Wild Inca Trail Trip report 2017

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The Milky way in the Peruvian Night Sky at Camp 2

Introduction

In September 2017 myself, Dom and 15 clients flew out from Heathrow airport to visit Peru. To get there involved 3 flights, stopping off at Bogota, Columbia, Lima and Cusco, Peru.

The route we were undertaking took us through the High Andes mountain range over 5 days on wild and rarely travelled Ancient Inca Trails. Our in country guide Elkin, had secured permission to use this route which enabled us to avoid the tourist masses on the main Inca Trail route that most companies offer.

The clients included people from our previous trip to Kilimanjaro in 2016, personal friends, work colleagues and 6 clients who were raising funds for www.zoes-place.org.uk/coventry

 

Day 1

Day 1 – We started off at Papipuchu bridge and met our guides and porters in company with the horses who would carry all our provisions and also some of the team members  at various points. During the day we ascended over 1500m to a high point of 4400m before descending into the Lost Valley and Camp at 3900m.

 

The Start
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Mid Morning Break
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Big Climb after Lunch
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The Locals
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Nearly at the High Pass 4400m
Walking up the Silque Valley after Lunch
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Long way to go

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Looking down from 4400m towards Camp for Day 1

 

Descending towards Camp 1 and the end of a long day
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Day 1 Camp

 

Day 2 –

 

After a 0430 wake up call from the porters who bought hot tea and coffee to our tents we had a quick breakfast and started off on another long day in the mountains. We spent 10 hours on pathless terrain climbing over 2 high passes through wind, rain,snow and sunshine. During the day we unsurprisingly saw no other persons and had these beautiful mountains all to ourselves.

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Jon looking forward to his ride

 

 

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Ascending into the cloud
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Weather closing in at 4300m
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Towards the top on the first high pass on Day 2
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Elkin and Margret (Our Guides) with smiling clients
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Not far to go before reaching the high point for Day 2 at 4800m
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Descending the Red scree slopes into the cloud
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It was steep!!!
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Looking across the valley to the mountains

 

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Our route far below
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Whats not to smile about
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Stunning views

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Walking down the Valley to Camp for Day 2

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Waterfalls
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Day 2 Camp
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Room with a stunning view of the  mountains and Glaciers

 

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The Milky Way as we looked up from our campsite
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Time for bed under a stunning night sky
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Beautiful starlit night sky
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Breakfast wth a view

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Day 3 –

After the previous 2 long days this walk was a short 3 hour descent down to camp 3 at the head of Salkantay Valley. Upon our arrival we were treated to a delicious chicken curry lunch. After this there was plenty of time to relax and I discovered a new card game called “Exploding Kittens” – www.explodingkittens.com. It is a seriously addictive game in which the clients did there very best to ensure I didn’t win !!! For dinner we were treated to a traditional Peruvian barbecue of lamb, Chicken, Pork and GUINEA PIG!

During the evening Wayne,Steven and Fisher (guide) explored the Ancient Inca ruins and produced some stunning imagery of the Milky way and night sky using time lapse photography techniques.

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Camp 3 Looking back up the Salkantay Valley
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Relaxing over  a fun game of Exploding Kittens
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Traditional Underground Barbecue
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Milky Way from the Inca Ruins

 

Day 4 –

From Camp 3 we descended down the valley and joined up with the main Inca Trail. This was a bit of culture shock after the 3 previous days trekking alone in the mountains. Once you enter onto the Main Inca Trail you meet up with fellow trekkers on the trail and various groups of porters working for different companies, all in different brightly coloured uniforms. We descended from 3700m to 2500m to reach the valley bottom.

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Mount Veronica in the far distance
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Looking down on an Ancient Inca agricultural settlement
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Looking back up the Valley
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Descending a narrow path from a viewpoint
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The main Inca Trail and the brightly clothed guides used by most trekking companies
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Resting within an Inca Settlement

 

 

 

Day 5 –

Another early start 430am wake so we could catch the train from a local village to K104. At this point we disembarked the train in the middle of the jungle and began the 5 hour ascent towards the Sungate and our first view of Machu Picchu. On arriving at the Sungate we were greeted with thick clouds and visibility of 10 metres. Our local guide retold a local legend and suggested cupping our hands and blowing 3 times to move the cloud away. We did this as part of the moment and unbelievably the clouds did part and we were greeted with wonderful views looking down upon Machu Picchu.

We then descended towards this amazing place and after a brief tour we caught the bus to Aquas Calientes and a hotel bed and beer. We were to return the following day for full tour.

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Train stop in middle of jungle at K104
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Looking across the valley as we ascend
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Quick breather as we ascend
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Break at the waterfall
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The Team stood at the Sungate and our first view of Machu Picchu
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Machu Picchu

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Fantastic bunch of clients
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Well done to clients from charity partner – Zoes Place

 

Day 6 –

Our final days walking. Today we ascended Wayna Picchu which is a short but very steep and precarious climb along paths and on stairways cut of of the rock. It is not for the faint hearted as there are 1000ft drops off the path should you slip!!

Myself and 7 clients took the opportunity to climb this before returning to fully explore Machu Picchu.

 

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Wayna Picchu

 

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Start of the Climb
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Steep, Steep Steps
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Hands are useful for the steps
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Amazing building skills in such a wild and remote place
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Dave contemplating the long drop in front of him
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Looking down on Machu Picchu

 

 

 

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