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Setting Out on the Inca Trail

As part of our holiday to Peru we undertook the short Inca Trail trek. We were collected from our hotel to catch the early train from Poroy to Km104, the train journey was itself amazing, the views were superb, which we enjoyed thorough the panoramic style windows.

Go Andes Customer Testimonial Train to Machu Picchu - Nick T

After about 2 hours the train come to a stop at Km104, which was a small stop, with no platform, in the middle of nowhere! We were starting to wonder if this was a good idea! Our guide was waiting for us alongside the railway tracks, we crossed a rope bridge across the river to the checkpoint, which was a small hut with a straw roof, showed our passports and our highly anticipated journey had begun....

 

Go Andes Customer Testimonial Inca Trail to Machu Picchu - Nick T 

The Start of the Trek

The first half of the trek was mainly up hill and relatively hard work. The heat and humidity was high, and the first hour or so of the trek was challenging whilst we found a good pace and our guide understood our limitations! However, our guide was extremely patient and we stopped for breaks when required, and he took the opportunity to point out the flora and fauna and sounds of the jungle. It took around 3 hours to reach Winay Wayna where we stopped for lunch, this was supplied with the tour and it was great to try out a Peruvian style packed lunch. The view was fantastic, when you look at the mountains around you, you feel on “top of the world”.

Go Andes Customer Testimonial Winay Wayna - Nick T Go Andes Customer Testimonial Winay Wayna - Nick T

It was great during the breaks to talk to our guide who was a fascinating local, who seemed completely in touch with his surroundings and had walked the Inca trail regularly all his life. He seemed to delight in sharing his knowledge of the environment and the history of the Incas with us, and we were happy to listen.

Go Andes Customer Testimonial Inca Trail to Machu Picchu - Nick T

Arriving at Machu Picchu

After Winay Wayna the trail eased off, and instead of uphill it was more gently undulating, so we reached the Sun Gate after another couple of hours.  The sense of achievement and relief when reaching the Sun Gate was enormous, after all the planning, practise hikes and worrying if we were going to complete the hike in one piece, we had arrived! I would whole heartedly recommend the hike, I think it brought an extra dimension to experiencing Machu Picchu, and although tiring it was truly magical and the memories will stay with you for a lifetime....

Go Andes Customer Testimonial Machu Picchu - Nick T Go Andes Customer Testimonial Machu Picchu - Nick T

Arriving late in the afternoon meant we were able to avoid the busy crowds and have a quick look around Machu Picchu. We experienced a small taster of the incredible atmosphere, before departing on the bus down to Aguas Calientes, to our hotel El Mapi, for a very well earned shower and sleep.

Go Andes Customer Testimonial El MaPi Hotel - Nick T

The next day was a very early start, and we weren’t sure we had heard our guide correctly the night before, when he said he would collect us from the hotel at 0445 hrs. But he did say 0445hrs! so we were up and in the queue for the bus back to Machu Picchu at 0450hrs.  The early start was well worth the effort, as we avoided the crowds at Machu Picchu, which appear to build from mid morning onwards. The same guide who trekked with us the previous day, gave us an amazingly informative tour around Machu Picchu, and again relished the opportunity to show us the features of the settlement and describe how the Inca’s lived. 

The guide left us around mid-morning and we were able to explore by ourselves and also spend some time resting (our feet!) and taking in our surroundings. At midday, it was time to depart Machu Picchu and return to Aguas Calientes by the bus, where lunch waited and then the train back to Cusco, where we could start to reflect on a trip of a lifetime...

Nick

Go Andes would like to thank Nick and his partner who travelled with us in 2014 and had such a fabulous time on their Inca Trail Experience they decided to write this wonderful blog for us about their journey - Many thanks to Nick from all at Go Andes.

Find out more about our Inca Trail holidays and other Peru holidays here.

 
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