The Inca Trail – Arrival at Machu Picchu

The Cordillera Vilcabamba Mountains

Dawn arrived all too early after a very fitful nights sleep at 3600m! We all arose well before dawn to scramble up to a small and rocky promontory just behind the tents to watch the sun rise slowly from behind the snow capped peaks of the Cordillera Vilcabamba Mountains that surrounded us. It was a sublime moment to bare witness to! Continue reading “The Inca Trail – Arrival at Machu Picchu”

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The Inca Trail – Dead Woman’s Pass

Dead Woman's Pass
Looking back down from Warmiwañusqa ‘Dead Woman’s Pass’ into the clouds

‘Dead Woman’s Pass’ hardly an appealing name is it! Not the kind of name that lends itself to a good nights sleep prior to tackling it either. But here we were after a very disturbed night ready to attempt the highest pass on The Inca Trail. The nagging twin thoughts of would we be able to make it over the pass without succumbing to altitude sickness and why the hell was it called ‘Dead Woman’s Pass’ in the first place were probably foremost in most people’s minds as we trudged out of camp that morning. Continue reading “The Inca Trail – Dead Woman’s Pass”

The Inca Trail – Ascent to Llulluchapampa

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Climbing away from Llaqtapata and starting the trek to Camp 2 at Llulluchapampa 3840m

The next morning we awoke to some truly dazzling mountain scenery as the clear summits revealed themselves to us one by one in the early morning sunshine.

Llactapata was quiet and very still this morning, we could hear birdsong and the soft wind rustling the leaves in the trees along the valley floor. The hordes that trek The Inca Trail rarely stop here in their haste to reach ‘Dead Woman’s Pass’ a day earlier than our little team were prepared to do and that decision by us was already beginning to look like it was paying dividends. Continue reading “The Inca Trail – Ascent to Llulluchapampa”

The Inca Trail – Km82

KM82
The famous start of The Inca Trail with our team all gathered beneath the Km82 sign

Piscaycucho also known as Km82 is the start of the Classic Inca Trail and it is where we met our porters and treking crew for the start of the trail. We’d arrived here earlier via a short, dusty and very bumpy drive along a potholed and lumpy track.

This little expedition however had almost not got off the ground at all as we had waited for almost three hours that morning at our hotel in Ollantayambo waiting to meet our guide and driver who had inexplicably managed to get lost on the way to pick us up! Not a very audacious start to a five day trek in the high mountains being guided one might think. Continue reading “The Inca Trail – Km82”