Inca trail - 13th to 16th Nov
Day 1 of the trail started with lots of excitement and enthusiasm. As we got use to climbing with our walking poles we took in amazing views of mountains and streams. We were greeted by many animals and beautiful weather. Our tour guide Roger started the trail off with a ceremony and an offering to the mountains. Roger was passionate, very knowledgeable and best of all funny! The lunch and dinner was delicious and the group atmosphere was jolly before bedtime in our sloping tents.
Wow very early start with many many many steps. We reached a peak of 4250m and boy did we feel it. It was great to make it to the top and to be cheered on and to cheer others on but then the descend created a few issues, giving Me (Silpa) a hideous headache which meant a poorley Silp's at the camp. However a sleep and a positive mental attitude got me through to dinner. The campsite was colder and the toilets were unwelcoming. Luckily our tour guide sorted us with a special alcoholic beverage to see us through the night, accompanied by some ghost stories, which almost helped us block out the heavy rain.
Another early start with 3000 steps to face and then a downward journey (16k trek ahead of us) . The upward journey was tough but the downward trip was made easier by members of our group singing and staying positive. With this being our longest day and the headache back to haunt me (Silpa) we were bit concerned we would have to take a short cut and miss out on the scenic route but despite the downpour we made good time and were able to take in the views from the longer route (I think it was the singing and group effort that made it happen and a very positive supportive Scotty). We said a big thank you to all our amazing porters and cooks and then an early night for everyone as we had a 3.50am start
Ok 3.50am start was tough especially as I had nightmares of missing the usual wake up call of coca tea. It's tough getting motivated when it is still so dark but with the sun gate beckoning there was quiet excitement in the air. As soon as the checkpoint opened and our passports were stamped for the 3rd time we were off. We picked up the pace with a undulating path and a crazy spiderman scramble, it was our fastest pace of the whole trail. We were hoping to see the sunrise but the clouds had other plans and instead provided us with a beautiful mystical view of machu picchu from the sungate. We enjoyed our snacks, celebratory chats and 'millions of pictures'. We then slowly made our way down to the inca site, taking in this amazing creation with the slow realisation of entering civilisation with the smell and look of people who took the train. Roger smiled with pride as he helped us take millions of pictures and after we enjoyed a celebratory beer and pizza (yuuuummy) he was in full swing tour guide mode, showing us the amazing construction and sharing the history. Once the exploring and picture taking came to an end a lunch in machu picchu pueblo, was enjoyed before a 4 hour journey back to Cusco. With such an early start and adrenaline filled day we should have been ready to hit the sack but we decided to go out for a celebratory dinner, maybe it was the first shower in 4 days which rejuvenated us? A delicious dinner ended with saying see you soon (a Quechua tradition).
A crazy, challenging and unforgettable 4 days. Roger and Saul were great guides, both very supportive and Roger with his great lines!!!! We were lucky to have a group full of great characters we will not forget!!!!
The mountains took our breath away (literally) and the site was fascinating and worth every step. Most of all we are pleased we achieved it together at our own pace and supporting each other, whether that was because the ibuprofen gel for the knee went missing (porter later found and returned) or headaches and travel sickness slowed us down. What an Adventure which we will always treasure!!!