To expand from my original post, and as I made mention, hiking was and is NOT my thing so one may ask, why would I go on this trip which consisted of almost 70% hiking. The answer is within my photos you see here. The only way to get to see these amazing sights is by hiking through them. There is no way, unless you take a horse, to get to these areas by car and that is the reward for all the hard work during this trek.
It was advised to us to get as much sleep as possible each night, eat a good breakfast, lunch and dinner throughout the trek, and I must say, the food was awesome. In addition to all these, it was also stressed at all times, to not overdue the trekking and simply go at your own pace. This allowed me to enjoy what I was passing through.
So more about the FOOD. I am a vegetarian and have been for almost 6 years now. And I must say, at first I was skeptical as to what two porters would be able to put together in the middle of nowhere with limited utensils for a vegetarian’s diet. Boy did they surprise me. Each meal consisted of a healthy portion, a nice milk juice or tea, and then finally a very nice sized desert. Included a picture so you can see what a typical breakfast was like. YUMMY!!!!
No, back to the actual HIKE itself. Of all the days which stand out as trying, day 2 was the most trying. We hiked for a collective time of approximately 12 hours. This included a 1 hour stop for lunch. There was a time during the day my thoughts were I wasn’t going to make it but the guide was always around to help encourage me. But while day 2 was the most challenging, day 2 was also the most beautiful.
For this is the day we reached the summit, all uphill mind you, of Umantay located next to the Apu Salkantay. And folks, nothing can prepare you for the majestic and simply awe inspiring sights you will see. It is tradition to make a prayer or place a stone down while up on top the mountain. My wish / prayer was to return here one day w/ my nephew. Will let you know if that happens.
So, as mentioned, day 2 was the hardest but most rewarding. Outside of this, all the other days of hiking were fairly easy but again, for me not being a hiker, it was trying. It was my final realization this is the type of trip one does once in their life and once you are down, you can say, I hiked up to Machu Picchu.
So, to close with my final thoughts on this hike, all I can suggest to anyone is simply TAKE YOUR TIME and don’t push yourself too hard. There are times you will probably question why you came on this trip but at the end of each day, when you are relaxing and looking at your pictures or enjoying the new campsite, you must remind yourself – you are in PERU and your end goal is to gaze upon Machu Picchu and she deserves all this effort and respect.
Til later – enjoy!
Globetrotter Chris here!