INKA-redible :-)

Trip Start Mar 15, 2006
Trip End May 30, 2007

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Flag of Peru  ,
Saturday, April 29, 2006

The Inca Trail - the only trip I actually booked before I left home (aside from the obvious one) so I´ve had plenty of time to look forward to it. Unfortunately we were informed at the beginning that there had been a landslide across the trail just a couple of weeks prior. This would not normally be a huge problem and we could work around it, but the place the landslide had happened was on the very last stretch, in between the Sungate and Machu Picchu itself. We would not get to walk in to Machu Picchu on the last morning, taking in that stunning first view that you only get by hiking the trail.

Needless to say, everybody was disappointed as this is one of the main reasons you do the trail, but we would carry on undeterred, despite that fact that we would now have a couple of hours extra hiking to do each day in order to work around it.

The trail turned out to be a fantastic experience. It is hard work, but you wouldn´t expect anything less from such a challenge. The hard work makes the end experience feel all the more worthwhile, and once we arrived in Machu Picchu there was a united feeling that we indeed deserved to be there more than those tourists who had arrived that morning by train.

Along the way you are introduced to many different ruins. It is incredible that they inca period only lasted around 100 years and yet they created so much, and so intricate. Indeed Machu Picchu was built in just 40 years.

I actually surprised myself with my fitness too. Half the group had hired the services of an extra porter to help with carrying their stuff. Of everyone (tourists that is), I´m pretty sure I had the heaviest bag, but was still part of the lead pack the whole way, so I was pretty pleased with that. It took its toll for the couple of days after we finished though, I spent most of them in bed with what I think was dehydration!

Its crazy to see what the porters carry on these treks. They´re all much smaller than us Europeans, and yet they carry packs that sometimes look as big as them. I have to admit feeling a little strange arriving into camp to find tents set up, and a dining table and chairs, at which we are served 2 or 3 courses every meal time. It could be down to their little aid though, they all chew Coca leaves as they´re going along. These are the leaves that Cocaine is made from, so they give you a bit of a lift. I kind of got into the Coca Tea, but unfortunately I´m gonna have to leave that one behind, customs officials apparently don´t take too kindly to it!
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