Inca Trail and Amazon Rainforest TPJ840 4th October

Hi, Anyone out there going on this? It would be lovely to hear from you.

Karen

xx

Hi Karen,

I'm going out for that trip, although I'm flying out a day early. I'm really looking forward to it and trying to get fit as I've got friends who have done the Inca Trail and they say that you do really feel the altitude.  What about you - have you done a trip like this before?

Frankie

Karen Varley

Hi Frankie,

No I've never done this kind of trip before. I've always had quite tame holidays but fancied something completly different so booked it on the spur of the moment, and I'm really glad I did as I might have changed my mind if I'd have thought about it. I also know someone who has done the Inca trail and they said the altitude is a killer! When you say "getting fit" do you mean REALLY fit? I'm generally a fit person, I'm used to walking and I go to the gym but I'm nowhere near super fit, Maybe I should try harder?? Don't want to be lagging behind halfway down the mountain.

What about you? have you been on many "adventure" holidays? I hope that this is the first of many for me, although my friends keep telling me it is probably my last holiday as there's no way I'm coming out of the jungle alive! Trouble is, They're not smiling when they say it.....eek

Take care and keep in touch.

Karen x

babsie foley

Hi Karen and Frankie

Just got a new computer so I can start emailing again, my other was so old hat - a bit like me.  My husband will be 60 in August - so he thought he would like to do the Inca trex as an occasion to remember it by.

 Like you two - we have been trying to increase our fitness levels by walking and clocking up some mileage and height, so far so good, but again, its the altitude that I think might be the killer.  One of our friends did a trip last year and she said the secret was the coca tea, so coca tea it will have to be.  Really looking forward to the whole trip - again we have had holidays that have had activities incorporated in them, but we have ususally had a few days rest in between with a bit of pampering - not this time though.

 

 

Karen Varley

Hi Babsie and Hubby (and Frankie)

Where do obtain this wonderful, energy-giving tea?

I've been on a 35 mile cycle ride this weekend and I was quite impressed with my fitness level although I felt it in my knees by the end of it also getting back on the saddle the following day was quite painful (if you catch my drift!). I'm really looking forward to this trip and can't believe how quickly it has come around. I'm working through the list of essential items that Exodus say we need, my rucksack is going to be huge!!

Take care and keep in touch.

Karen x

babsie foley

Hi Karen and Frankie 

 

Hubby called David - like you we have started a collection of items, although my new rucksack - I've only chosen a 22 litre one, but with lots of pockets, the secret will be to remember which pocket contains which.  I've got one of those water bottles that fit into the rucksack and you drink though a tube, I've used it a few times and it should be quite good.  Apparently - we can fill them at night with hot water and it serves as a hot water bottle for bed ( we just might need it).

Normally - I'm quite a girly girl, with everything matching, toenails painted and lipstick to match, but - I can also do basic's.  We have just had a few days in the lakes and stayed at the YHA, but even thats gone upmarket now, thought we might do a camping barn next, just so we can get used to no home comforts.

 

Its not too bad with the two of us going - we will be able to share items, i.e suncreams, insect repellant, and I'm trying to buy very light weight stuff - thats good in both areas.  Why are we going from one extreme to the other I ask myself, we will have to be very organised to manage of 7kg in the rainforest.

 

Hopefully - were off to do Fairfield horseshoe on Thursday - I believe its a 12 mile, but with a few ups and downs, looking forward to it.

 Apparently - the porters make coca tea - and I believe the coca leaves are an acquired taste and can be bitter, all sounds quite dodgy to me, but thats me - who never does tablets, a glass of red wine sorts all.

 

Nice hearing from you

 

Babsie

 

 

Hi there Karen and Babsie,

We've just been away on hols hence not replying sooner.  I dragged my husband off to the Sierra nevada in Spain for a bit of altitude practice but unfortunately we both came down with horrible heavy colds so wheezing up hills wasn't much fun, and it's put the old fitness regime behind a bit.  I don't think I'll be able to get super fit, I just want to be able to enjoy it and ideally, avoid passing out on the Dead Woman's Pass or having to beg a piggy-back off a porter! I went on a trip to Nepal earlier in the year with a 4 day trek in the Annapurnas and one day of that was hard, the rest was OK (and lovely). So, I'm really looking forward to Peru although I'm leaving my husband at home and travelling solo.  Any other solos out there? 

I've devoted a whole cupboard to my collection of trek stuff from medicines to hardware to obscure bits of clothes you'd never wear anywhere else.  I think warm stuff for the trek nights will be the most essential thing but it's quite exciting making all the preparations anyway and quite strange to spend all my shopping time in Blacks and Millets and YHA rather than more 'normal' shops.

Are you four going out on the group flights (I'm going a day early, just to get time to recover from the flight as we've got an early start off on the first day)?

Take care and enjoy your preparations,

Frankie X

babsie foley

Hi Frankie and Karen

 

Dave and I are flying out on the group flight - Manchester to Amsterdam and meet up with the rest of the group there.  What a clever girl taking an earlier flight.  Like you - theres a box under my desk with all manner of little bits and pieces, and again, like you - I've not bought any girlie things for ages, just getting all the essentials done.  Mind you I bought some treking knicks ( £17.00) and not a frill in sight, but hopefully - if needed will just dry in a short time ( thats the one thing I'm dreading.  Were not trying to get super fit - just to as you say, stay alive on Dead Womens Pass.  Again - I'm quite exicted about the whole trip, the jungle and the lake and it will be good to not bother if outfits are matching, if fact you might get sick of seeing me in the same outfit.  Nearer the time - I'm going to contact Exodus and check things out like - availabilty of electricy for charging digital cameras on the trek and maybe MP3 - although could do without the MP3, until were back at the hotel.  I spoke to one of the Exodus team before we booked and he assures us that we will be able to manage - they class it a B ( moderate) as Dave and I have reasonable fitness levels for our age. 

Looking forward to seeing the  wildlife and the flora and fauna, not that were experts on any of them.  Anyone good with Spanish - I got a CD from the library and promised I try and learn a little and gues what - only listen to it once, so it will have to be sign langauge.

 

take care

Babsie

 

 

 

Hi there Babsie and Karen,

Your underwear shopping sounds interesting!  I must say it seemed a good idea at the time to go a day early to get some rest but now I'm having second thoughts as I've read all the horror stories about arriving at Lima airport, so arriving alone and jet-lagged may not be the best idea I've ever had. Never mind, it will add to the challenge, especially since I don't have any Spanish beyond  asking for a coffee!

By the way, anyone found anywhere you can get long sleeved but lightweight non-sweaty tops for the jungle bit?

 

Take Care,

Frankie

Karen Varley

Hello All

I've just bought long-sleeved loose cotton tops for the jungle bit, believe it or not from H&M (that well known outdoors shop). It was lovely to be in a shop full of girly things for a change instead of sturdy boots, wooly socks etc. My friends husband is in the army and he's kindly letting me borrow some of his things so if you see a bedragled GI Jane coming through the crowds at the airport that will probably be me.

I've also been to the health shops to get all the eco-friendly shower gels and shampoos, oh my, I've got bad hair at the best of times so Lord knows what this tree-hugging gunk and the humidity is going to create on my head!

Can't wait to meet you all, take care

Karen xx

babsie foley

Hi everybody

 

We have found a company called Paramor, they have really good stuff, and it works, possibly a bit pricey, but I've managed to get some discounts from our local supplier.

 

Our thermal our lightweight  and wicked and so I can use that for the jungle as well, I managed to get a long sleeved lightweight shirt, that again will do for both trips, keep me warm when its cold and cool when its not.  So you get fed up of seeing me in the same old things, but at least you'll recognise me.  I've managed to get most things and we will use them, it not as though we won't get our monies worth out of them.  I even managed to get a good 4 seasons sleeping bag in the Lakes ( good price) cheaper than hiring.  I'm still struggling as to what footwear to take beside my beloved boots ( which I will travel in, no chance of upgrades on this flight).  I read to take trainers or sandals for changing into - once we camp on the trail, someone else I spoke to said they just had their boots on and didnt have a change of footwear, those who did found it a nuisance - when they need to go to the loo in the night and fasten all their laces up - in case they fell.  It just means we'll have to carry them.

 

Well nearly school holidays, one of my sons has four children, so were off to a large holiday camp with them all and we always have a good time, plus I try and help out with childcare in the summer, so we won't get much walking in for the next 6 weeks, plus my garden needs a bit of tender loving care, however, starting September again, we'll get back into the regime.  I think then I'll do a dummy run with all my daily needed stuff in my rucksack and also see how much 10kg is - for our porters kit bag.

 

Then it will be time to sort how much currency we need and best way to take it.

 

I believe that sometimes people just read the notes on the forum - but don't join in, but if you could - the more the merrrier, also if anyone has done this trip and can give good advice - much appreciated.

 

Take care

Babsie

Rob A

Hi all

We did a similar trip at the same time last year (High Inca trail (?TPS)) and also added the amazon extension, so thought we would share a few tips with you that we would have liked to know beforehand....

First of all, your going to have a great trip!! Im very jealous! Exodus were amazing, so if you havent travelled with them before, there is no need to worry.

The actual Inca trail is hard, but if you have a reasonable level of fitness you will be fine. Training is a good idea. We did walks like crinklecrags & bowfell in the lakes beforehand and still wish we had done more!! We were the youngest in the group (late 20s) but still always near the back- didnt care though, got lots of pictures as a result to look back on! The distance travelled each day isnt excessive and we always got to camp in plenty of time. 

The nights can be cold, so pack something warm. Our group leader would fill our flasks with hot water after our evening meal, which we could then use as hot water bottles- so dont forget to pack an aluminium water bottle such as a Sigg! (by the way, the food on the trek is great!- no weight was lost on this trip despite all the walking!)

Walking poles are useful for the downhills, especially if you have bad knees. There are hundreds of steps! We found baby wipes and alcohol hand gel useful and also, dont forget some antiseptic cream, just incase of bites.  A trek towel was a good buy as it dries off pretty quick and packs up small.  Dont forget to put suncream on and get burned on the first day like us!

Probably is a good idea to weigh out the 10kilos for the trek and dont forget to allow for your sleeping bag and thermarest. We did take an extra pair of shoes for the camp. Was easier than doing up boots if you need to get up in the night, plus its nice to give your feet a break!

 The amazon is great and the guides there are fantastic!! Cusco is an amazing city too, as is Lima.

Hope this helps and have a great trip

Rob.

 

Karen Varley

Hi Rob and thanks for the tips. I'm looking forward to the trip even more now. You scare me a little with your comments on the level of fitness, I think i'm quite fit and have been going to the gym a lot more often these days and putting the treadmill on incline and increasing the level of resistance etc so I will give it my best. Are you going/been anywhere this year?

Take care

Karen

x

Rob A

Dont worry karen. If you are a keen walker and go to the gym you should have no trouble.

It is funny seeing HUGE americans attempting the trail and you can hear them "boy i didnt think it would be like this" what did they think it would be like!!?

Our trip this year is to climb Mt Toukbal, Morocco in 8 weeks time! Dont have the time (or the money after a house purchase!) to go on a 3 week trip, as much as i would like too. This is for 8 days then we are spending 4 days afterwards in Marrakech. Morocco is a country ive always wanted to visit and cant wait!

You will all love peru.

Karen Varley

Just realised, if we have another two comments on here we are given a hot topic symbol! Haven't heard from anyone for a while, How are you all? I'm very excited and almost sorted out now. Hope to hear from you soon.

Take care

Karen

xx

 

 

 

babsie foley

Well everyone - as computers arn't my forte - I have recently been unable to reply to your comments.  But back on line now and have a back bedroom that looks like a jumble sale.  I keep getting bits and pieces together and just dumping them in there, must get them sifted though this next week or two.

Fitness training has taken a back seat - during the school holidays - as I have grandchildren that I love spending time with - but there back at school today and so Dave and I can start to do a bit more walking for the trex.  However, when I have read the recet reviews - they all sem to be saying that Exodus have got the fitness levels wrong and it is tougher that they thought - but this week I plan to do two days on the trot and next week I'm planning to walk three days on the trot, so should build up the calf muscles.

 Really excited about the forthcoming trip - one guy said the ages range from 30 - 70 on their trip and it worked well - so don't feel too bad being a pensioner.

 Started on the Yakult this week - hope it helps.

counting down now

 

Babsie

Himlayaman

Thanks for your tips for this trip. I have been on the Toubkal climb with Exodus, in September as well) so if you have any queries then let me know - if you have not departed yet.

Roland 

Himlayaman

My wife Lyn and I will be joining you also. I am near retirement age but still working. We have started to get bits & pieces together for the trip. Still got to get malaria tablets and repellant otherwise got most of the gear. Doctor said we did not need Malarone where we are going. Chloroquine/Paludrine should be OK as it is variable risk area.

We live in Kent and do a bit of walking. Need to get fitter though- so if the weather gets better in the next few weeks then might drive up to Snowdonia for the weekend.

Is anyone else going from Heathrow ? Bit strange -but got letter a couple of weeks ago saying we were now going with Iberia via Madrid. Then got flight details today for KLM via Amsterdam, which is better I think as I have heard  some stories about Iberia!

Roland 

babsie foley

Hi Roland / Lynn

Nice to have another few names joining us on the forum.  It is interesting to read peoples helpful tips and very useful.  Myself and hubby - Dave - will be flying from Manchester via Amsterdam, so will see everyone there, not sure who else is from the Manchester area.  We are reasonable walkers, but I think it will all depend on the way I am with altitude, hopefully should be OK.  Thats one thing you can't train for.  Looking forward to it - but hope the rain in Peru is not as bad as in the north west at the moment.

Babsie 

 

 

Hi there everybody - nice to see a few more comments from people and reassuring to hear that other people seem to be having the same problems as me keeping to a tough enough fitness regime - I must say, I'm a bit nervous about the altitude since we won't have much time to acclimatise and everyday life seems to intrude on my best efforts to get to the gym as often as I mean to. 'Living in the middle of London it really has to be the gym too as we haven't got any decent hills nearby! Only time will tell if it's enough - I guess in the end it'll come down to going very slowly! I'm flying from heathrow on the early morning KLM flight, but I'll be going on the Friday - it sounds like we'll be arriving in dribs and drabs from different flights.

Not long now anyhow so will meet you all soon,

Frankie

babsie foley

Given up wondering if I'll be fit enough, just telling myself I will be fine, slowly slowly, water water, and I don't mind being last - at least you lot in front - might have got the kettle on, ha, ha.

My latest panic is if I get the runs, but my husband said I think too much and to stop worrying - just take an extra package of medication.  Just watched a programme on the Amazon rainforest, I'm really looking forward to this.

However, did a walk today - Kentmere Round, were lucky in the fact that were only 1 1/4 hours drive from the Lakes, super weather, off to do Pendle Hill tomorrow, trying to get my feet really toughened up.

See you all soon

 

Babsie

Karen Varley

Hi all,

I'm flying from Heathrow although had I thought it through a bit I would have got a flight straight to Amsterdam from Manchester (as I live in Leeds), I'm booked into a hotel for the night in heathrow anyway so I suppose my holiday starts a day early!

I'm a bit puzzled, before we set out into the jungle is our luggage stored at the hotel? Do we come back for it (and a decent shower) before we embark on the Inca trail etc? I'm just wondering what to pack and where. Another thing, I have waterproofs but don't want to take something as heavy as my Gortex jacket (as it's not terribly cold) plus I have my Down jacket for the mornings on the mountains so can I ask what you guys are taking "waterproof wise"? I'm just worried that my waterproofs are a bit thin but don't want to take along extra kit I don't need.

As for everything else, I've had all my injections, my malaria medication is ready and waiting, just need to buy another couple of pairs of trousers and that should be about it. Looking forward to meeting you all!

Take care

Karen

xx

Hi Karen, I'm not sure where the luggage is stored but I got the impression we went more or less straight from the jungle to Cuzco, and that we're reunited with our non-jungle luggage either at the airport or in Cuzco. I'm just bringing a decent quality but thin waterproof that will squash up when I don't need it and relying on multiple layers of fleeces and thermals to keep me warm.  I'm reluctant to bring a second jacket if I have to carry it around with me all the time - it's difficult isn't it!

Happy packing.....

Frankie

Hi,

When you arrive in Puerto Maldonado from Lima you will need to transfer your stuff for the jungle to a smallish green duffel bag, suitable for the river boat. The rest of your luggage is left locked up in Puerto Maldonado. When you come back you will need to repack and then you fly off to Cuzco.

As far as waterproofs are concerned, a poncho is invaluable alongside a thin packable jacket for your daypack. When it rains it rains extremely hard and a poncho is cooler then a jacket when you are in the hot humid jungle. On the Inca Trail our guide advised putting a poncho over a jacket! You can get them from Nomad Travel Store or Rohan do a fancy, more expensive one.  Packable down jackets are also good plan as it gets absolutely freezing at night. I managed with multiple layers but a down jacket or vest would have been useful. I have just bought one for my trip to Nepal.

Cheers

Jon

Many thanks for that - it really helps to have practical advice like that.  I may rethink my layers policy!

Best wishes,

Frankie

babsie foley

Hi Everyone

 

Like you all - really conscious of what is really neccessary - this week my husband said I've gone too far on trying out scenrios on him, what if and what if, we have just done three days walking on the trot - but when we got home, I said we have not to put the heating on and we have not to have a nice hot shower or bath, we have to pretend were on the trail.  He convinced I'm looney, he's probably right.

I've got a waterproof top and bottoms but there  very light and I have a smock that is suppose to be plenty warm enough for me if it gets cold at night.  I've visions of having dinner and straight into the sleeping bag.  I think the secret is layers, but its how many layers -add up to our 10kg, along with sleeping bags and mat.

 

I have gone onto the google site and viewed home made videos on utube - they give you good insight into what people are wearing etc and also a guide to the terrain.   I spoke to a guy at Exodus and he said that the 7kg we can take into the jungle is extra to our own backpacks.  I have been on the website for the lodge at Tambopata and it shows people wearing wellies and ponchos.  the guy at exodus said we can borrow them  - not sure if there is a charge and not sure if I would get a size to fit, he said they might not stock all sizes of wellies.  The other thing about the jungle is its very hard to dry things out - if they do get wet - because of the humidity, ah well  - as my hubby says - Barbara you do too much thinking - just get on with it.

 

Looking forward to meeting everyone -

 

Babsie

Himalayaman

Hi babsie,

Thanks for your tip on the rainforest. I wondered how muddy it might be but not sure how comfortable it would be to wear wellies for the 15km round trip. I know of more than 4 people who have walked the Inca Trail and when I ask them what to wear they all say something different! It ranged from it is cold so take fleece and waterproof jackets and overtrousers (Sept dep) as they may be useful - to at the other end of the scale - waterproofs were a waste of time (Oct dep). This person bought a cheap poncho at the trailhead. He said it covers you and your backpack completely. He said he never got his waterproofs out at all but always used the poncho when it rained. I think I will take a waterproof jacket but not bother with the overtrousers as I have never needed overtrousers in the past.

Roland 

Karen Varley

Hi everyone,

I'm still at a bit of a loss with the packing situation. I picked up my tickets yesterday and in with them was a holdall. Is this just a freebie from Exodus or am I supposed to be using it to pack my gear in? I don't think it's really big enough or substantial enough to travel well. Did anyone else get one? I have a rucksack that I think I will be able to pack all my things into but I suspect it will be too large to take on the trail. Thank you for your comments regarding the duffle bag for the jungle (i'm happy with that part of the journey now) but when we repack for the trail are we taking all of our luggage at this point or just re-packing the small duffle bag and another bag for the porters? If that's the situation I might just take a regular suitcase (on wheels, no need to lug it around). If you guys that have been could advise and my fellow companions let me know what you are doing that would be a great help.

Not long now!

Take care

Karen

 

Hi Karen,

The way I understood it was that we pack  a holdall with what we need for the trail, which the porters will carry and which will also include our sleeping bags, etc.etc. and I guess the Exodus holdall will be for that.  We can also take our own rucsac of whatever we're comfortable carrying ourselves on the trail every day.  The luggage we don't need with us remains in our suitcases or whatever we've brought and is kept at the hotel in Cusco. I'm compromising and bringing a large holdall with wheels for my main luggage, plus medium size daysac plus packing the Exodus holdall.  I did a Nepal Annapurna trek and this is what we did for that too.

Hope that helps,

Frankie

Karen Varley

Thanks Frankie, that helps a lot. I'll pack the Exodus holdall, use my day pack as my hand luggage and take a suitcase, so much easier.

Look forward to meeting you

Take care

Karen

babsie foley

Hi everyone

just got a message of the travel agents that my kit bags are ready for collection.  These are the ones which we have to use for the trex, and the porter will carry and I believe they are very strick to the 10kg. Dave and I are taking a suitcase each and will just transfer items for the jungle - but we only get given that kit bag when we get to Puerto Maldonia.  Then when we get to Cuzco - we have to pack our 10kg kit bag and our own day back pack, with what we should need during the day, and try not to have it too heavy, because  I know I will find it hard going at altitude.

I know we'll all be fine - and help each other out along the way, really excited know, although can't get much more training in at the moment.  going to do a dummy pack and weigh with the 10kg and 7 kg and see how much spare clothing I can afford to put in.  And if we get cold - we'll have to do a group hug .

 

Babsie

babsie foley

Queries re water purification tablets  - I did speak to an Exodus guy and he said it was not necessary on our trip - just wondering if anyone who has done this trip before - found they needed them.  When were in the jungle and on the trex - we are looked after and water will be provided, so its only a case of using bottled water anywhere else.

Any advice welcome

Just want to get there now and start exploring.

 

Babsie 

 

 

Hi I did not use the tablets I brought, although could be useful as a backup and I have used them on a subsequent trip.

To anyone who's done it before, is the transfer at Schipol (KLM flights) on to the Lima flight OK - there's not that much time between the arrival at Amsterdam from Heathrow and the departure on to Lima, so I just wondered (although obviously, I'll be checked-in thru from H/row to Lima).

Thanks,

Frankie

babsie foley

Hi Frankie

Dave and I have done KLM Manchester to Amsterdam for other holidays ( not to Lima), but we found the airport very good, well signposted and organised, so I'm sure you will be fine.  We will be booked though from Manchester, just want to get everything in the cases now and start the adventure.

 

Has anyone been watching Bruce Parry doing the Amazon trip on tele recently - its been very interesting.

see you all soon.

 

Babsie

 

Thanks Babsie, that's reassuring. Meet you next week then!

Best wishes,

frankie

babsie foley

Hi everybody

Can't believe were on the second page in the forum, we must be all ready for off.  I have just packed and weighed our cases today - I thought we would be well under the weight limit, I really have only packed essentials and I'm just in.  Not much space for shopping - I will have to travel home in my hat ( must buy one).

I got some childrens clothing out to take, woollen cardies and fleeces and will have to leave the bulk of them at home - feel really bad about that.

Is anyone planning to do the Sacred Valley walk from Cuzco? on our free day.

 We should be back on the first page now.

Babsie

 

I couldn't get everything in my case so had to sacrifice anything remotely 'normal' to wear. You'll have to learn to live with me in a black fleece ALL the time now.  I'm off tomorrow night so am getting quite nervous. And yes, I fancy doing the sacred valley, subject to being able to breathe that is.

See you soon,

Frankie

elizabeth1

Hi, everbody.  I read your messages. Sorry for my mistakes in the english language. I'm from Holland. Sundaymorning I take the flight for Amsterdam.  It's flight KL 0744. Why takes also this flight.

 Elizabeth

 

xx

babsie foley

Hi Elizabeth

 

Dave and I are on flight KL743 1020am from Amsterdam to Lima, I think quite a few of our group will be on that flight, Frankie one of our group has gone out a day earlier, not sure if anyone else is doing this.

We have the KL744 as the return journey.

Look forward to seeing you and the rest of the group

 

Babsie

 

 

babsie foley

Hi Elizabeth

Just realised you said your were flying out on Sunday - are you on the Classic Peru Trip, I have seen that there is one going on the 5th.

 If you are - hope you enjoy - not sure if our groups  will pass at anytime.

Babsie

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