DFN: Very interesting blog from someone that’s waling the trail, right now.
The Inca Trail
Wow!!! So much to tell you about!!!
We started our Inka Trail adventure with a tour of the Sacred Valley, along the river Urubamba and saw the first of our Inka ruins, they were hugely impressive, massive terraces carved into the sides of mountains, the Inka people were brilliant enginneers for their time not only for the idea of building were they did but managing to moved huge pieces of rock many miles to the building site!!
We also stopped at the town of Urubamba for lunch, where we saw a Ginea Pig (Cuy) farm, the little creatures were very shy for obvious reasons, they didn´t want to become lunch!!!
The next day was our first day on the trail so we started nice and early from base camp in Ollantaytambo and headed for what we were told was a nice gentle days walk to our overnight camp… We both had a really good day´s walking we were really proud of ourselves, carrying our little day packs, and watching the Peruvian porters practically run past us carrying five times as much as us!!!
We walked from 8am until 3pm, including a 90min lunch break, and covered around 10km, we watched some amazing lightning storms over the mountains that evening whilst sitting outside our tent. We were told that day 2 was tough so we had an early night and we both slept really well inside our comfortable little tent!!!
Day 2 of the hike was unbelieveable tough, at 7am we started heading uphill, which we continued to do until 2pm when we eventually reached Dead Woman´s Pass, 4,200m above sea level. But the view that greated us at the summit was truely stunning, Huge mountains, deep valleys and snow capped peaks all around us. We were all looking forward to the journey down the the overnight campsite, however if anything the descent was far worse than the climb as we spent 2 hours jarring our knees and hips on deep stones steps. When we reached camp at 4pm that afternoon all we could do was collapse exhausted but we still felt amazing!!!
We were told day 3 would be fairly flat, however the advice that greated us at breakfast that morning seemed to contradict this, "Day 3 will be your hardest day so far". Yeah, it was, whether is was the last two days catching up with us but this 12km day contained steep climbs and bone jarring descents. but along the way we say some amazing Inka ruins and beautiful scenery. We started the day at 7am and as we walked slower and slower during the day we didn´t reach camp until 5.30pm just before sunset!!!! We ached and were really tired but we both felt amazing that tomorrow morning we would reach Machu Picchu!!!
We only had 6km to reach the Sun Gate, but we were still woken at 4am to start our walk, legs aching and we hadn´t had a shower for 3 days, but some how we walked the fastest we had all trek it was like Machu Picchu was pulling us towards it. Then at 6.50am we climbed over the top of the Sun Gate and the early morning clouds parted and below us was Machu Picchu, just like in the pictures, but a million times better. A moment neither Kate or I will ever forget!!!
We were given a tour of the site and took loads of pictures, the place is just amazing, those Inkas were really clever people to build something this jaw droppingly beautiful!!!
After a wander around the site ourselves we headed down to the town below for lunch before catching the train and bus back to Cusco, for a much needed shower and shave!!!! We had a celebration dinner to mark our amazing adventure and four of the toughest but most amazing days of our lives!!!
Blog you later!!!
Mark and Kate