As your can may know from earlier blog posts I climbed Kili two years ago, so I thought that the Peru experience would be a bit easier but I was proven differently. It was challenging but still an absolutely incredible experience and much different (in a good way) from our last G Adventure tour in Africa. Why you say?
This tour involves the interaction of more groups, more guides, more transportation links but hanging out with a wider group of fellow hikers. The Inca Trail is the primary attraction in connection with Machu Picchu and requires a permit. The Lares Trail is less travelled and not as familiar to everyone. So when you sign up for a tour, ours being ‘Amazon to the Andes’, you will end up with people who could be doing Inca or Lares treks for a portion of the overall tour package so they switch you and you have a new family for awhile. Then you go back to your original group for the next section of your tour. We found our original group in Machu Picchu on Sunday and it was great to see them again! Germany, Ireland, England, US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand are all represented in our groups.
Our trek took us through a mountain pass that is still used by farmers and llama, sheep and alpaca herders. We were encouraged to keep extra food in our packs for children we would meet who were very poor and hungry. They are the cutest kids ever !
You sleep in tents, enjoying a hot cup of coca tea on those cool mornings (about 0 degrees). Full breakfast, lunch and dinners are prepared served by a fantastic group of cooks and porters that travel ahead of us with their teams of horses and alpacas.
Our guide, Percy, played us a tune for motivation as we drew closer to the peak. We reached the peak of Mt. Pumahuanca at 4800 meters on Day 2 in the early afternoon. The air was very thin and the inclines very steep but the view at the end made it all worthwhile!
Off to the Amazon Jungle tomorrow so we’ll check back on Friday or Saturday with some updates from Machu Picchu.