Let me just tell you up front, if it's a surprise from your Inca Trail guide, its probably going to be NO BUENO (and most likely, it's MORE STEPS!) Megan and I had limited time together and only 10 days in Peru and Bolivia, so we opted for the 2 day Inca Trail hike instead of the 4 days. We took a train at 5am to Km104 and got dropped off...well...pretty much in the middle of nowhere. We checked in with our guide, and sorted through the 20lbs of food we had with us - between the box breakfast from our hotel and the packed lunch from our guide we had about 8 sandwiches, 6 pieces of fruit, juice boxes, chicken salads, crackers, cheese snacks, and about 2 gallons of water! We were only going to be hiking for the day, and spending the night in Agua Calientes, yet I'm pretty sure we could've survived in the wild for a week!
We started the trek at the banks of the river, and slowly began our ascent up the mountain. We were passing wildflowers and orchids around every corner, which is always a good reason to stop and take a picture
(or a break!) We had been in the high altitudes for about 5 days now, so the lack of oxygen had become inconsequential, but the surplus of steps seemed insurmountable! The views alone could take your breath away as the Andes in this part of the world are so majestic and AWEsome! After a few hours of hiking, I was very excited to see a huge Incan terrace on the side of a mountain across from us! Until our guide said, oh yeah, we are going over there, and then we are going to walk up the steps leading along the sides of the terraces and then we are going to go to that little tiny house the size of a quarter...see the white and red spot over there? That's where we are having lunch! WHAT?!?!?! It was about that time that we decided to take a break and eat as much of the food as possible...there's no way I'm carrying all this crap ALL THE WAY OVER THERE!?! EAT IT!
We hiked, up and down (darn it, that's the wrong way!), up, and up, and up more stairs! Some of the steps were so tall (18"+) that Megan
had to crawl up them, the entire time cursing the Incans! ("I thought these Incan bastards were SHORT!") But of course, the views were absolutely worth it, and after about 8 hours of hiking, we could actually SEE the top of this mountain....almost there...15 more steps....10 more.... ("Shut up, stop counting, this is torture!") and through the Sun Gate - wowowowowowowowowowowow!!! Our first views of this Wonder of the World were absolutely astounding...we were speechless...the best word to describe it is....undescribable!!! We were able to spend about an hour taking in the views, marveling at the double rainbows, and congratulating ourselves on climbing a mountain! We spent the night in the small local town nearby, and I think we were in bed and sleeping by 8pm! we woke up at the crack of dawn, and made it to Machu Picchu by sunrise, what a reward! The crowds were limited and we had about an hour with our guide inside the city, learning about the Incas ancient cermonies and lifestyle. we could NOT STOP taking pictures, and commented on the awesomeness and indescribability of this wonder every 30 seconds!
I have to say, in 8 months, 41 flights, and 20
countries, I saw and did a loooong list of absolutely amazing things. But my single highest recommendation (after....Take a Trip Around the World, I promise it won't disappoint!) would have to be Machu Picchu! JUST GO!
Tot: 3.825s; Tpl: 0.058s; cc: 20; qc: 75; dbt: 0.0645s; 3; m:saturn w:www (188.8.131.52); sld: 2;
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