Ups and downs of Camino Inka

Machu Picchu, Peru

For the last four days I have been walking the Inca Trail and it has been a great experience and challenge! I set off on Saturday with a family from Uruguay, a Peruvian lady and an Australian couple in the pouring rain. I did wonder if choosing the rainy season was a good idea and if the whole walk would be like this. But the weather was kind to us and soon cleared up to show us some amazing views – it also helped that the path was not so slippery.

The porters were fantastic in carrying our gear and the chef was just amazing providing us with three course meals, snacks and tea everyday – I will admit that I needed all the energy I could get and hey I did walk 42km.

The first days walking was okay with only a 2 hour up climb and we thankful reached first camp around 4pm. It was up early on the 2nd day for the ultimate challenge of reaching Dead Woman´s pass some 4200m above sea level. By the time I got to the pass I felt like the dead woman but I did it!! Only slightly affected by the altitude I recovered to tackle the steep incline on the way down. My knees don´t particularly like the down bits and I felt a bit slow making my way cautiously down.

The third day we were truly in the cloud forest and it was weird to see the valley fill up with clouds and ten minutes later being able to see the view again. This was our longest day and we walked for a good 7 hours – but the scenery was just fantastic and of course the thought of being closer to the end was wonderful. At our last campsite I was lucky to see a coyote but it was too quick for a photo. I was even more lucky to get a hot shower that evening – all fresh and ready for the much talked about walk to the sun gate.

The final day we arose at 4 am and prepared for the last day. It had rained the whole evening so we were hoping that the clouds would lift when we reached Machu Picchu. It was cloudy all the way and when we arrived at the sun gate if I had not seen the pictures I would have thought it was some hoax — all we saw were clouds. We waited 10 minutes and luck was with us as the clouds slowly revealed the hidden Inca City — it was very dramatic!!!

Getting closer to Machu Picchu really showed the beautiful and crafty work on the Inca`s. The more I saw of the city the more I loved it. Everything had meaning with cleaver architecture work around almost every corner.

So I made the Inca Trail and survived Dead Woman´s Pass and I congratulate all my friends and family that have already achieved such a wonderful challenge – you never really know what you are in for until you do it!!

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