Inca Trail- 4 Days of pain.

Trip Start Oct 02, 2005
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Trip End Sep 28, 2006


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Sunday, October 23, 2005

The Inca Trail is a four day trek through the mountains finally ending at Machu Picchu. It nearly killed me.

It all started so well too. The first day we were picked up at our hostel at six in the morning, and after a two hour drive we were ready to start the trail. It was a nice wee walk on the first day, not too strenuous. We arrived at mid afternoon to our camp site, and what a view! Surrounded by snowcapped mountains and green fields (not to mention various animals running around sticking their heads in tents). Our guide for the trail was this beautiful wee thing called Sylvia, and she did an excellent job of telling us all about the Incas and their history. There were seven of us doing the trail, then Sylvia, and then eleven porters to carry all the equipment. The porters are local farmers who do this to earn extra cash. They get paid the ridiculous amount of about 20 quid for the four days. These guys put you to shame. While we are struggling with our small backpacks weighing about 5 kilos, these guys are running past us up the mountain with 25 kilos on their backs. They would carry more, but legally 25 is the maximum they're allowed. By the time we reach each camp site, they've run ahead of us and set up all the tents, the dinning tent and the kitchen. Plus they have a drink waiting for us, some hot water in a basin to give ourselves a quick wash, and dinner is already on the go.

Now the food, well that was something else altogether. We'd heard about the food from other people who had done it before, and they said not to worry, you won't go hungry, but this was unbelievable. It was just impossible to finish each meal there was so much food. Breakfast was a three course meal, tea in the afternoon, then dinner at night- another 3 course meal. Each meal is designed for that particular day, so on the second day, which is the toughest, they fill you full of carbs.

The second day. Possibly the longest day of my life. It was just ALL up hill. Well, not a hill, but a mountain. It also left me asking the question "If the Incas were so short, why did they build steps so fu·king high?!" We reached the peak of the Trail after about 7 hours of climbing. My legs were jelly, my lungs burning and it was bloody cold. This mountain is half the size of Everest, so now you know why I'm bitching. And to make matters worse, Cailin didn't seem to be doing to bad.

But the view was worth it.

We walked down for another hour and camped in the valley between two mountains. At night the stars are so clear because there's just no light pollution what so ever, and you can see the Milkyway as clear. I've never seen the stars so bright, or so many of them. I could pick out satellites moving slowly across the sky. Then it got cloudy and there was a lightening storm which was just as cool.
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