The Inca Trail

Machu Picchu Travel Blog

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The Group (before)

Maybe it was the cold early start, the thought of the monsterous walk ahead of me, or the thought of spending 4 days with a bunch of strangers (with no Arlene), but walking down to the meeting place that first morning I was feeling quite nervous and a touch pathetic. 

The morning warmed up nicely and so did I.  I was the only one smart enough (or stupid enough) to bring a lighter along, and at the lunch stop I quickly established my role in the group as the "man who makes fire".  The group turned out to be an amazing assortment of amazing people, from 23-55 years, from all over the globe and from all walks of life, who made the trek an experience.

It walk itself was gorgeous! The weather had been bad leading up to the walk, but it stayed dry and often cleared and gave some great views over the sacred valley.

  The 2nd day had been touted as crunch time, the seperation of the wheat from the chaff as the trail rose to "Dead Woman's Pass" at 4200m high.  Now I wouldn't say I was prime grad wheat (more No Frills Flour quality), but I managed it with only a small amount of puffing, pain and cursing.  All in all I thought, "what's the big deal, not easy, but very do-able".  Little did I know......

The third day was the day that I was not told about.  Almost the entire day was spent walking down steps, steps and more steps.  I haven't had knee troubles in a while but the thousands of roughly cut old Inca steps put a stop to that.  By the time the sun set I was a good 2 hours behind the real wheat and still going slowly.

The Porters loads
I was using a 2-step technique I borrowed off some of the grannies I've worked with which limited the pain but was not winning any races. 

The excitment of the day was when our guide (who had to walk at the back with me) tripped on the path and managed to sommersault off the path and over a cliff.  Luckily his landing was cushioned by Bamboo stalks growing out of the side of the slope about 5 metres below the path.  I (heroically I might add) managed to help him up back to the safety of the path.  Thank God he was unscathed, nothing a rest and bit of chocolate couldn't heal. 

    

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The Group (before)
The Group (before)
The Porters loads
The Porters loads
Heading to Dead Womans Pass
Heading to "Dead Woman's Pass"
Tris atop Dead Womans Pass
Tris atop "Dead Woman's Pass"
Inca Tunnels
Inca Tunnels
The Group (most of, after)
The Group (most of, after)
Our Guide
Our Guide
The Group (after and mostly smilli…
The Group (after and mostly smill…
Machu Picchu
photo by: NazfromOz