Inca Trail and Machu Picchu 2001

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Truck on road

trail head

piggies on the trail

Inca ruins

baby in a papoose

porter with gas can

Llama on the trail

flying away

the trail
Click on a pic to see the big version.

Scroll down to see my travel journal.

My porter Rubin

(he was also the cook)

view of Trail

group shot



more ruins

with our guide, Julio

at the campground


Machu Picchu


Wayna Picchu

kid in a dress

From my travel journal:

...the 4-day Inca trail trek to Machu Picchu was amazing and beautiful, but definitely challenging. The trail was actually used by Incas back in the day, and is still used by local people who live along the trail and of course by lots and lots of tourists. Along the way we saw lots of ruins and spectacular views of the mountains. On the second day we ascended from 3000m to 4200m of altitude in about 9km. Fortunately, I´d shamelessly hired a porter to carry my pack, which was way too big because as usual I carried too much stuff. I really enjoyed the journey much more without that pack! Best $10 I ever spent. Most of the people on the trip were pretty fit and experienced backpackers, but the porters totally left us in their dust. They´d zip past us carrying a couple of backpacks, cooking equipment, gas canisters, etc. And they were wearing flip-flops! Thoroughly impressive. They need to have some kind of Olympic portering event.

On the third (last) night, all the groups converged on one camp site. They´ve got a little restaurant set up there and you can buy beer even. And later they played some kickin dance music and all these grubby backpackers got out on the dance floor and shook it all night long. I think it was good for our sore muscles. I had more fun dancing that night than I´ve had in ages (okay, admittedly I haven´t gone dancing in ages ...) I stayed up til midnight, so waking up at 4 for the early morning hike into Machu Picchu was a little rough. I don´t know what I could say about Machu Picchu that hasn´t been said already. It really is amazing. It was one of the few (only?) Inca sites that wasn´t discovered by the Spanish, so it is pretty well intact.

The great thing about the trek was that I met some really cool people and some of us have been travelling together. 4 of us are taking the night bus to Copacabana (on the Bolivian side of Lake Titicaca) tonight and will tour around Bolivia together for a while.