The Inca Trail
Machu Picchu Travel Blog› entry 10 of 24 › view all entries
Wednesday night I was walking to the pre-trek briefing for Machu Picchu when I realized that I needed to return back to our hotel to do some vomitting. Always a good way to start a four day trek in the mountains. I showed up to the briefing and they said they had some special news as their first statement was...´based on the protests we don´t think we will be able to leave on the trek tomorrow morning as planned. Instead we will need to leave in 3 hours so that we can go in the dark and avoid issues. Please go home and pack your bags and be ready to leave at 10:30pm´. The curse words that were in my mind did not actually come out of my mouth at the time. Instead I went home and went to bed hoping that I would feel better a few hours later.
The guide called me at 11:30pm and told me that they would send a car for me in the morning and they would wait for me. I laughed to myself thinking that there was no way I was going. My vomitting slowly changed to diahrea which is not much more pleasant when you have to get up every hour of the night. I did feel better when my alarm went off at 5:30 and decided that if my stomache could hold breakfast I would go.
We did have a few problems en route to meet up with the group. A lot of rocks blocking the roads and at one point 10 guys were standing over the rocks with more rocks in their hands. They started walking towards our taxi and shaking their heads when our taxi driver quickly turned around and found a backroad. At other points people got out of their cars and moved boulders and rocks out of our way and we eventually arrived. Note that the US department issues a travel warning for Peru two days after this incident.
The trek ended up being a lot more difficult than I thought.
We normally woke up at 5:45 and had breakfast before starting our treking at 7am. Our last morning we woke up at about 3:45am to get to the sun gate in time to be one of the first to see Machu Picchu from the sun gate and to have the world famous monument to ourselves.
It included two Swiss, two Belgians, three French, 1 Dutch, 1 Peruvian and me being the lone American. This made French the predominant language at dinner. Traveling with us were 10 porters who had the responsibility of carrying and setting up our tents, cooking meals that even the French liked and carrying the ´luggage´for some of the older participants.
In the end the hard work was worth it, but not something that I would repeat. The views from mountain tops were amazing and at points you felt like you were level with the sky. Other times we were on traisl through dense jungles on 500 year old paths. We saw Machu Picchu in a pretty small group since the first buses don´t come into the local town until after 8:30 and we started our tour at 8am. We were lucky enough to get our first sighting at 6:30am and actually get to the site at about 7am.
After the trip I relaxed in the public baths in the area which also gave me my first opportunity to change the same socks and shoes that I had warn for days (the socks went directly into the garbage). It was also nice to get my first shower this morning....now two weeks of Spanish classes.