Jason, Mom, and I are back from our Inca Trail trek over mountains to Machu Picchu and similar to my post about the lessons I learned the first few days in Peru, I thought I would share some hiking insight in case anyone else is considering an adventure in The Andes. (Highly recommended!!) Here are some things I noticed during my time on the trail:
- Take bug spray and use it. The bugs were not bothering me, but I found out afterwards that I had been bitten a lot - see photo on the right (I have about 10 band-aids on right now.) The bites didn't hurt and I seriously never noticed them happening, but they bled and are super itchy now.
- Walk slowly, rest, and be patient. It is a really really hard hike; there are some long days and some very difficult days. I was frequently getting into camp an hour or so before 'tea time' and a few hours before dinner. I could have been a little kinder to my body and eased up a bit.
- Use hiking poles. These were a life saver! I couldn't have handled the over 6,000 stone steps without them.
Lastly, if in any way you can save energy for the final day when arriving at Machu Picchu try to do so. We were so exhausted that we only spent about three and a half hours exploring before taking the bus down the mountain and chilling out at a restaurant, waiting for the train back to a hotel with warm showers and comfortable beds. The site is absolutely amazing and definitely the type of place Mom and I would have easily spent 8 or more hours at, but we were sore and tired. I will have to visit it again in the future!