Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

13 - 16 September 2003.

The famous lost city of Machu Picchu has a 3-4 day hike to approach it using the trail the Incas built 500 years ago.

The trail should be renamed the Gringo or Porter trail. Some 500 tourists a day start the trial with as many guides, cooks and porters to accompany them. It is horribly over-commercialised and it is so regulated you have to hire the services of a guide. As we were pushed for time we took an all inclusive tour that meant someone else got to carry and put up / take down the tent and carry and cook our food.... very nice.

The weather threatened from the outset but this double rainbow on day one was about as bad as it got.

Like all good tours companies our one paired us up with another couple very similar to ourselves... Not!

Meet the Brazilians - this is their first ever trek and it isn't that easy. We would walk a 3 hour section in 2 hours and spend the next 2 hours waiting for these two to waddle up to camp / lunch.

One of them was a 'healer' (whatever that means) and the grumpy one on the left must of been being healed. Noises from their tent alternated between ritualistic crying followed by what was quite obviously an orgasm... very entertaining.

Day two is tough, after 2 hours of up-hill, Claire is thinking about offering a porter a tenner to carry her back-pack up the hill.

We were one of the few carrying our packs as most people get porters to carry there personal belongings as well.

The top of Women's Pass at 4,200 metres marks the end of an 1,200 metre ascent.

We love guided trekking in a group. We both read a book each waiting not just for the guide and his two Brazilian orgasms queens but also the porters. We started taking really long routes to camp seeing additional ruins along the way just to pass the time.

The tent zoo at the end of day two.... Neither of us fancied hiking with 1,000 other people the next day.....

...but a 6am start the next day and a quick first hours hike meant we had a solid hour at the Sayaqmarka ruins with no company.

The photo is a of meditation rock in the temple. Jason stood here holding this pose talking to Claire for a good 2 minutes while she pretended to have a problem with the camera.

Claire had actually taken the picture and left leaving Jason talking to a rock as the rest of the trekkers arrived at the ruin.... an excellent stitch-up that greatly amused the dutch girls first on the scene, leading to significant blushing.

Still smug about her stitch-up of Jason earlier in the day....

We managed to stay ahead of the crowds all day seeing 5 significant Inca ruins and some of the most amazing sections of the trail built on the sides of cliffs and chiselled through solid rock.

Another Ruin to ourselves marks the end of day three. Being the sad gardeners we are, this was of particular interests as the Incas used it for splicing plants creating hybrid seeds for distribution all over the Empire.

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