Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Jungle Stank

The Inca Trail hike was an incredible experience. The hike was probably the most challenging physical feat I have ever undertaken. 26 miles over 4 days does not sound all that intimidating, but couple that with altitudes up to 13,800 feet, and it really becomes a challenge. Putting the physical demands aside, the hike offered stunning views and took us through some of the most scenic and beautiful places I have ever seen. Mother nature decided that we needed a healthy dose of rain throughout the hike, but even with the rain and clouds blocking what I'm sure were fantastic views, the hike was still far beyond my expectations.

A map of the path to Machu Pichu

A few photos as a little preview. It has been a bit overwhelming coming back and loading several days worth of shooting and having to sift through all of the images and videos. I'll post more as I go through, so please be patient.

We stopped for breakfast in a small town on our way to the hike. A couple rooftops with the beautifully lit mountain side behind them.

One of several waterfalls we saw along the trail.

A llama at Machu Pichu

After four days of trekking we all arrived to Macchu Pichu and many of us felt rather
bitter towards all the tourists who had arrived to by bus to view the ruins. The place was crawling with tourists smelling of soap and shampoo, complaining about how many stairs they had to climb. We all had trekked for 4 days to arrive here, no one had showered, and we were all ripe with jungle stank. Somehow we all felt like all these people had not earned this, that the trekkers should have first go at the site, and it should not open up to the other tourists till later in the morning. Our irritability may have had something to do with being up since 3am that morning, but I know that many of us felt it. In the end, Machu Pichu is indeed an amazing place, however, I think most of us agree it was the journey to get there that we will most remember. Walking as a small group through the mountains, visiting other ruin sites and having the place to ourselves, not tripping over throngs of tourists, those are the memories which will stick with us the most. This trip is further evidence that most things in life are about the journey, not the end.

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