Trekking in the foot steps of the Incas Intro Must see, must do, do before you die.

Ever heard these words before? I bet you have, along with countless other done to death descriptions of things that really don’t qualify as such. My pet hates are few, but I can’t stand the fact that thanks to the tabloid media we’ve become almost completely desensitized to dramatic descriptions, and that’s because they’re dished out daily to describe the most mundane things. The greatest offenders must be the pundits on Sky Sports who would think nothing of describing a mind numbingly boring nil all draw as truly unmissable. But tonight, I’m going to try and stop the rot and restore your faith in the power of descriptive language. In my short years, I’ve been lucky enough to travel quite a bit and see and do many memorable things, but I daren’t utter the hallowed words – do before you die, unless describing something truly special. The Inca Trail to the lost city of Macchu Piccu qualifies as such in my book. It stands out for it’s cocktail of jaw-dropping natural beauty, palpable sense of adventure and the immense personal satisfaction of completing a 47km hike of steep climbs at dizzying heights. I’d now like you to join me on that adventure as I recount this intrepid tale.

the climb that morning was the toughest of the whole trip. That night at our campsite as darkness enveloped us. To put that in perspective. the lack of oxygen impaired my judgement and I decided to sprint the last 50m. our garrulous guide Celso regaled us with tales of the Incas every step of the trail. where the porters pulled off a loaves and fishes type miracle producing a kingly feast from a tiny tent. Never before had I seen a night’s sky so bursting with stars. perched at a dizzying 13. I was overwhelmed by what I saw when I gazed skywards. we resolved to keep up with her. On the final stretch. as it appeared that this small girl was carrying more than her own body weight in soft drinks on her back. After 2 hours of scaling steps we had climbed over a 1000 feet. I fully expected to catch up with the weighed down porters in a matter of minutes. Firstly our guide Celso introduced us to the team of porters who would be carrying the mountain of supplies needed for the trek. For us folk reared at sea-level this makes breathing a battle. At first I thought the lack of oxygen was playing a trick on me. All of a sudden a young girl came bounding up behind in a frantic hurry. Bags packed the porters bounded off into the distance. We set up camp for lunch at a place called Wayllabamba. By the end of the 1st day we had climbed over 3000ft and trekked 16km. we set off shortly afterwards. Dead Woman’s Pass.779ft. This resulted in my nearly passing out when I got to the top and . with loads that would have banjaxed your average beast of burden.Day 1 The starting point for the trek was an oxygen starved 8900ft above sea level. We struck up a chat in our broken Spanish. Fed and watered we were ready to attacked the ascent once more. They blazed like rebel diamonds cut out of the sun. Day 2 Shortly after setting off on the 2nd morning. and were fast approaching the highest point along the trail. Our panting posse stuffed ourselves until we could eat no more. but even that paled in comparison to being able to see the milky way so clearly that it felt like a divine mural on my bedroom ceiling. A little miffed at being told by an 8 year old carrying a back-breaking burden that she couldn’t wait for us. This endeavour lasted about 5 minutes as the young lady left us trailing in her wake gasping for breath like fish out water. but she wasted no time telling us she couldn’t wait up as she had to get up the mountain with the drinks to sell them to the hikers who passed by. Ireland’s highest peak Carrantoohill is a lowly 3400ft tall. Wrapped snugly in our llama woolies. Our guide was true to his word. We didn’t see them again for several hours! As we climbed steadily into the mountains. my buddy Gary and myself found ourselves at the front of our group and we felt that we were making heady progress in the struggle with the never-ending stairs of slabbed steps. and that’s before trekking and climbing for hours on end.

That or he was chewing too many cocoa leaves. The reward for our early endeavour was rich indeed. our muscles throbbing. revealing it’s majestic secret from the darkness. we lingered long marveling at this celestial setting. surrounded by fortress of mountains. we sleepily waded into the impenetrable dark. What I witnessed next nearly caused me to pass out again. our guides roused us at 4am to make final ascent before sunrise. Reluctantly. We clambered through the lofty Sun-Gate just as the sun crested the mountains overlooking Urubamba valley. Celso’s tales of Inca deeds were growing ever more fantastical. Day 4 On the last day. So is the Inca Trail to Macchu Piccu a do before you die experience? I’d bet my life on it. It felt like we had breached the heavens. yet in the thrall of this enchanted enclave we wondered aimlessly until it was finally time to leave this Inca Oz. Head torches in place. Once the snap happy among were sated. bodies bruised and battered but with a stock of precious memories for life. The intoxicating splendour of the never ending mountain scape is hard to justify with mere words. This is where the lost city lays hidden. we began our victorious march into the city itself. We sat in silence for a long time. Along the way we saw many examples of Inca agriculture with perfectly preserved farming terraces carved into mountain sides. Celso then gathered our group together to give the history of the city. I was able to take in the view. As the 1st group to arrive we had the pleasure of wondering this gateway to the past before the arrival of the hordes of tourists by train. His zany theories had now convinced me that he was complete charlatan but also a sorcerous story-teller. simply taking it all in. we boarded the train back to Cuzco. we watched in wide-eyed wonderment as the suns rays began to flood the valley. Blessed with a clear morning. and we were starting to suspect the historical accuracy of some of his ramblings. After the sun had cleared the opposing mountains. Baffled by all the unanswered questions. . the lost city of Macchu Piccu. Day 3 Day 3 was the easiest of all as it was mostly downhill.having to lie down! Once I’d regained my breath.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful