Monday, June 16, 2008

It's Not So Much the Destination, As It Is the Butt-Kicking Journey

Dave and I had one amazing kick-off to summer vacation these past two weeks.  Once that last school bell had rang, we packed our bags and headed to Peru where we played around Lima, explored Cusco, and backpacked the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu.  That's right, I said backpacked.  

Who would have believed that I, miss "I'd like to spend the whole day reading in a coffee shop", would strap on a 25 pound pack and climb some mountains over four days?  And when I say climb some mountains, I'm not kidding around.  We began the journey at 8,528 feet and reached our highest point at 13,776 feet at Abra de warmi wanusca, otherwise known as Dead Woman's Pass.  We hiked ten hour days, two of which were during a rain storm and over one section known as The Gringo Killer, and visited beautiful Inca Ruins along the 26 mile trail that was built by the Inca civilization.

This is what is even more surprising...I loved every second of it.  The journey was amazing, difficult and challenging, but truly amazing.  The trek, not to mention seeing and walking through Machu Picchu, was the most incredible thing I have ever done.  Words can't describe it and pictures definitely don't do it justice.  I could try to recreate the journey from day one, but we all know that I can get pretty wordy, and I just don't think I can capture the true essence of the experience.  The only way you can truly grasp how completely challenging, exhilarating, and incredible the Inca Trail is, would be to do it yourself.  So what are you waiting for?  Save up those pennies, book a guided trek, and find out for yourself.  I promise, you won't regret it.

Final Destination-Machu Picchu, assembled gear, kilometer 82, and campsite.

Ancient Ruins, Dead Woman's Pass, Inca Terraces, D & D excited to have survived the rainy day!

The trek is only as much fun as the people you hike with.  We were really lucky to spend the four days with funny, supportive, and wonderful people.  

First Sight of Machu Picchu
The ruins of Machu Picchu City

Machu Picchu

I never thought I would be able to do anything like this before.  Honestly, the first time I went camping was when Dave and I first got married.  Looking at these pictures, and the five hundred I didn't post, I'm a little in amazement at this person I'm becoming and at the things I'm experiencing.  Watch out world--you never know what I will do next.