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

 

 

 

Everest Base Camp 2018

 

 

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I am really excited to announce our International Trekking trip for October 2018 in conjunction with Dom Pickett Expeditions.

Dom has lead several treks in Nepal and previously summited Mount Everest in 2011.

Myself and Dom will be leading this 15 day trek in the stunning Himalayas to reach Everest Base Camp. There is an option to extend the trip for 5 days to climb Island Peak at 6189m.

Please get in touch for further information.

Trip Dossier – Everest-2018 PDF Original

 

 

Client Feedback Kilimanjaro 2017

img_7177An unforgettable experience

Planned to perfection with excellent support staff

Guides and porters were amazing. A truly memorable experience. Thank you

I particularly appreciated the encouraging comments from Paul on summit night. Sometimes this can be just enough to get you going again but he also recognised that I needed a bit of rest and sugar. If he hadn’t have helped I might have decided to stop a Gillman’s point. So, thank you for that

A life changing experience

Well done excellent first international expedition

Both Paul and Dom were great leaders. Could not have wished for a better expedition team, all the guides, porters and cooks were amazing.

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I simply wanted to say thank you for an amazing trip, I had a fantastic time.

Your leadership got the most out of the group. Great fun, (most I’ve laughed for a while without a drop of alcohol required), but serious when needed, an appreciation of what we were looking to achieve.

I enjoyed the focus on the basics of our daily routine and the escapism this bought. Your professionalism made this possible, we were well looked after and free to indulge in the experience.

 

Hi Dom and Paul,

I just wanted to say thanks for a great trip and experience, I throughly enjoyed it from start to finish.

I found the organisation and the service provided from arrival until departure exceptional.  The whole service was excellent , no doubt assisted by your local knowledge and choice of guide in Humphrey.

I hope to join you again some time soon on another expedition.

 

Peru – Inca Trail and Machu Picchu 2017

In September 2017, Myself and Dom will be leading a 10 day trip to trek along the Ancient Inca Trails to Machu Picchu.

We are in the unique position of being able to offer a route that avoids the main tourist Inca Trail. This enables us to avoid the crowds and to enjoy the amazing mountain passes and glacial lagoons with only our trusted pack horses and fellow trekkers in the group.

Please view the below Trip itinerary and Information pack.

The photos are from the 2016 expedition.

Wild Inca Trail Itinerary

Peru Information Pack

Norway Expedition 2016

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I have just returned from an 8 day expedition to Norway, working with 4 groups from a UK school on their Gold Duke of Edinburgh award expedition.

The photos below are from the trip.

Navigation Day – Client Feedback

This is the best part of my job, receiving positive feedback after working with 5 lovely clients from London.They learn’t how to use a map and compass to navigate in the countryside this weekend.

Anya

Thank you Paul for such an informative and great day! Very well-taught, the right amount of people, all the questions covered, everything spelt-out perfectly and a huge amount of patience on your side.

Will happily do another course with you.

George

Thank you Paul and Neil, for your patience and enthusiasm in helping us learn and improve our orienteering skills . I guess your course had made all of us a “Ninja Navigators” :-).
It has been very helpful and informative with good coverage of navigational concepts. Nonetheless, course provided great opportunity to socialise and get to know some nice people.

James

Great day out with lovely people. The course was very practical and well-taught. Learnt useful skills, while having a thoroughly enjoyable time in the process.

Claudia

Hi Paul, thank you very much for being such a great leader and instructor. I really enjoyed today’s course and meeting you all. Very glad with the course contents, was just the right amount of information to take in as a first step and being a beginner.

Jo

I echo everyone’s comments. Thank you both for A brilliant day and organising the beautiful weather for us 🙂