Inca Trail Day 2: Oh, THAT'S How Hard it Can Really Be...


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September 29th 2012
Published: November 13th 2012
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ValleyValleyValley

Beautiful...wish I had taken more pics that day...ah vell...
September 29, 2012

Starting Elevation 3000m (9842ft)

2nd Camp Elevation - Pacaymayu Alto - 3600m (11811ft)

Highest Point - Dead Woman's Pass - 4215m (13828ft)

Distance Travelled 11kms



Well, after a surprisingly decent sleep I awoke to discover that I had NOT shaken whatever was ailing me the night before...popped whatever medication I had and joined the group for breaky, a little concerned to say the least about what was to lay ahead that day (Day 2 is considered the hardest day, with a 1200 meter ascent to the highest point of the trek-Dead Woman's Pass at 4215 meters-followed by a 600 meter descent to our next camp...).

Don't recall eating much of anything at breakfast, just a bit of tea and it was off and running...our guide liked to get out early on the trail, so it was generally reveille and tea at 5am, breakfast around 5:45am and trekking by 6:30am...I liked it; it was his intention to get us out in front of the other trekkers (there could be upwards of twenty other groups in the surrounding camps) so we could enjoy the day without feeling like we were in a
Lookin' Good?Lookin' Good?Lookin' Good?

Perfecting my "desperately leaning on trekking pole" pose...haha...
traffic jam...

Guess I looked a little rough because the first stop was at a local shop to get me some Gatorade and water, then we were back off again...and man I struggled; with the physicality of this portion of the trail and my situation it made for a long and slow first hour of the day...I then came around a corner to find the rest of the gang waiting for me, followed by an offer (or more precisely "order", I was informed I didn't have a choice in the matter!) to carry my pack for me until a porter could scoop it, all in the name of teamwork...I was truly humbled yet extremely grateful...just a brief glimpse at how great a group these folks really are...

So away we went again, and to be honest the next 5-6 hours were spent climbing...and climbing...and climbing...it just never seemed to end! Passed through some beautiful forests with fantastic flora before stopping for lunch on this really cool plateau, but again my main focus was pretty much on climbing that next step, so sadly didn't stop enough to take some pics...

Amazingly enough after said 5-6 hours I was
Takin' a break...Takin' a break...Takin' a break...

Kristal, David and Lee somewhere along the trail...
able to make out what looked to finally be a top of the mountain or something, it looked like the trail might actually crest! Sure enough after scrambling up the last bit of staircase-like steps, Dead Woman's Pass! I had actually made it! To say I was happy would be an understatement (upon reflection it was probably more relief than anything...meh, I'll leave it at "happy"...haha...); I had reached the highest point of the trek, man it felt good...the coolest thing then happened; the clouds rolled in and I was standing in them...wow! Lee, Kristal and David were there with me so we got some pics with the sign marker, caught our breath and then had to get back at the trail, still had a ways to go to get to camp...all downhill though...

With the clouds came the rain, so we all donned the cheap ponchos we bought in the Sacred Valley and started our descent...and while my lungs were thrilled with the lack of aerobic-ness, my knees (and soon my ass) would now be bearing the brunt of the trail...a couple of hours of basically walking down wet, slippery, over-sized stairs in the pouring rain began to lose its appeal, and no matter how hard I would concentrate the second I got distracted whoop!, on my ass...was funny the first four or five times but not so much after...haha...at any rate the four of us finally made it to WiƱaywayna, our campsite for the evening....aaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhh...

Caught up with the rest of the group, where I discovered a fellow Canuck, Anne, had slipped on the wet stones during the descent from Dead Woman's Pass and had probably broken her toe! To say she's a trooper doesn't do her justice, finished the rest of the trail, bad toe and all...then it was off to crash in my tent for a couple of hours, I was exhausted...could be the best nap I have ever had...haha...still wasn't feeling great and didn't eat much more than a bowl of soup for dinner, but the satisfaction of completing the second day was a real morale booster...

Made it through that evening's briefing and it was back in the tent, slept like a log...


Additional photos below
Photos: 9, Displayed: 9


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Trail in ValleyTrail in Valley
Trail in Valley

...snapped a shot of where we had come from...still doesn't do it justice...
Last mile...Last mile...
Last mile...

...shot of the trail from Dead Woman's Pass, with the clouds rolling in...
Made it...Made it...
Made it...

...oh man I was happy to be there...
Poncho LeePoncho Lee
Poncho Lee

...heading back down, you can see the trail stretching out in the distance...and the wet stones in the bottom right...


Tot: 0.052s; Tpl: 0.026s; cc: 10; qc: 28; dbt: 0.0077s; 1; m:saturn w:www (104.131.125.221); sld: 1; ; mem: 1.3mb