Machu Picchu Stories and Tips

Do you really want to carry your pack?

It seems that no trip to Peru is complete without the almost mandatory four day trek to Machu Picchu, the most famous of Inca Ruins.

The day started very early as we set out. As the 16 other people along with our 15 porters piled onto the bus I wondered how we would forge into a team. I had the honor of being the oldest, but luckily not the least fit.

At the trail head there was a collection of would be porters, women selling all sorts of stuff including rain ponchos. We didn’t realize how important the rain gear was to become until 7 hours later when it began to rain and continued for three days. It wasn’t long into the hike that everyone’s true colors started to show. Four people had decided to macho it out and carry their own gear. We along with the rest of the hikers had decided to support the local economy and have a porter. Colorado (we never learned anyone’s real name) immediately fell to the back of the pack with the Brazilians who each sported braces from various injuries. Jim and I with only small packs and the advantage of having acclimated to the altitude pranced ahead through the mud and muck and the occasional glimpse of wonderful mountain peaks. By the end of the first day Colorado had been convinced to give up his ego and his pack and the group was whispering about what to do about the Brazilians. We all achieved the goal of Machu Picchu but in varing degrees of comfort. It became obvious to me that unless you are extremely fit a more enjoyable hike is had by letting the porters earn some money and carry the bags.

Been to this destination?

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