Hiking the Classic Inca trial had been on my Bucket list for over 10 years and it didn’t disappoint, it was the highlight of our 3 months in South America.
We picked Alpaca Expeditions to do the hike with, they were recommended by a friend, have great reviews on Tripadvisor and they care about their porter’s welfare. The night before our trek we had a briefing at the office to go through the logistics, meet the other hikers and meet our guides.
We felt excited but nervous at the same time, we haven’t done this type of adventure before, and we aren’t really campers or hikers! Anyway our green duffel bags were packed and the alarm was set for 3.45am, yes that’s correct they were picking us up at 4.20 in the morning. We were awake before the alarm, not sure if that was the excitement or the fact that my stomach was not so good. I won’t go into too much detail about the hike, but here’s a link to our itinerary.
The hike was tougher than we thought it would be, there were a lot of bloody steps and you are hiking at altitude. The views all the way along the hike through the Sacred Valley were spectacular, as Ferris Bueller said ‘Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it’
Our guide Rosel Calderon has a true passion for his country and that of his ancestors, a huge smile would appear on his face every time he spoke to the group about the history and meaning of the different sites along the trail, our chef Walter and team of porter’s (nicknamed The Green Machine) were amazing. We had some of the best food during the trek, better than we had had throughout South America. The porters were running past us up the mountain carrying 25kg each and some of them were just wearing sandals. We arrived at our campsite’s each evening to our tents and sleeping bags already set up and our dinner not far behind. We were all in bed by 8pm, 2 mornings we were up at 5am and the last morning we were up before 3am. Needless to say we were exhausted at the end of our trip and needed a few days to recover and sleep!
I was emotional when we reached the Sun Gate and got our first look at Machu Picchu, this enchanting site was home to between 700-800 people and it’s one of the largest Inca sites to be discovered. It’s strange to think that there could be more Inca sites hidden under the vast forests that overgrow the terraced hillsides.
We spent the day walking around the ruins, trying to image how they lived on this site. I didn’t want to leave, I didn’t want this adventure to be over, it had been a true ‘once in a lifetime experience’ and considering we weren’t hikers or campers we had conquered the 42 km hike and survived without showers for 4 days. Now what will the next adventure be? We have a few things up our sleeves. Hehe.