Thursday, August 30, 2012

Hiking The Inca Trail Peru

Hiking to Machu Picchu along the Inca Trail remains one of my most memorable travels. It was one of several trips that I have on my “Bucket list” that has always amazed me. I was able to put a check mark beside this trip and take away some amazing memories.
We arrived in Lima Peru and spent a few days sightseeing before traveling further inland to Cusco which sets at 11,200 elevation. We needed a few more days in the area to get adjusted to the high altitude before starting our long hiking journey up to Machu Picchu. We visited several amazing Inca ruins along the Sacred Valley region which made me even more excited to start our trip up to Machu Picchu.         
Day 4 began with a train ride to KM104 to meet our guide and begin our ascent.  The day started relatively easy passing through the valley but I knew our endurance would soon be tested as we transitioned to very rugged and steep mountain trails.

Looking out over the peaks of the Andes Mountains knowing I hiked to get there was an inspiring feeling. I am not going to lie it was a lot of work and tested our resolve but was  totally worth it with these amazing views. 
Along our way we explored several ancient Inca sites. These places were simply mind-boggling with ingenuity and craftsmanship. Many times I was simply at a loss for words to be surrounded by the ruggedness and beauty of the Andes Mountains and the efforts it must have taken the Inca people to accomplish such engineering feats. Reaching elevations pushing 13,000 feet and feeling like I was breathing through a straw contributed to my silence many times.
Passing through the Sun Gate and first seeing Machu Picchu was absolutely incredible. It was one of the most humbling moments I have ever experienced.  Tired and sore we finally began our decent into the sacred city. It was an amazing journey and one of those trips that simply changes a little bit of who you are.

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