The Inca Trail

Trip Start Jan 09, 2006
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Trip End Dec 21, 2006


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Sunday, October 29, 2006

What can I say other than I loved every minute of it. Even the 5-hour climb up hill on the second day couldn`t stop me from smiling.

The first day was a fairly gentle walk through lovely scenery, admiring Incan ruins along the way. Each night we slept in tents and I once more fell in love with my Thermarest - I could kiss the person who designed them!

The group I was with were great - 16 in total and equal numbers of boys and girls. Everyone was sociable but our desire to chat couldn`t overcome our need to be in bed by 8pm at the latest. One night I chatted with my tent buddy Helen for hours before we decided that we both needed a late night toilet trip. We looked at the clock to find out that it was still only 9.30pm!

The second day was a toughy, 5 hours of walking up hill followed by 2 hours down in the rain. Our surroundings were amazing though. Most of it was through cloud forest which gradually thinned out the higher we went. The pass we reached was at about 4,200m with nothing to see but a few forlorn looking llamas.

The third day was stunning with lots of remains to see and beautiful orchids. We went down some amazing Incan staircases and through tunnels. There was even a hot shower to be had at the end of the day! And at dinner time the chef brought out a huge birthday cake for me. I have no idea how he made it on his little gas stove but it even had icing and "Happy Birthday Elaine" written on top! Bless.

The final day was magical. We were up at 3.45am and first in the queue to start the final leg of our journey to Machu Picchu. By 7am we were at the sun gate surrounded by thick fog. But soon afterwards the sun came out and we had a glorious day to explore Machu Picchu. Some of us also climbed Waynu Picchu, an exhausting but exhilarating climb. We had spectacular views from the top - something that I couldn`t bring myself to miss out on. It was a truly magical birthday.
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