Inca Trail and the Amazon rain forest

Hi - Just want to say hello to anyone going on the trip (TPJ) starting the 26th July. It's not long. I'm nearly ready.

corriecorka

Is it anyone elses first time as well?

lwallwork

Hi, Andrea and Liam here, we're first timers too! We are really excited and looking forward to it. See you in 8 weeks!

corriecorka

I think I have everything. The only thing I'm worried about is the altitude. I cant wait though. See you at the end of July.

Dan

jonotinx

We're booked on your trip too! - had it booked for nearly 1 year now, but seems to be coming round very quickly all of a sudden. really looking forward to it; lots to pack into 2 weeks but no doubt this is just the tip of the iceberg.

If anyone has any tips (what to take, what to expect etc) then I'd be glad on any input.

See you all soon................

corriecorka

I recently climbed Pen y Fan in south Wales while breaking in my boots and found the heels rubbed. Which means the ascent of dead womans pass maybe the most testing part of your hiking boots, so if you are only use to walking on the flat or gentle slopes try some mountains. If you do find the heels rub pop in to your nearest Cotswold Outdoor they give advice on what to do with your boots to stop rubbing and blisters. Also a friend of mine recommended the use of the stepper in the gym as there are lots of steps on the Inca trail - this will save sore legs the day after. Hope this helps.

jonotinx

Got a letter through post today from Exodus to say Iberia have imposed a fuel surcharge of £150 (round trip) PER PERSON!!

Apparently, Exodus absorb the first 2% which leaves the client with £104 each to stump up; this was dated 20th June and they say they can impose surcharges up to 30 days before departure - so nice timing then.

Don't think there is any option but to dig deep and fork out, but it does seem on the hefty side. My understanding of the aviation industry is that they 'bunker' fuel in advance so the price of the fuel for our flights will have already been fixed sometime ago. I can understand the supplement for new flights, but not for existing bookings though.

Looks like that new sleeping bag will just have to wait now :-(

 

Travel_Tim

Hi all,  some more tips as requested..  buy some honey when you get there not only is it good to eat but also works well as boot polish especially on the muddy trail..... and another... in an emergency a whistle can come in handy   Not long now...    Tim

corriecorka

I'm taking a head light. I am also taking a solar charger, I can pass this around on the trip, I'll bring all my connectors it can charge ipod, mobiles etc. To keep my baggage allowance low I am hiring a sleeping bag out there. If anyone is worried about blisters you could treat your feet with Tuff Foot, it is available from Premarket in the UK. You apply daily for a fortnight and it conditions your feet without making them like leather. It can also be used out there for sore of chapped feet. 

Travel_Tim

Keep those top tips coming Dave, good news about your solar charger always a handy device to have on a trip. I am quite a bad snorer especially on trips away, had a few problems with fellow travellers not liking the noise any tips on that one ??  Tim

corriecorka

Either the snore strips you get from the chemist or sleep on your side. It's a matter of positioning. Or carry ear plugs for all. lol

Travel_Tim

Thanks for the snoring strip tip, one to remember. Tell us more about your Tuff feet tip and Premarket I have not heard about them before are they an internet company or a shop?  Tim

Travel_Tim

Thanks Dave, I had a look at your links, I did not realise the product was for use on greyhounds!! I notice you mention the use of steppers in an earlier message, do you have a particular exercise regime you would recommend ?  Another tip... I usually carry a small mirror in order to signal rescue aircraft if required.  Not long now  Tim

Travel_Tim

I have just noticed the rest of the group have gone a bit quiet. John & Karen and Andrea & Liam have you guys got any top tips ??   Tim

jonotinx

OK, sorryTim - you've shamed me into a response!!

I've heard (although not yet tested it out) that taking garlic tablets twice a day will keep the mozzies at bay; but to be sure I'm ntending taking something strong like 100% DEET (Bens seems like a good brand?). Don't worry about snoring - Karen is taking ear plugs (although that's primarily to stops bugs crawling into her ears...) and I can usually sleep through an earthquake; but let's hope I don't have to put that to the test!

Apparently, putting wads of cocoa leaves in your cheeks is menat to help with altitude; but not sure how easy the stuff is to get hold of and how tolerated this practice is.

corriecorka

Anyone fancy starting a facebook page? Shall I? If I get enough replies I could set one up. BTW this trip is the first of it's kind for me. If I appear to know it all I don't. Sheer panic has made me read and research. lol

Travel_Tim

Great idea Dave, although not sure how the facebook thing works   Tim

Mel J

Hi again, a question for the person taking the solar charger, where can you buy them and do you know what plug adapters do you need for the trip, Im assuming its American. That supplement sure does suck that they have recently charged us. Has anyone else wondered why Exodus keep sending duplicate copies of everything in the post, despite its eco-friendly reputation. Mel J

corriecorka

My email is danielaholmes@yahoo.co.uk Thanks

corriecorka

This is for Jon and Karen - I was looking through other postings and the Exodus staff had stated you can get 15% off Nomad so you might be able to get that sleeping bag. Check this out - 'If you go into any Nomad stores/clinics you can also get a special discount by quoting EXOD1000 (15% off kit - you can use this code online as well - and 10% of vaccinations!).'

Hello you guys worried about AMS. I'm not on your trip-we're doing the HIgh Inca TRail on 6th July....but... my partner and I have done several high altitude trips, Mt Toubkal, Kilimanjaro, & Gokyo and Everest. The research we found says that one aspirin taken daily for several weeks before the trip thins the blood and helps with the symptoms. Also Gingko Biloba herbal extract (Holland & Barrett) is meant to help. We have used this regime on our previous trips and had no problems, apart from a loss of appetite on Kili, but we made the summits on all trips. And don't forget...drink at least 4 litres of water a day when at altitude, in addition to teas and coffees, but lay off the alcohol. Have a good trip, and hope these tips help.

I did this trip you guys are doing two years ago and no one really suffered that badly from the altitude. If i remember rightly you will be in Cuzco for a day or two before hand, and that is already at 3000m. The highest you will be at is 4200m so you should be ok without taking anything like diamox. Also you will only be at Dead Womans Pass for a short time before you head down again. I had a bit of a sore head at DWP but nothing more serious or long lasting than that. And you'll be so happy when you get there you wont care. Im off to Kilimanjaro next week and got diamox from my doctor. The nurse had never heard of it but the doc signed it off. The pharmacist at Boots asked immediately if i was going to high altitude when she saw the prescription so its not that unusual.

corriecorka

Thanks taylorja. I think my concerns may have got out of control here. I'm sure everythings is going to be fine. Let change the subject now. Is everyone else use to camping? I cant remember the last time (think it may have been in the scouts) I went camping. Any tips, apart from sleep on the floor for a week. lol

Travel_Tim

Hi Dave, I think the best tip to camping is get a good sleeping bag and karrimat and make sure you dont camp on a hill or in village with noisy dogs or animals  Tim

jonotinx

Has anyone received their Exodus Kit bags yet? - I understand they are sent out around 4 weeks before departure, but we haven't got ours yet. Suppose there's still plenty of time...

BTW; well done to all on this forum - we seem to have earnt ourselves a 'hot topic' icon!!!  couldn't have done it without Dan & Tim I think  :-)

Adios - C U soon.....

corriecorka

No to the kitbag. I'll post as soon as I get it. Did you get your sleeping bag Jon?

jonotinx

Hi Dan - I'm going to make do with an existing sleeping bag I have; it's a bit more basic than some, but I've used it in a tent during freezing conditions & I was fine in it. Plus I have a sleeping bag liner which will give me another seasons rating in it & I can always sleep with clothes on if I get cold - I'm usually compaining I'm too hot rather than too cold at night so should be ok. And yes, you can quote me on that one when I'm freezing me bits off.....

Bought Karen a nice new superlightweight down filled bag for her birthday (as she was bloody freezing using the same type of bag on the same night that we went sub-zero) but then she's only a girl !! - that was a joke for any ladies reading this ;-)

Got it from a site called alpkit.com - good gear at a decent price (around £100) for much less than you pay if it had a fancy name on it.

jonotinx

I thought seeing how we all seem to be getting on so well, that I'd inflict a photo of me and my better half upon you all - I'm the one on th left, and please don't mention how similar to Brad Pitt I look - I've heard it all before (lol)

So, the challenge is for everyone else on this trip / forum to upload their mug shots - that way, I know wo to approach in the bar in the departure lounge to get the beers in.......    ;-)

 

corriecorka

Arrived today. I'm not sure if it's going to be big enough. What do you think?

Travel_Tim

Hi again John & Dave, I am sure the bag will be big enough, but I will have to leave the kitchen sink at home !! Anyone bringing a travel plug and one of those twisty clothes lines ?? Good news about our Hot Topic staus eh ??  Not  sure about the photo thing, although there will be no mistaking John & Karen at the check in desk !!   Tim

jonotinx

No bag yet but will keep eye out for it - is it a case of bag being too small of you're taking too much stuff with you!!

Talking about kit, here's a (not exhaustive) list of some items which will be making up my kit (exluding clothing items); it might give folk ideas for what to take and indeed if anyone thinks I've missed anything glaringly obvious off my list please let me know!

Spare boot lacesHeadtorch (plus spare batteries)Power monkey explorer (Solar charger - similiar to yours Dan by the sounds of it?)Walking poles (Rubber tips)Hydration bladder (2 litres) - to be carried on daypackPenknife'Coolock' waterproof pouch to keep valuables drysmall drybag for a few clothes'click don't scratch / zapper' for mosquito bite relief100% DEET insect repellantNo soap antibacterial handwash (e.g. Lifesystems dry wash)Travel wash for washing clothes throughseveral caribiners / bungee cords to secure thingsWet wipessmall medical kit to contain; antiseptic cream, plasters, blister plasters (compeed), paracetamol, Ibuprofen (anti inflamatory), rehydration salts, immodium, suncream, lip balm etc.Digital camera / Ipod / Phone (all compatable with solar charger to enable recharging on the go)Neck cooler (similar to 'cobber') - soak in water, and hang round neck for up to 3 days coolingA few pegs to hang out clothesBinocularssleeping bag & liner (adds another season rating to bag & keeps it clean; use on its own if hot)Travel towel - high absorption, low weight, quick dryingPackaway waterproof over-trousersAlarm clock - don't want to miss those early morning starts!

If anyone would like further details of any items (e.g. brands, prices, where to buy) just post on this forum & I'll try to hellp from my own experience.

 

jonotinx

Tim - who's this Dave you're going on about? - It's Dan isn't it?

By the end of the holiday you well end up calling me something other than Jon as well (lol) - lot's of people generally do and it's not usually a name you'd like to Christen anyone with......

C U in a couple of weeks, Tony

(Only poking fun by the way - don't think I'm having a go!!!!)

 

Hi everyone, yes your kitbag should be big enough, especially if you are getting your thermarests provided as we did. I took an extra holdall when i went and felt a bit of a div at having taken too much stuff. Also we twice had our leader organise laundry in Cusco, before and after the Inca Trail. How cool is that. Very cheap if i remember. I found i wanted to wear my favourite stuff most of the time so i brought some stuff i didnt actually wear at all. An idea i had when i went, that the others agreed was good, was to put coloured tape around the handles of your bags so you could quickly identify your bag from the other 10 blue Exodus bags in the group. Dont all pick red now!

corriecorka

BTW anyone taking a travel waist wallet thingy. I have heard the pros and cons and I am undecided. Great list Dave.... I mean Jon. Have you got matches and sewing kit? I saw some nylon patches that I thought might be of use if you end up ripping something waterproof. One of the doctor in work went to Equador on a cycling for charity thing. She said she had everything double wrapped in plastic bags.

jonotinx

Dan; one thing I did miss off my list, which will do for repairing rips etc. in clothes / bags etc. is some gaffer tape - waterproof & very strong. OK, it won't look good but it will do the job!

I'll have a waist pack with me to hold those little bits and pieces that I might need close to hand. Hadn't thought about a sewing kit though - sounds like you're a health care professional so you could always use the needles to stich us back together if the worst happens... - busmans holiday?

Might be able to 'borrow' a sewing kit from a hotel room somewhere (or maybe the hotels we'll be using won't be that sulubrious?!). But on a serious note, yeah, it might be a good idea to pack a mini sewing kit. Actually, my trousers might want taking up an inch so any volunteers?

 

corriecorka

Sorry I meant to say the waist wallets not a bum bag. Pacsafe do them. You wear them under clothing.?!

Travel_Tim

I always pack a travel iron, invaluable to keep the shirts and trousers in smart condition, I find there is always somewhere to plug it in even in the most remote places, keeps the locals amused as well. I always carry dental floss as well it doubles up as sewing cotton so saves on the weight.  Tim

jonotinx

Tim - you'll be able to spot me at check in without my photo; I'm the one in the creased clothes who looks like he's slept in them overnight. Needless to say a travel iron is not on my list. Don't tell Karen otherwise she'll want to borrow yours....

Dan - had a look at the waist wallet belt thingy; seems like a good idea. In fact I've ordered a pacsafe travelsafe on the basis of the general idea (good price on Amazon). Anything that keeps valubles in your possesion rather than someone elses is a winner. I guess the only downside could be whilst it deters the opportunist, a more determined mugger might end up getting a bit annoyed and possibly end up injurying you in an attempt to get your goods?

Been shopping on the net today and bought a few more goodies for the kit bag;

Aquapure traveller is a water bottle with filter that can purify any water source (tap, river, pond etc) and make it drinkable in 15 minutes! - keen price (£25) at lesswet.comtravel mirror (unbreakable stainless steel) so you can see how rough you look!Probiotic capsules; with the idea of introducing friendly bacteria to your guts to lessen chances of upset stomach??? - worth a try I guess(Might consider sink plug and even camping set of knife/fork/spoon?)

Paid a visit to local pharmacy too; they must have thought it was Christmas for them as we came out with a bag of stuff suitable to treat a small outbreak of anything.....

Also purchased our Maleria tablets; ended up with 'Paludrine' on the pharmacists recommendation.

BTW; Exodus kit bags arrived today - don't want to panic you but I think they're plenty big enough (even including our sleeping bags!)...... looks like you'll have to cut down on your packing Dan - leave the mattress at home!

jonotinx

Looking at 'bugproof' clothing treatment so spray on clothes (contains permethrin) to repel mozzies; one bottle (£6.50) is apparently enough to treat an outfit (trousers, shirts, socks) for 2 weeks protection.

Anyone had any experience of this?

corriecorka

Guys I've been thinking about what Taylorja said. He took an extra kit bag and looked a div. Heck, tarzan only had a loin cloth and a knife. lol. I'm worried I might go overboard with the kit - in work the girls call me gadget man. I think I mentioned in an earlier post that this holiday will put you in good stead for the next as it will teach us to pack. Just as an aside I was reading 'The Explorers Eye' which has extracts of explorers diaries. Edmund Hilary apparently wrote that after conquering everest he was about to set off from the summit to go back to his camp 'We took a refreshing swig of lemonade before making our way back...' I look at my stuff and wonder how they ever managed. lol So I will be the one at the airport with the loin cloth and knife. haha - or locked up whichever.

Mel J

Hi this is a message to James Taylor who has already walked the Inca trail. Do we have to take water purification tablets or iodine drops or is there already somewhere to buy water. I know on Kili we could buy them at some of the huts. Also what footwear should we wear on the jungle trek?

 

Cheers Mel 

corriecorka

Mel check out Nomad. They reckon we should buy US army jungle boots. There is a company in the UK who makes Jungle boots but they are pricey. I bought a pair for £30 and feel at that price I could donate them to the guides after. Trouble is they are thick leather and will take some breaking in. If you've been usuing the tuff foot that a few good walks might break them in. The jungle boots advantage is they have a big grip sole (half inch gap between tread), a hole to let water out and a canvas top (instead of leather) I think the last two things are to let the foor breathe. While we are talking foot wear, I'm taking the jungle boots, hiking shoes, hiking boots and a pair of crocs. I had advice that anything like crocs or flip flops wear them in first.

Hi Mel. Water will be provided for you on the inca trail. You will need water on the first day obviously but we stopped at a supermarket in Cusco on the way to the start. I cant remember needing any purification tablets on the trail but no harm in taking them along anyway just in case. In terms of footwear most of us just used approach shoes. You know what i mean merrells or something like that. Best to have a decent amount of tread, as it can get a bit slippy in places. I think I only took my walking boots and merrell ventilators for the whole trip. My walking boots are very sturdy and perhaps a bit much for the jungle, but im pretty sure others wore their hiking boots in the jungle. The trails in the jungle are well established so any footwear you use for low level walking will be fine. James

Mel, ive just checked my photos and i did actually have my boots on for one of the jungle walks, so either would do really.

Hi there, I did this trip last year.

I'd go for a pair of non-waterproof, ventilated low-cut trail shoes to keep cool in the jungle, the trails are all flat.  If they do get wet they will dry easily and you can take a spare pair of socks.  If the trails are really badly flooded you can get wellies from the Tambopata lodge, although I never bothered even when we were told to bring them and I was fine. Jungle boots would be good as well I guess but they are heavy and it is not Vietnam out there, unlike SE Asia there are no land leeches. Long sleeved shirts and long/convertible trousers with insect repellent treatment are a good idea, we got attacked by wasps by one of the lakes, they go for your sweat. Mozzies were not too bad though, the lodge has nets. In the lodge wear sandals or flops.

For the trail I'd say decent boots are needed, you need ankle support going down the long rocky descents. However when the sun came out on the third day I was hot in them though, so Gore-Tex XCR or plain leather would be a bit more comfortable. Take the low cut shoes with on the trail to change into when you get to camp. On the trail I'd recommend a long sleeved technical baselayer top like Lowe Alpine Dryflo. Will protect you from the sun when using your poles and will not get soaked with sweat, as when you stop for a rest it is easy to get a chill.  I never used the purifcation tablets I brought, boiled water was fine.

I have both the Pacsafe waist wallet (very comfortable) and the travel safe, they are invaluable. I think you should always keep your passport and cash on your person or in a hotel safe. The travel safe is also great for the beach.

Don't take too much, remember on the trail there is strict weight limit. They give you a military style duffel bag which the porters carry and you leave the blue bag at the hotel. However it can get absolutely freezing in Cuzco and on the trail at night, so a packable down jacket or vest and thermals would be useful. Take a Spanish phrase book, the people on Amantani speak no English. Finally it is vital that you watch where and what you eat in Cuzco, a stomach upset is the last thing you want whilst on the trail.

 A while ago I put a post with advice on the Arrivals Gate forum as well.

Cheers

Jon

Hi all been really interesting and helpful reading all your suggestions. I'm not on your trip but going on 30th July posted a message about it but no one has replied - maybe it's just me and my friend going!! Really looking forward to it but getting a bit paranoid about what to take, think I will have to leave the tiara at home!  Is anyone taking local currancy or just dollars, I'm getting a post office visa card which you top up before you go just hopecan get the money out.

Bev

bev, there is at least one cash point in the main square in Cusco where you can take money out with visa. Also there are money exchange shops just off the main square, in fact on the same lane your hotel may well be on.

Mel J

Hi Jon, thanks for your informative suggestions. Im surprised we are not allowed to take our new kit bags on the trail, whats the point of bringing them, we might just as well take a bigger bag and be done with it. When eating in Cuzco, whats the best and safest thing to eat as I tend to pick up bugs (dont know why I eat lots).

Mel 

 

Yeah I guess they prefer the blue bags for loading mini buses etc. It is is difficult to be 100% safe with food in Peru but if you go to a decent restaurant and avoid seafood it should be OK. Maybe stick to pasta, altitude affects your digestion as well. We made the mistake of going to a terrible restaurant on the first night in Cuzco. I had plain spaghetti which was ice cold, although at least I did not get ill, unlike a lot of the group. I grew up in Africa so maybe I have been more exposed to dodgy food, touch wood l have never been ill when travelling.

Hi again, Mobile phones - Is it possible to get a local Sim card in Peru and if so is it worth doing?

Cheers Bev

corriecorka

Might be worth checking with your local mobile provider. Also is your phone quad band? Apparently it's what's needed in S America.

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