Planning the trek
Trip Start Sep 28, 2011
333Trip End Ongoing
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I remember reading about Machu Picchu when I was a kid. There was always a picture of it at the back of the Daily Express newspaper every morning at the breakfast table. "Trek Machu Picchu with Macmillan Cancer support." You'd have to raise a certain amount of money and they would organise everything else. I always wanted to do it, and of course never realised just how important Macmillan was to become in later years. I would have felt safer with their organisation, still being a timid 13 year old, yet here I was years later, about to do it on my own steam. The mysterious black and white photograph a distant memory.
After shopping around a few agencies, of which there are hundreds in Cusco, we opt for 'Trek Peru' which seems to be a good deal with everything we're looking for. The official Inca trail is always booked up months in advance, and once again the Lonely Planet puts the fear of god into travelers who think they need to do this to see the ruins. You can simply turn up in Cusco anytime and book something for the next day. There are many ways to get to the famous site, including organised treks, trains, buses, and walking it yourself. You can go over mountains, or you can jump in a taxi. Don't be put off by people telling you it needs to be booked months ago. And please put that Lonely Planet in the bin.
Sitting on my bed with a packed ruck sack and a free trekking stick, it's not sunk in that I'm about to achieve an ambition I've wanted to do since those breakfast table days. You'll forgive me if I get a little touchy-feely over the weekend, as I can well believe when I've climbed that mountain and I'm seeing the sun hit those stones for the first time, it'll be hard to choke back a tear.