The Inca Empire

Trip Start Feb 20, 2006
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15
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Trip End Feb 21, 2007


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Flag of Peru  ,
Friday, May 19, 2006

We flew from Quito to Lima where we spent one night before heading to Cusco to begin our Inca experience! 

To our surprise, Cusco is the most beautiful city we have visited so far. Compared to other Peruvian cities, it is a colonial gem; the main reason for this is that all the buildings and churches are built upon Inca ruins. Cusco was the Inca's capital (the name meaning "centre") located in the middle of their empire. Eventhough it is obviously very touristy, it keeps its charm, it's clean and safe with wonderful restaurants and cafes (possibly the best in South America!) and is a hub of adventure sports.
 
As our Inca trek was starting on the 1st of June, we had 10 days to kill. We immediately knew this wouldn't be a problem here. We were lucky enough to get a small apartment with the help of a nice Dutch guy who lives in Cusco. Basic accommodation but spotlessly clean and it saved us $100.
 
We spoke with the travel agency that we were using for our Inca Trail and got ourselves good discounts on other activities, which were; The Sacred Valley Tour, The Cusco City Tour, Class 3 White Water Rafting and a day mountain biking with a guide in the local Andean mountains. All of them were fantastic and we met some great people with whom we spent a lot of time with in Cusco.

Machu Picchu and the Inca Trail is the sole reason some people visit South America and it was and the top of our priority list. As you can imagine, we were raring to go come the 1st of June!

THE INCA TRAIL:
 
The evening before the departure, there was a group meeting where we had the chance to meet our guides and trekking partners. Marie-Claude was delighted as it turned out to be Team Canada (6 out of 10 trekkers!!) and luckily we knew immediately we were in good company for the next 4 days.
 
The first day was a relatively easy hike with some great information from our guide Henry regarding the Incas and their choice of location for settlement. We also got a taste of what was to come. We arrived at our lunch spot (where the porters and Chef arrive before you) to find a set table and stools, basins with water to freshen up and a cold drink waiting for us! Amazing! It was followed by a quality 3 course lunch any Chef would be proud of considering they are using camping gas. After lunch, it was another easy climb to our first camp where again the porters impressed us by not only being there but having our tents erected and waiting for us. Another quality meal was had then we got our heads down for the night. At this point we need to inform you of the porters and Chef...They wake you up with a cup of Coca tea, serve you breakfast then they need to pack up camp, beat you to the lunch spot and have everything ready for your arrival. They have to repeat this feat again in the afternoon. We had 16 porters, a Chef and a Coordinator not to mention our 2 guides, each carrying about 50 kg. These guys amazed us, but God help them in their 50's (WHAT BACK? ouch!!).
  
The next three days were filled with tough trekking (especially the second day climbing to 4200m), wonderful scenery, beautiful ruins with an abundance of information from our guide, great company and loads of laughs. Our pictures should do it justice.
Machu Picchu itself is a wonder of the world and far be it from us to explain how it feels exploring these magnificent ruins...again, refer to the pictures. These few days will forever remain memorable.

After being in the Cusco region for 15 days we headed south to Puno with our traveling companions Kim and Olly who we met in Brazil and caught up with again when we arrived in Cusco ; )
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Comments

p3dro
p3dro on

Thats the coolest pic
I'm lovin your on the edge pic!!!

Well you have done it proper this time, i'm so jealous. It looks and sounds amazing guys.

Hearts draw today to see who we get in CL qualifiers so keep you posted.

Keep safe

Pedro

morel2000
morel2000 on

WOW!
Allo la gang! I just looked at all your pictures...FANTASTIC! Definitely jealous!!!! I like the one where you are both in the stone wall: you like like frozen king and queen!!! Here, the end of the school is approaching, 2 weeks to go, with school play and reports to write...burk!!!! Marie coming soon to fit my dress (yeah!) and will be going up at the beginning of August to pick it up! I love you guys, be safe, thinking of you lots and lots! Gros becs pitoune...

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