Peru Pt. 4: The Hike

My deepest apologies. I spend 20+ hours at week sitting in front of a computer so it’s verrrry difficult for me to choose to do so lately. So here we go.

Day Five:
The second day of the hike was by far the hardest. We spent the first five hours going up. And up and up and up, climbing a total of 1,200 meters that mostly consisted of stairs. I stopped often. I thought my heart was going to explode at times (and not metaphorically). It was so incredibly difficult and I think everyone thinks I’m exaggerating but the truth is that I don’t really even know what to compare it to. The worst part is definitely the altitude, and at times I felt my body screaming at me for more oxygen but there just wasn’t any.

But then

You reach the top. It’s sort of awful because for the last two hours you can basically see where you are going the whole time, and you see all these little ant people up there, and it looks like a world away because it sort of is. But after one last miserable, uneven staircase, you’re there. Dead Woman’s Pass is the highest point of the trek at 4,200 meters. Whew!

See the littttttle people in the pass? Oh no? Yea probably not because that’s how damn far it is.

Made it!

And from there it is all down hill. The problem with this is that now your legs are so tired from the hike up that they shake non-stop the whole way down. So I went as fast as I could down each mismatched step to camp at the very bottom. And then it was nap time. Plus tea and dinner. I slept so well that night and I’m so glad because I didn’t sleep at all the night before.

Day Six:
Another early morning! This day was a combination of ups and downs and was all around difficult but we were over half way and just ready to get there. This was also the longest hiking day: 16 kilometers compared to 11 on the second day and 10 on the first. We went through two passes and stopped at several sites before arriving at camp around 4:00.

Headed here

View from the terraces in the photo above.

And once we got to camp same story pretty much: tea, dinner, gross bathrooms. Plus I decided it was high time to try and wash my hair. Which was a mistake. They give you a bucket filled with about an inch of warm water, so I dunked my head in, massaged some shampoo into my gross oily scalp, and then attempted to wash it out. The issue was that now I just had soap water so I could never actually get all the soap out of my hair, which just resulted in gross hair that had soap in it. Plus the organic stuff I bought (everything has to be biodegradable) doesn’t even wash out under the hardest of water pressure. So I will forever look gross in my photos.

Anyway! We were nearly finished with the hike. I had about 5 mosquito bites and a wicked sun burn but that was fine…we did the hard part.

The last night we also had a ceremony where we thanked our porters. I cannot stress enough what an amazing and difficult job they do. It would have been completely impossible for me to make this happen without them. So again, thank you, porters of the Inca trail.

Final day coming up.