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Inca Trail: Machu Piccu
Old 06-17-2014, 08:38 PM   #1
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Inca Trail: Machu Piccu

Has anyone hiked the Inca Trail to Machu?
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Old 06-17-2014, 09:02 PM   #2
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Yes, it was a great experience and worth doing if you like hiking. But it's a lot of up and down at high altitude (peak of the trail is 14k ft.). The other couple we were with turned back after the first day. You should take a look at online maps that mark out the elevation.

Do you have any more specific questions?
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Old 06-17-2014, 10:30 PM   #3
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Here are some pictures and notes from when we did the inca trail. The hike is 3-4 days, ~20miles, and each day would involve +/- several thousand feet of vertical travel.

(1) The first is of our group. Hiking the trail is highly licensed and you have to go with a guide and group of porters. We also had two chefs. This whole group was to support 4 people.

(2) Resting in some ruins

(3) There are a lot of steps. Better get used to it.

(4) At the highest point of the trail: warmiwanusca pass. This is at 14k feet. Even the porters were resting to get up here. The guide (Narcisso) gave my wife some oxygen from a small tank they brought with us to help her up to the top.

(5) On the down side from warmiwanusca pass.
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Old 06-17-2014, 10:34 PM   #4
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(6) More trail

(7) The little valley on top right of the mountain range is where we took picture 4 in the previous post.

(8) You arrive at machu picchu. It's totally awesome.
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Old 06-18-2014, 02:03 AM   #5
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Wow! Breathtaking! It's on my list now!
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Old 06-18-2014, 05:23 AM   #6
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Can't you also take a bus or train there? How crowded is it at the ruins?
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Old 06-18-2014, 08:05 AM   #7
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Can't you also take a bus or train there? How crowded is it at the ruins?
Yes, you take a train to the base of the mountain then a bus to the top where the ruins are. It can be very crowded. I recommend getting there when it first opens. The ruins are big enough that even the huge crowd that enters initially gets pretty spread out after a short time.
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Old 06-18-2014, 09:12 AM   #8
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My husband and I did it last year (he actually proposed to me on day 4, overlooking Macchu Picchu). Do you have any specific questions?

It is an amazing experience. It is not easy, but totally worth it. You go up, up, up, then down, down, down, then up and down again. But while doing so, you see amazing valleys, mountains, etc. It (literally and figuratively) took my breath away. I would definitely train in advance for it, as far as getting in shape. I don't have the best knees, and after 5 or 6 hours of down steps on day 3, I could barely take another step down without cringing. But, then I got up on day 4 and hiked the rest!

It gives you a sense of accomplishment to stand over MP, looking down, feeling like you earned the view (you come in differently than the buses, so you end up seeing a view that a lot of people don't see).

I'll try to figure out how to upload pics...

Edited to add: I added two pics below - the rest aren't on this computer....
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Old 06-18-2014, 09:16 AM   #9
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Old 06-18-2014, 09:19 AM   #10
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Overlooking MP from the Inca Trail "entrance"
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Old 06-20-2014, 05:25 PM   #11
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Can people see kaudrey's pictures? I just see blank squares.

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Old 06-20-2014, 05:43 PM   #12
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Can people see kaudrey's pictures? I just see blank squares.
I see them just fine on a PC.
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Old 06-20-2014, 05:47 PM   #13
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Hmm. I'm not sure what's wrong with my setup then. It doesn't show for me on multiple different browsers/devices.
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Old 06-21-2014, 11:50 AM   #14
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I see blank icons instead of pictures. Win7
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Old 06-21-2014, 12:00 PM   #15
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I see the photos. Win7
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Old 06-21-2014, 12:09 PM   #16
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I see photos with XP Pro.
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Old 06-21-2014, 02:30 PM   #17
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Blank icons here. Win 7, and Google Chrome.

PS. Switch to Internet Explorer. Same thing.
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Old 06-21-2014, 02:49 PM   #18
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I was really impressed with tales of others hiking the Inca Trail until I went there and saw that the porters actually carried everything, including 40 pound propane bottles on their back with only a blanket knotted at their foreheads, for a pack. Not that it isn't a challenge, especially at that altitude, but still ........
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Old 06-21-2014, 03:23 PM   #19
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I can't see the pictures either.
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Old 06-21-2014, 04:34 PM   #20
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Not sure what's going on with the photos -- I still can't see them.

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I was really impressed with tales of others hiking the Inca Trail until I went there and saw that the porters actually carried everything, including 40 pound propane bottles on their back with only a blanket knotted at their foreheads, for a pack. Not that it isn't a challenge, especially at that altitude, but still ........
The porters definitely do the bulk of the lifting -- we only had to carry daypacks. My guide mentioned that the porters were farm workers and they limit how often they can hike the trail.

The porters generally don't have any technical gear (see the sandals in the picture below) which makes what they do even more amazing. The guides generally only carried a small day pack and they had pretty good equipment. I went a few years ago so I don't know if this has changed.

I don't know if you can go without porters (I didn't see any independent hikers) but you have to be with local guide.

The main difficulty as a hiker is the lack of time to acclimatize to the altitude. When we went, we had only a few days in Cusco / Sacred valley to get used to the thinner air and then we were off on the trail.

My wife had difficulty with the altitude and could not keep down food. She decided to go on after the first day (the other couple turned back) and gatorade really helped. In retrospect, continuing on was probably a stupid idea.
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