´re just back from four days hiking along the renowned Inca Trail that leads to Machu Pichu. This was one thing that we had to book six months in advance to get one of the last spots as it is limited to only 200 people per day. The only way to do it now is with a large crew of porters - we had 17 in our party plus a cook and two guides.

Day One
We met the rest of our group at 5:45am in Cuzco before boarding a bus for the three hour drive to the start of the trek. The rest of our hiking group were a bunch of friends from the US and would provide us with lots of entertainment over the next four days. With the nine of them and our porters and guides, our total team was 31 which sounds a lot, but was a good number to share the trek with. The first day started out hot, but soon we were climbing and seeing the first of many ruins along the way. We finally made camp at about 5pm and had the first of many fantastic buffet meals that the porters would prepare as they ran ahead of us at each stop. This was luxury trekking with tents made up for us when we arrived each night and hot tea greeting us in the morning.

Day 2
We started off at about 7am after pancakes and fantastic porridge for the longest day´s hiking. There were two passes to cross. The first, Dead Woman´s Pass, was the highest at 4200m, and then another had to be crossed after we had dropped down 600m. Melissa hung out with one of our guides Valentine who showed her local plants while I ran ahead racing the younger guys down the hill.

Day 3
This was an easy relaxing day with some of the best ruins after getting to camp at lunchtime. We were close to Machu Picchu and there was a small hotel here that meant we could all have a hot shower or even massage that one of the girls took up.

Day 4
Awoke at about 3:30am to another cloudless sky and started packing so that we could head off to Machu Picchu for sunrise. A lot of groups left early, but we waited until 5:15 which ended up making more sense as the gate that was 5 mins from camp didn´t oen until 5:30. There was more climbing that expected but I ran most of the way to the sun gate for the first view of Machu Picchu. It was definitely the best way to get to it. We eventually walked down to the site for a tour amongst the other hundreds of tourists before a long trip back to Cuzco via the hot springs at Aguas Calientes.

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nichav on

sounds great - but why are you running around everywhere! aren't you supposed to take it easy in altitude?!

jhavranek on

Re: running
I like to race the porters!

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