For the most part Jenny and I have been pretty useless on this trip. We end up in places that we’ve never heard of and rely on other people (and google) to tell us what to do. When other travellers ask us what our plans are we tend to stare back at them with blank expressions. The only thing we were smart enough to plan and book in advance was the Inca Trail. High fives to us.
Now I’m not much of hiker and the Inca Trail has a reputation of being a hard trek. But then my mom told me her mates did it so I figured if a bunch of middle aged golfers can do the Inca Trail, then so can I.
The Inca Trail entails 4 days of hiking through the mountains and then culminating at Machu Picchu. Along the way you trek through different landscapes, see a bunch of Inca ruins and walk along ancient Inca pathways. It really is beautiful and the scenery is amazing. I can see why you have to book months in advance to secure a spot. The trail really does live up to the hype.
So here, in no particular order, are my reasons why the Inca Trail was awesome:
1.) Jenny and I looking like complete hiking novices. Majority of our trek group wore fancy hiking pants that zip off to become shorts and they also wore fancy pancy hiking boots. Jenny and I wore yoga pants and takkies.
2.) The porters. They carry everything from tents to food to cooking equipment on their backs to each of the campsites. Some of the porters are in their 60s, carrying 26 Kgs and they fly down the trail. I could not have felt more useless in my life after struggling up a mountain with my little backpack and then seeing old gramps gliding past me with what looks like a village on his back.
3.) The scenery. I heard there was some breathtaking views on the Inca Trail and they were right. Although I was more out of breath from the altitude and mountain climbing than the actual scenery. The entire path was pretty clean too, there isn’t any rubbish or litter lying around which I appreciated. I paid a lot of money to do this trail so I don’t want to see anybody’s KitKat wrapper lying around.
4.) Our trek group. In total there were 16 people in our trek group with the ages ranging from 10 to 64 years. We were an odd bunch with everyone from a different part of the globe. My best was the 10 year old kid Robert aka Bear. When I first saw the kids in our group I thought ‘great, some obnoxious brats to deal with for 4 days’. But luckily I was proved wrong. Robert was an awesome little dude who was obviously trained to say ‘isn’t this view amazing’. Everything was beautiful/amazing, even rocks. He was also super proud to be the first kid in his class to hike the Inca Trail. He reminded us of this fact several times.
5.) No showering. I don’t consider this an awesome aspect of the Inca Trail but I thought I needed to mention it. There are no showers and the toilets are muck. By Day 4 someone in our group told me that it looked like I had put Vaseline in my hair. It’s gross and you look and feel like trash but everyone is in the same position so you get over it.
Overall I am really glad I did the Inca Trail. It is hard but it’s completely manageable. It is also expensive but worth it, you get what you pay for (except the toilets). If you coming to Peru have the foresight to book it. We booked our trip through Peru Treks and they were pretty jacked up.