Friday, November 2, 2007

Inca Trail, Day Three


Once again we were up with El Sol and a steaming cup of in-tent coffee. However, it was to be our last such luxury; either Marc or Bre spilled their beverage leaving a puddle of nescafe in the tent and a ban on further wake-up delights. After a breakfast of pancakes the fameelee set off.

Marc, Bre and Angie in a watchtower


Cloudlakes


Day 3 was the day of Inca sites and cloud enveloped strolls. We hiked through an ever-morphing landscape that ranged from dry grassy hills, orchid infested humid rainforests to mossy, misted highlands. The results of the Incan penchant for building marvelous structures on impossible slopes could be seen everywhere, and we walked on stone paths had had resisted the need for repair or restoration since the time of the great empire. Angie took an apparently spectacular tumble-cum-commando-roll down one carved stone stairway and impressed everyone with her resilience.


This is tea made from coca leaves, the same one used in the manufacture of cocaine. Drinking this tea (or chewing the leaves whole) can reduce the effects of fatigue, altitude and also stop you from feeling hungry (not really a problem on this trip). Plus, it's really tasty.


We reached camp late in the day, our tents hidden in a maze-like campground housing the 200 trekkers and 300 porters that walk this track everyday. 500 people a day on a track like this tends to make things a little crowded, which can sort of dull the sensation of being remove from civilisation (as can the incredible quality of the food and service). But towards the end of the day, the crowd thins out and it is possible to have sections of the track completely to yourself, and these are the moments when you can almost forget that you're in the 21st century and enjoy treading paths over 500 years old.



Crowds

More ruins on a near-vertical slope


Our last ruins before the main event.

1 comment:

Stephen said...

eeewwwwww, crowds are tough. October November is peak time here by a long way. 7000 people in October went to Everest National Park; it was only 109 in June...