The Inca Trail
Trip Start Jan 18, 2007
104Trip End Sep 01, 2007
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We don´t have to carry all this stuff(thank christ)...we have simply our day packs and water, and all our other stuff, like tents, bags, food etc isa carried by porters, peruvian dudes half the size of us who carry about 25kgs each on their backs ad practically run the trail ahead of us to set all the lunch and camp stuff. They´re amazing, dunno how they don´t collapse and die with all the stuff they carry! Most of them never have a day off either.
After lunch we had another 2 hours of uphill, `gradual` apparantly. By this point I was panicking as was constantly at the back huffing and puffing and supposedly today was easy, the next day was renowned for bing really difficult. Still, I made it and we had a little introduction ceremony for the porters and were force fed huge amounts of food (as seemed to be the pattern for the trip). Every day we had `tea time`at 6, where they gave us popcorn, biscuits and cake, then an hour later we had a 5 course meal....god,i was hoping to lose weight on the trail not put it on! We were all shattered so were in bed by 8.30,especially as weknew we had to be up at 5 am again for monster day 2.
So we started trekking at about 6am after a (not exaggerated) 5 course brekkie (toast, fruit, pancakes,porridge, yoghurt, tea). We knew we had a 4 hour schlep uphill to the highest point at 4200 m today. The first hour or so wasn´t so bad,well tricky of coursem but I could copeOk just going nice and slow at the back. Then as wegot higher and the uphill got really step I really began to struggle. The guide was at the back with me,really nice, telling me to take it easy and go slow. They say you go at your own pace and they really mead it which is nice, theres nothing worse than being chivvied when you are completely work out. The views were amazing, all the mountians and valleys, ad every now and then I´d be overtaken by a few llamas. The last stretch was so tricky,my chest was getting really tight so I couldm´t take deep breaths, so I could only get a small amount of air into my lungs which made the walking v slow, I could only go up a few steps before having to stop. One point I stopped and must have lookedso knackered cos the guide pulled out this little bottle of `magic potion`....god knows what it was, some kind of smelling salt, for me, which I refused, insisting I wasn´t that bad, not about to die, just trying to get some air! Teehee. I eventually made it to the top,hoping that everyone else would have buggered off over the other side of the hill, but no no, there they all were, cheering me on. I wanted to kill them all! Still,I made it and was v pleased with myself, even under the recommended time, which makes me think those suggestefd times must be made for the infirm! Then there was a group pcture and a celebratory mars bar, and we were off,over the pass (named deadwoman`s pass.....Iwonder why...?!)and downhill for about 2 hours, v steep steps, adn my legs felt like they were going to give way! We finally made it to lunch and had a nice hour rest, before we had another uphill stretch to an archeological site, and inca temple, which was cool. The a bit more up and down, til we made it to the camp at about 4pm and all collpased into our tents before tea. We were so relieved to finish the evil2ndday....we knew the next 2 days were going to be much more relaxed.
The 3rd day we had a lie in til6.45am and started hiking at about 8....only 4 hours today until we got to the campsite at lunch time. There was a bit of uphill, but not too much, most was nice downhill, along amazing mountians, with variousinca sites along the way where we could stop, hear some info on, and take some pics, I had a bit of a dodgy tummy today, but luckily nothing too bad! AFter a little sunbathe and relax after lunch Jason our guidetook us to see a site called Winay Warra,meaning ´forever young´an Inca village and religios site, like a smallMacchu Picchu, whcih was really pretty. We then had adrink in teh campsite bar (luxury) before dinner and a thank you ceremony for the porters, when we gave them their tips for the trip. They work so hard and only get paid 40 USD per trip, so tipping really helps them out. Another early night as we were up the next morning at 4am to get to Machu Picchu early for the sunrise.
Hiking in the dark is not easy, and I managed to go over on ym anke and twist it slightly, nothing too bad but I was worried for a bit. We got to the sungate (where the sunrise comes through) by about 7am, ad had made it to MacchuPicchu by 7.30. There were already so many people htere, and by 9am it was ttally packed. It´s a shame really that so many tourists are there every day, it would be amazing to see it alone, and really get the feel for it. Still, it was beautiful, and massive, and we got some fab photos.
We then took the bus down (you could walk down but after 4 days we could barely stand) to the town at the bottom af the hill, Agua calientes, and had some lunch and rejoiced int eh first properloos for 4 days, beofre catching the train and bus back to Cuzco and collapsing into bed at about 7pm! Hard Core!