The Inca Trail trek was magical. 4 days hiking up and down breathtaking mountains and enjoying the company of not only the other guests in the group but also the guides and support crew.
This is the kind of environment we were treated to up high on the mountain ranges
Every morning we’d wake up to coffee/tea/chocolate/coca tea and a bowl of hot water for washing. At lunch after several hours of hiking and exploring the trail – another bowl of hot water was waiting for us to wash up before eating. Every night as we arrived at each new camp, our tents were set up, our baggage and sleeping gear already waiting for us inside.
The dining and cooking tents
I was expecting the great staff and well organized tour but what I wasn’t expecting was the incredible food we were treated to – Mango with Passion fruit reduction fresh trout with salsa and chunky chips. At one point they even managed to bake a birthday cake for one of the guests on our last night.
Dead Woman’s Pass – 4200m altitude. I’m having a good time!
Every part of this tour was organized with military precision. Our group was young, fit and always on time so everything went to schedule, even ahead of schedule as on the second day, we had the afternoon off to laze around or explore as we saw fit.
The return trip from Machu Picchu was the complete reverse of my Inca Trail trekking experience. I was booked onto a late train back from Aguas Caliente to Cuzco and the train was excruciatingly slow, especially with me sitting in 4 days worth of my own stink, although the scenery was very beautiful in the glass topped cabin. All I wanted at that point was a long hot shower, clean clothes and a good 12 hours sleep in a big bed.
The train finally reached its destination 2 hours later but then it was onto rickety old buses for another 2 hour drive into Cuzco as avalanches are constantly blocking the train tracks along the route so buses are often needed. All of which I learned as we piled into the bus.
As frustrating as the slow and stunted trip back into Cuzco was, it soon became a saga as the bus we were on only had one working headlight that flickered at every bump in the road. Then there was the police detours, the steep winding mountainous, pothole filled roads and finally a pair of ‘those’ American tourists (from Boston) sitting near me had decided that the ride was all too much and the bus was absolutely going to crash at any moment and just wait til they get their hands on the driver, they just wanted to leave Peru and go home already. On and on for the entire 2+ hours!
I wish the bus did crash just to shut them the hell up!