Sara.. and the horrible loo´s in Macchu Picchu´s
Trip Start Dec 28, 2008
49Trip End Dec 07, 2009
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What a ride!
I have just got back from 4 days hiking in Macchu Picchu and trekking up the mountains of the Inca trail! In total 40K (25 bloody miles!) Get me(I´m from London you see, have never had to hike ANYWHERE!)! At times the incline was at a degree of about 75 going uphill and then steps coming down where you could only get half your foot while being a knee length apart at others. Sometimes the path was a couple of feet wide next to a sheer drop of thousands and others you couldnt see the path because the mist had come in and covered it all.
We all started off together but gradually somewould fall behind or others would take off (the more experienced).
It was great walking within the different groups but as the inclines got harder, the conversations got shorter as people concentrated on their breathing. I discovered during this silence that my Ipod would become my best friend at these points. All of a sudden Van Halen ´Jump´came on and I took off to the synthesising groove and promptly gathered pace up those lush green hills... nearly overtook everyone as ´Firestarter´by Prodigy came on and noticed how I was nearly going backwards by the time¨Nightmares on Wax´came round. You gotta love the shuffle eh!?
I am going to try and upload a vid I did of our first campsite. I could not stop smiling as it was the first time I had properly got to notice my surroundings. I was completley aware of where I was, but when youre hiking uphill at that incline its best to be looking where youre going and not out to the side!
We had an easy-ish 5 hour walk on the first day, 6 hour intense uphill nightmareon the 2nd, the 3rd we walked for TEN HOURS, then the last day was up at 3.30AM..in the dark and POURING rain to be one of the first in line to hike Macchu Picchu itself.
It was treacherous, magical, adrenalin pumping, beautiful, the hardest thing I have EVER done and the most rewarding. I have legs of steel at the moment bud sadly can no longer walk. Dont worry, I am told the effects will wear off soon- I will be able to walk properly once again, and thigh´s will return to jelly imminently
We left there yesterday afternoon and I have to say I am missing it so much. It has such a magic about it and only now can you sit back and appreciate its gloriousness!
We had 15 people in out group and 19 porters who not only carried your baggage(we were all only allowed 6kilos) but they would also carry your tents,sleeping bags,the food, cups, plates, gas cylinders, kettles.. I mean, they each ended up carrying 25 KILOS or more on their backs and even though we started walking before them, they would have to catch up,overtake and head on to the next spot where we would have lunch,ressurect everything and feed you a wonderful meal (example- for lunch on the first day we had soup for starter followed by trout with rice,mushroom sauce and veg, Tea/coffee/squash.. the LOT!) then,we would head off again and they would have to pack the stuff again(like a herd of ants... are ants a herd?!), catch up, overtake and head onto the camp where they would set up our tents,prepare bowls of water for outr feet, out dinner etc etc. This is all fair and well, but when you see the treacherous terrain that they were RUNNING on, with all that weight and the fact that were mostly wearing SANDALS... it was impressive and unbelievable!
Though we learnt loads about the Incas (every tour guide seems to tell you his beliefs about them)sadly not ENOUGH is known and it does make you leave feeling like there is a secret they just dont want you to know.
There is one man in our porter group called Santorino who holds the record for doing the entire inca trail in 3 HOURS and 45 MINUTES ... we did it in 3 and a half DAYS!
Things I learnt
Never lean things against the wall of your tent if it is raining as it will soak anything it touches..that includes your head.
Never wear flip flops when using a loo that is being used in the rain on, by 30 people, and is a mere hole in the floor.
Cocoa leaves (which are used to make Cocaine) taste nicer as a teabag than when you just put a load in a cup of hot water, when they then taste like a pair of old socks.
When you have walked with walking sticks for 3 days, it is slightly hard to remember how you were ever able to walk without them
I have just waved goodbye to 2 of our group today.2 wonderful chaps on their way back to Denver. It was emotional for me as I realise my next trip is on its way and am back to feeling a bit nervous. They werea great and easy bunch to be with as my first group. We are having a leaving dinner tonight for the most, but then I am going off with 4 others from this trip tomorrow for the last part of my Peru adventure which is a few days in the Amazon, riding up it in a canoe,checking out somebirds, staying in a lodge and trying not to get Malaria.. Back in a few days xx