Like most of the reviews this was something I'd long dreamed of doing. So I booked it and was lucky enough that 5 of my friends also thought it'd be a good plan. We were also fortunate to have 6 other travelling companions who were an eclectic mix & excellent company throughout what was a wonderfull journey.If you're dreaming like I was, take the plunge, it's a fantastic experience.
- What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?
Ambling around Cusco and suddenly being surrounded by an explosion of colour, music and dancing in the streets, which seemed to fill the whole city for a few hours..
The second day actually reaching the top of the "Gringo killer." I think we all found that hard, but getting there was rewarding.
Being woken with coca tea each morning.
The third day. That's a day to have your camera out constantly as around every corner was a scene of outstanding natural beauty interspersed with fantastic Inca sites.
A lone condor circling our camp on the third evening as the sun set.
The sun gate with the first glimpse of Machu Pichu.
A well deserved beer or two in the hot springs.
- What did you think of your group leader?
Disnarda was a veritable wealth of local knowledge. A lovely, warm person who was proud of her beautiful country and made the trail all the more enjoyable. She would remind us to drink water at every avaiable opportunity, bless her, & let the various members of our group set their own pace / breaks on the trail which i think was imperative.
For Tina, our second guide, i believe this was her first Exodus trip, she again added to our experience in a positive fashion. I hope this will be the first of many for her with Exodus, again a lovely person.
Special mention to chef, who prepared two cakes on the first evening, one for Jamie's birthday and another for Martin and Diane's aniversary. Baking two cakes after climbing up a mountain carrying a hefty pack where our group were all ready for bed around 7pm was above and beyond!
- Do you have any advice for potential travellers?
Read all the reviews on here.
PICK UP YOUR LUGGAGE AT LIMA, EVEN IF YOU'RE TOLD IT'S CHECKED ALL THE WAY THROUGH!!!
Camera + extra batteries / memory stick.
Waterproof jacket and trousers.
Sun hat and glasses.
Warm hat and gloves.
Deet & sun cream.
Fleece & thermals for the evenings, change of footwear.
Warm sleeping bag / liner.
Merino wool t-shirts / hoodies were good.
comfy boots + enough socks.
comfy quick drying hiking trousers.
Antiseptic hand gel / loo roll.
shorts / swimwear for the hot baths.
Ammonia for bites, although I was lucky, others needed to borrow that quite frequently.
Imodium, again i was lucky but others weren't so, but that's enough said there.
Enough dollars / soles for the tips and the hot baths / pisco sours / beers etc.
A hydration pack / camelbak with maybe an electrolite / isotonic powder to mix in.
Diamox / Ibuprofen.
- Is there anything else you would like to add?
It's funny that the Spanish built on older Inca structures, but this wasn't known until local earthquakes demolished the Spanish structures but the Inca remains were revealed intact. When you see the stonework close up you can see why.
It's so impressive how the Incas made the most of every available local resource showing a natural flair for ingenuity.
If you're thinking of doing it you won't be disappointed. None of my 5 friends or myself have anything more than a reasonable amount of fitness, but it's not just doable, it's fantastic doing it, you can set your own pace. If you do book it, i'll be jealous of you, getting back to the 9 to 5 wasn't easy for any of us after such an unforgettable experience.