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Completion of the Inka Jungle Trek

PERU | Monday, 10 May 2010 | Views [655] | Comments [1]

Completed the Inka Jungle Trek to MachuPicchu last Friday (7/5), which was really awesome. the 1st day was cycling down hill for about 2 hours from Abra Malaga at 4350m above sea level, on paved roads and then 2 hours on gravel. The temperature change by the time we got to the bottom was huge, at the top we had jumpers and coats on by the bottom we were boiling in just t-shirts. After the cycling we got picked-up by the minibus which took us to Santa Maria town where we did rafting for about 2 hours, which was good and we also got to swim in the river which didn´t come without some bruises. On the 1st day there were 7 in the group plus Edwin the Guide, but after the rafting 4 of the people got a bus to Santa Teresa were you end the 2nd day as they were only doing 3 days and not 4.

So this just left me, Tyson and Shawn for the 2nd day trek through the jungle. on the second day we met for breakfast at 6:30am, were I had pancake and banana. We then set off on trekking at 7:00, and unlike with the bikes where we got to leave our bags in the minibus we had to carry them with us today. We crossed the birdge over the river by Santa Maria and here Edwin explained that there were actaully 2 towns called Santa Maria as the original one got destroyed during a flood in 1998 and afterwards all but 2 families moved to the other side of the river and built a new town but kept the same name - Santa Maria. All long the trek Edwin explained about the local area and the local plants, he also said Coca-cola apparently still use Coca leaves in there drinks. He explained about the Quecha Culture, which is the proper name for the Inca´s as Inka means king and so there can only be one king. He also told us about how the Chasquis - the incan messengers- could get a messager to MachuPicchu from Cusco in 5 hours which is how long the train takes to get there, as they would relay so one Chasqui would run 2-3km if it was flat and then he would pass the message on to another Chasqui. we had lunch in the middle of the jungle and then afterwards got to relax in hammocks for 40 minutes to recover. we started trekking again and then after about 10 minutes we came across a river which Edwin said we could take a swim in so we did. The highest point we reached was 2700m, I think, and you got some really good views of the jungle and the valleys around. In total we trekked about 25km and it took about 11 hours, with breaks. the trekking was alot up hill especially in the morning and midday in the sun which was hard going, but when we walked into Santa Teresa you just fel so good. that night had alpache to eat, which tasted nice. We then got a choice as to whether we wanted to do a 5 or 10 hour walk the next day and we opted for the 10 hours as you got a better view of MachuPicchu.

On the 3rd day we had 5 more people join us who were only doing the 3 day trek, so there was me, Tyson and Shawn and then also Andrew, Melissa, Domonic and two Israli Guys. We were up by 5:00 and got the bus for an hour to our starting point and we were trekking by 6:30. This day started with a 3 hours uphill climb but unlike the previous day this was in the shade and a gentler slope. Once we reached the top we had a rest and waited for the fog to clear to get our 1st view of MachuPicchu. We then carried on and ended up on the same trail the Salkantay trek uses on it´s last day. After going down the other side of the mountain we went for a swim in the river, which unlike the other we had been in was really cold as it came from a glacier, but really refreshing. At lunch we met a couple of the other groups doing the Jungle trek, but they were only  doing the 5 hour trek that day. After lunch we carried on for another 2 hours and arrived in the  town of Aguas Calientes, also known as MachuPicchu town. along the railway line we got another glimpse of MAchuPicchu, but not as good as the view earlier in the day. the trek this day was 27km but was alot easier than the 25km the day before, but it meant we had covered over 50km in 2 days trekking.

On the 4th day we got up at 3:30 and started walking up to MachuPichu at about 4:00. the walk up was quite steep and we got there at about 5/5:30, and there was only about 30 people before us. So we managed to get our tickets to WaynePicchu for the 10o´clock slot. MachuPicchu opened at 6:00 and Edwin took us to a spot near the top to see the sun rise and the fog clear so that MachuPicchu appeared out of the mist, which was awesome to see. Edwin then took us on an 1-2 hour tour of the main sites and afterwards he went back down to Agus Calientes and we got to explore by ourselves. The view from the top of WaynePicchu was amazing, but the steps up were really steep and it took us about 45 minutes to climb it. We spent about 3 hours on WaynePicchu just admiring the views. The way down is almost as hard as up as the steep are so steep but we got down for about 1:00 and then we wandered around abit more and then had a sleep on one of the terraces for an hour. At about 3:00 me, Tyson, Shawn and Domonic decided to walk back to Agus Calientes and Andrew and Melissa took the bus. We then had a few hours until the train left as it wasn´t leaving till 9:45 so we had some tea and then sat in the main plaza. we got the train and tht took us to km82 and then we got a perurail minibus as the train tracks are still not fully repaired from the floods in January, and then the tour company picked us up from Ollantaytambo. I got back to my hostel at 2/3o´clock in the morning.

It was really good fun and a great experience but the trek was really gruelling and wouldn´t attempt it again for a while as it is just so tiring, but the best thing I´ve ever done, and well worth every penny.

Comments

1

That sounded absolutely fantastic Rich. It make me wanna go too! Will we get to see any fotos?
keep writing!!

  cheryl May 13, 2010 9:34 AM

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