For me this was a Dream of a Lifetime, since I was 11 years old and learned about it in a geography lesson, I always wanted to go on the Inca Trail. It lived up to all my expectations and more, an unforgettable experience.
- What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?
Being told by everyone that I was amazing, inspirational,brave, super fit by the team and even complete strangers we met on the trek. I thrived on this and although it was challenging at times I was more than ever determined to complete it.
Being given a standing ovation by the rest of the team and the porters when I arrtived in camp at the highest point Winay Wayna 4150m ( it means forever young female) and since everyone else was about half my age I did feel proud to have done this. Similar experience at the Sun Gate after climbing those practically vertical steps having abandoned my trekking poles and did on all fours hands and knees, many photos were taken.
Was presented with the tee shirt 'I survived the Inca Trail' at Machu Pichu, by our guide Juan. Willl treasure it forever.
- What did you think of your group leader?
Juan was excellent he explained in clear detail the days' proceedings and also gave descriptions of interesting features on the way. He was extremely knowledgable about the whole area.
For me personally he was very encouraging, he said I was his 'challenge'!!! Often he would help by carrying my day pack. Also on the cold camping nughts gave me his hot water bottle!!
He should share in the achievement as without his help and encouragement I may not have 'survived'
- Do you have any advice for potential travellers?
I trained for about a year prior to going because I knew that as an older member it would be challenging. This paid off and I think even younger persons should do some kind of training. Most people felt it was a bit more than 'Moderate'.
The mantra for going upwards was attitude not altitude and for coming down concentrate.
I found going up I got breathless so you need to try and increase your lung capacity. Coming down I was fine as I do not have any knee problems. Overall try and increase your stamina and endurance.
- Is there anything else you would like to add?
I loved the morning cup of tea and the bowl of hot water for ablutions. Plus Juan's hot water bottle!
The food was excellent, although I was often a bit too exhausted to eat lunch.
The porters were magnificent, always there to lend a helping hand or arm especially for me!!!
Hernan our second guide was also magnificent and never complained if those of us in the rearguard needed a rest.
It was for me the best Exodus trip I have done.