Mon 7 Jan 2013 - Thu 10 Jan 2013 60 °F
Time: 4 days-3 nights
Highest point crossed (Dead Woman's Pass): 4200 m, as high as a Colorado 14er
Distance, from start of Camino Inca to Machu Picchu: 47 km
Socks: 1 liner + 2 over the liner
Blisters: See Exhibit A
Living in Colorado is like being in a constant state of athletic one-upmanship: people at work want to tell you how many miles they bike every weekend, people in line at the Starbucks discuss their triathlon stats, the airport check-in counter has people discussing number of days on the slopes. It can all get a bit much. Especially for someone as non-athletic as me. The last time I did anything strenuous was packing and moving boxes perhaps. There isn't anything in my genes that make me want to push myself, at least physically. There's always been furthering of the mind, the need to study, the fun from taking mental math quizzes on my phone, but never once have I ever said "oh, I wish I could run a marathon" or something like that…
And now here's the Inca Trail. To my fellow hiker, it was a walk in the park. To me, it was Everest! And it was with great anticipation that I walked across the Rio Urubamba to the head of the trail - because for the first time in my life, I did not know how I would do, I had no previous data to go by. Would I finish, would I wimp out, would I cry all the way? The very first 15 minutes winded me! I kid you not. Yes, the first 15 minutes, and after that every step was an effort. But an effort that I knew I had to put in. In a way, to prove to myself that I am opening up a whole new world of adventure - this time the adventure is not just in my books, in studies, in leisure travel, but opening up possibilities of climbing Kota Kinabalu in Indonesia, of sailing down the Nile, of truly participating in the adventure of life!
And here are a few pictures - not of Machu Picchu, but of the journey to and from.