We finally arrived in cusco city feeling both excited and nervous, the inca trail was finally around the corner and the prospect of trekking for 4 days in the mountains was suddenly a bit scary.
We spent a few days in cusco beforehand visiting the markets and the inca musuem. Cusco city is a really beautiful place, it's seeped in history and has a real quaint charm about it. I did however manage to fall over on the pebble stones in the main square, ouch. It's ok though, the hippies didn't seem to notice. That is one bad thing about cusco it's full of hippies playing silly instruments really badly. On the up side the food is pretty decent! A day before the trek my friend Suba from uni joined us in cusco and we checked into the prisma hotel,day 1 of the G adventures inca trail tour had begun. In the evening we met our tour guides and were given a very long briefing. All I kept thinking was how much our head guide Pedro reminded me of my sisters friend Harry,I of course told Pedro this. He instantly wanted to know if that was a good thing or not.
I assured him it was but not to get too carried away, he def doesn't look as young as Harry. We were each given duffel bags to pack our essentials and given a very strict weight limit (we had porters to carry and set up our tents for us). After a lot of faffing we made it to bed!
The day began at 630am. After breakfast we headed into the mini van and we got a good look at the 15 other people we would be spending the next week with. There was a Canadian mother and daughter (aka mum and princess), French canadian twins,a canadian couple on their honeymoon (lots of Canadians) and various other Brits and Norwegians. We were taken to the sacred valley,a valley just outside cusco city where the farming communities live and where the inca tribe set up homes. We were given tours of the local communities and also taken to inca sites to explore. We had a good old fashioned group lunch and were checked into a hotel in a small town where we had our last shower of the week!
Another 630am start and a short drive to the
start of the inca trail. Here we got the first glimpse of the full extent of the team trekking with us. We had 20 porters carrying our stuff, the tents and our food plus our two guides. After crossing the checkpoint the trek began. The first day we walked 11km,that took about 7 hours. The toughest part is getting used to the lack of oxygen but overall the first day was ok. At lunch the porters set up a dining tent where we were given a three course meal. We had the same treatment at dinner time, three courses and a game of UNO. At one point we were asked to stand in circle and we all had to introdcue ourselves along with the porters, cringe! Now we have never camped before so as far as camping goes this was luxury. Our tents and food were prepared for us but the toilets, well they were not cool! Smelly sums it up but to top it off the lady on her honeymoon got ill and both ends were working over time. Worse still she was in the tent next door and her husband snores like a bear,waaaa!!!
up call and the hardest day of the trek. We walked 13km, 5 hours uphill and two hours downhill,all before lunch. The uphill climb was a killer,it was hot and early and relentless, i don't think it's possible to explain the feeling of finally reaching the top. Downhill wasn't much better. It was steep and slippery and really hard on the knees but the three of us kept a good pace and made it to the camp site in good time. Later that evening the'cooks baked a cake for the honeymooners. How they baked a cake with no oven I will never know.
This was the longest day of the trek. We hiked 16km both up and downhill and completed the "gringo killer" stairs. By the end my knees were destroyed. Our guide Pedro hiked the afternoon with Hiral and I,if only he could of carried us.
The final day:
The last day we had a 3am wake up call. We then had to hike in the dark to the entrance of the park for a long wait. Once we got going it was another 3 hour hike to the great Macchu Picchu. To say it was tough is an understatement. By this point our legs were dead and we just shattered. Eventually we made it and it was most definetely worth it. Macchu Picchu is like a magical little town surrounded by three mountains. Its one of those places that needs to be seen and cant really be described. Reaching it after a 4 day trek made it all the more special. Once we had a tour of the famous inca site we made our way back to the town for lunch then started our long journey back to Cusco city. Once we reached Cusco Hiral developed a fever and went to bed whilst the rest of us went to celebrate. We were taught how to make pisco sours and offered the local delicacy, wild guinea pig. Looked like a giant rat with a pepper in its mouth. After dinner Suba and I went partying with our guide. I dont really know how my legs managed it. Finally I made it to bed at 4am and the inca trail was complete.
After we spent a few days in Cusco recovering and planning our next trip, a week long stay in Lima. finally we would be going back down to sea level!!
The inca trail was tough, amazing and fun but i think its safe to say we wont be doing that again.
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