Camino Inca (...or...

Machu Picchu Travel Blog

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Start of the Inca Trail
Having talked to people as far back as Colombia about the Inca trail and feeling that we had perhaps paid over the odds US$450, where we could instead have booked an alternative trail for half the money, we can happily say that we're glad we did the 'proper' one.
It was a great experience even if it was little tough at times and our knees were complaining by the time we got to actually walk around Machu Picchu.  So much so that we almost couldn't be bothered to walk back to the top of the site once all the clouds had cleared (we'd been greeted with nothing but a big bank of cloud from the Sun Gate [first view] and also from the high terraces [classic view])

We both walked with our packs on the first day, coming to terms with the fact that we had too much weight especially after the 3kg sleeping bag and roll mat we'd hired had been added.
The first bit of the trail
  We gave Kara's pack to a porter on the second and third day and I sneaked my heavy sleeping bag in there too which made things manageable (just).  We took quite a few photos but none can really represent actually being there.  The scenery was stunning and the presence of amazing abandoned Inca and pre-Inca sites made it all the more amazing.  We slept in tents, which together with our eating tent, tables, chairs, food and cooking equipment were all carried by porters.  Officially they're limited to about 18kg each, although the unofficial porters (from local villages) who take rucksacks from people like us who didn't previously hire a porter, probably carry more.  Sometimes they run, but you can see that even for them it can be hard, especially as our porters were aged up to 62 yrs!!!
On the fourth morning we got up early to stand in line in the rain to start the final days walk.
  The idea being to arrive early at the site before all the coach tourists arrive and receive an unobliterated view of the site.  Unfortunately it rained all the way to the Sun Gate (see group photo with ponchos).  We agreed that the clouds sweeping across gave some kind of mystical impression, but that sun all the way would probably have been nicer!
The site has been extensively restored, but sympathetically I would say.  The same goes for many of the sites along the way.  The site was never discovered by the Spanish Conquistadors.  The locals knew it was there, but kept it secret as they would hunt for treasures to sell in Cusco.  This continued for several hundred years until Hiram Bingham, who had become very interested in the Incas after visiting many of the sites around Cusco and was attempting to discover Vilcabamba (the final stronghold of the Incas), was apparently told by a child of a villager that he would find a city up past the mountain he was camping at the foot of.
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Start of the Inca Trail
Start of the Inca Trail
The first bit of the trail
The first bit of the trail
Day 1
Day 1
Day 1
Day 1
Day 2, Dead womans pass
Day 2, Dead woman's pass
Top of Dead womans pass.  The hig…
Top of Dead woman's pass. The hi…
Fort
Fort
Steps carved out of the bedrock
Steps carved out of the bedrock
Group photo at the Sun Gate.
Group photo at the Sun Gate.
Group photo looking down at Machu …
Group photo looking down at Machu…
Macchu Pichu
Macchu Pichu
Macchu Pichu
Macchu Pichu
Clouds starting to clear
Clouds starting to clear
Temple building with high end ston…
Temple building with high end sto…
Macchu Pichu - Cloud clearing
Macchu Pichu - Cloud clearing
The classic view
The classic view
Machu Picchu
photo by: NazfromOz