After months of planning and over a yr of dreaming about it, I lastly obtained on a bus from Arequipa to go to Cusco to hike the Inca Path to Machu Picchu. My pal Milana from Los Angeles, who I used to hike and mtn. bike with, and Karen, her longtime pal, had been assembly me in Cusco. We had been purported to be there a few days early so they may acclimatize however Milana’s flight from Lima was canceled so she arrived about midday the day earlier than our tour began. I had already met Karen the day earlier than and we had gotten to know one another a bit as we did some sightseeing and mountain climbing collectively close to Cusco.
When Milana arrived, we went to eat at a restaurant simply off the plaza and he or she had ceviche to eat, it’s uncooked fish marinated in lime juice. Both the ceviche or the dearth of time to acclimatize to the 11,000-foot altitude in Cusco, or each, obtained her off to a foul begin. She awakened sick the following morning for the beginning of our four-day trek. We had signed up for a bunch tour, anticipating as much as 12 individuals, so we had been delighted when the minibus picked us up in that morning to search out solely two different individuals on the tour! An virtually non-public tour for the group worth. It did not look like such a small group by the point we added a cook dinner and eight porters to our information, Carlos, making a complete of 15 individuals. Nonetheless more often than not we had been trekking it was simply the six of us, the porters had been both packing up camp behind us or dashing on forward to prepare for us. The service was nice however personally, the morning tea in our tents after they woke us, the eating tent for all three meals (though it felt actually good at meal time as a result of chilly) and the flowery menu, and so on. was one thing I might have given up for a less expensive worth. They undoubtedly do not subscribe to the ultralight mountain climbing thought with a forged iron range and 20 lb. LP gasoline tank!
One of many issues that stunned me on the primary day was to see individuals truly dwelling alongside the path, and using bicycles forwards and backwards. On the second morning, there have been ladies and youngsters with burros going up the path to arrange stands to serve breakfast, promote sweet, snacks, bottled water, and even Gatorade! By the afternoon, that was all behind us as we headed as much as Lifeless Girl’s Move at 13,770 toes, the very best level on the path. The surroundings had modified from lush rain forest within the morning to sparse vegetation and rocks by the move, together with being a lot cooler. Once we stopped early within the afternoon at our campsite for the night, I could not simply sit and look ahead to dinner, I went on forward to the following move, exploring aspect trails alongside the way in which. Strong clouds past the summit ruined my hopes for a spectacular sundown however it was an pleasing time anyway.
On day three we obtained into the excessive jungle, hundreds of extra steps, and really into among the historic ruins. Additionally a seemingly countless number of orchids and different flowers. One factor we did not see was any wild animals, only a few birds. It additionally appeared just like the farther we went, the extra vacationers there have been. The primary day we hardly noticed anybody else, so I am undecided the place all of them got here from. By that night we had been again in civilization, with the choice of a restaurant, scorching bathe, and chilly beer, which many had been having fun with.
The ultimate morning we had been up early to be the primary ones on the path, hoping to get photos of Machu Picchu earlier than there have been any individuals there. They really opened the checkpoint a couple of minutes early and we had been began off at midnight, on the final couple of hours of the path, arriving at Machu Picchu simply after dawn. For me, one of many highlights of the journey was mountain climbing up Huayna Picchu, the excessive peak behind the ruins in all the usual Machu Picchu photos. There was an exquisite path, steep and rugged, as much as the height, the place the views had been fabulous! I noticed a much less used path taking place the bottom and adopted these methods however lastly needed to flip round to fulfill the others and catch the bus into Aquas Calientes. Solely after I obtained again to the checkpoint at first of the path did I discover out that it was a loop path and I might have continued on across the mountain. There was no time to soak within the scorching springs, as we obtained to Aquas Calientes a bit late after which discovered that we needed to depart early to stroll to the practice that may take us again to Cusco, due to the landslide that had lined the tracks on the sting of city. A ultimate shock was that night when the practice stopped a few hours earlier than Cusco and the conductor mentioned that was the top of the journey. We by no means did discover out why however ended up having to take a taxi the remainder of the way in which to Cusco, happily arriving with no issues.
The journey was nice, Machu Picchu was unbelievable and one thing that photos cannot do justice to. By no means the much less, I did take about 400 photographs, attempting to seize the grander to relive later. I’m trying ahead to returning to the world to hike from Cusco to Choquequirao, generally known as the sister metropolis to Machu Picchu, after which on to Machu Picchu. This hike is far much less frequent and permits for exploring by yourself.