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THE CHATTER BOX

 
  
  
  The Chatter Box : Travel
  
  
  
 
Peru: Inca Trail by annagib on 8 February 2007 7:55pm
 
I will be travelling to peru and trekking the Inca Trail in August. Any advice or general info on equipment, preparation, expectations? I have read that the Trail is really busy and there is lots of litter along the way which has put me off a bit - is this true? Im also a bit worried about the altitude sickness - has anyone had to stop and go back down before reaching machu picchu?
 
Re: Peru: Inca Trail by JF on 8 February 2007 11:28pm
 
I opted out of the Inca Trail when in Peru a few weeks ago. However, in my hotel in Aguas Calientes were a few people who had been taken off. One of them was a personal trainer, so it's not a fitness thing.

You have to give yourself time to acclimatise. This is helped by the fact that if you arrive in Cuzco it's a fascinating city that warrants exploration.

The treks along the Inca Trail are now regulated, used to be the case that almost anyone could do it.
 
Re: Peru: Inca Trail by Godfather on 14 February 2007 3:26am
 
You opted out of the Inca Trail, JF? Are you ma..maaa...maaaad..MAD..Madam? Did it 10 years ago now. So my advice will be WAY out of date, Anna. As JF said,it is much more regulated now, and many more restrictions are in place. Good for the trail and the ruins in some ways, but bad in other ways. Actually, I hear the litter is dramatically "reduced" now than how it used to be in the past when people could walk it and camp totally independently and left rubbish around.

Yes, it will be busy. It has been busy since the 1950s though, but tourism certainly has gone ballistic in the last 20 years or so. Don't let that put you off though. With these new restrictions, LESS groups can be on the trail at any one time, than previously. Only in the evenings when the sun is going down, does it seem like a bottle kneck as groups that were spread out along the trail in the day, arrive at the popular camping spots. If you insist though, there are a plethora of other less known trails through the mountains that in the last day or so, link up with the inca trail for the last section to Macchu Picchu. You'd avoid everyone. But you'd need to research that either there or with an agency in Cusco or something. Good luck!!
 
Re: Peru: Inca Trail by JF on 14 February 2007 10:10am
 
Yes, I opted out. The mind was willing but the knees are incapable of climbing.
 
Re: Peru: Inca Trail by Mystic Traveller on 15 February 2007 2:45pm
 
I trekked the Inca trail five years ago. The first day was a dawdle. The second day was challenging, as you reach 4,200 metres above sea level, meaning that shortness of breathe comes on. Everyone tells you that the worst is over, but the next day was easily the hardest, with a very steep ascent up uneven stony stairs. I loved every minute... Well, trekking is my thing. It's a masochist's pastime.

My advice is not to drink alcohol or race. There is no hurry. When I finally arrived at Machu-Picchu, a French traveller, who had stupidly ran the last leg, after a heavy night of drinking, collapsed and had a fit brought on by heatstroke. It was horrible to see.

Quite a few unfit people gave up on the first and second days. Just because a lot of people do the trail, doesn't mean it is for everyone.

My tips: Go light and make sure you have the right kind of hiking sticks to help support your knees and give you balance. Take a good first aid kit, a flashlight and batteries, as well as all weather clothing. Excellent hiking boots are essential. Also, have dollars ready to tip those extraordinary men who carry all that heavy camping and cooking gear, with just old tyre rubber on their feet, and bandages strapped around their shoulders for support.

Anyway, there is lots of stuff related to this sort of thing at my travel site:
http://themystictraveller.com

Have a great trip!

 
Re: Peru: Inca Trail by annagib on 15 February 2007 8:56pm
 
Helpfull advice, thanks. I was debating whether or not i should take trekking poles - i definately will - my knees will need the help!
 



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