on July 20, 2007
- The Inca Trail -Now, only five of our group of 12 were hiking the trail: myself, two Australian girls, and an Irish couple, and of course our guide. There were 11 porters to carry our tents food and overnight bags (we only carried our day packs. I found what the porters did inhuman but was informed they needed the jobs, but $45 for three-days of cooking carrying (gas cylinders, tents, food, etc., on their backs) and catering to our needs, I felt was more like slavery than work. We walked for three and a half days. The first day was amazing. I saw hummingbirds and, although I was totally last, walking through some of the villages and seeing the local farmers and the views will never be forgotten. We had baked salmon for lunch. How did those porters do that? The second and third days were extremely difficult and looking ahead was totally overwhelming, at times, for me, but when you looked back at the awesome scenery and what you had achieved helped motivate more climbing. I was very fortunate that I traveled with such an excellent group of people/guide who encouraged me, if it had not been for them and my grim determination I would not have made it. We walked about 12km per day, mostly up and down with a lot of steps. Someone told me about 12,000 steps on the trail and I do not exaggerate when I say some of these steps were as high or higher than my kneecap. Walking above the mountain tops, and seeing the tops peeking through clouds was a sight one will never forget. The fourth morning, when I saw Machu Picchu, I felt so euphoric, it lasted about 36 hours and gave me an energy that I could certainly have used on days three and four.
I had a wonderful time. Was it hard? Yes, extremely hard for me (although we did see some 20-year-olds returning on the first day!)
Am I glad I did it? Oh, yes, I had wanted to do this for so long I am really happy that I achieved this.
Would I do it again? No, if I go again, I will take the train as I believe no matter how much I trained, it would always be very difficult for me. My eternal gratitude to my guide and co-travelers, without their help and encouragement I would not have made it.
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