A Final Note: The Things You Need to Know But Probably Don’t Want To
- Whenever you travel in another country you must be prepared for the differences in culture and available creature comforts. Not just the trail, but the majority of the small towns and villages we visited had items not too pleasant for the pampered Gringo traveler.
- Of course drinking water from the tap is always a no no.
- TP in the toilets, also a no no.
- Running water in sinks to wash your hands, optional.
- Toilet seats, optional. TP, optional.
- This hike was challenging to say the least. The facilities on the trail were unpleasant but it is amazing that in the middle of nowhere there can be flush toilets and running water at all. Amazing ingenuity.
- Each camp had a few areas of sorta flat pads for the tents. The tents themselves were mostly waterproof.
- The altitude will kick your ass no matter how tough you think you are, or how hard you trained.
- The toilets were keyhole squat type that were the most disgusting things you can imagine. Getting up and down from a freestanding squat on wobbly trail legs and bad knees was a feat in itself.
- Personal hygiene is high priority or you will find yourselves getting something you totally don’t want on a skinny trail in the middle of nowhere.
- The only exit off the trail IS the trail.
The Camino Inka was both rewarding and absolutely took every ounce of every fiber of my being to succeed. I knew when we set out to do this hike it would be challenging, but I really had no idea what I was in for. There were times when you just would give up because it was just too damn hard and you had nothing left. There were times of triumph when after you gave up… something inside pushed you onto the next goal, even if that goal was just 5 more steps… the next bush or landmark. Bottom line… you only have two choices from the moment you set foot on the trail… move forward, no matter how hard it was…or turn back and face the same path as continuing forward… only on your own. Either way it was going to be hard as hell so suck it up sissy!
Would I do it again… at my age… HELL NO! I accept now my body is not it’s 20 year old self… but I had to try. What I saw can’t really be captured in pictures. What I went through can’t really be put into words. Let’s just say if you ask me about seeing Machu Picchu, if that’s really what you want to do…take the damn train.
3 thoughts on “Inka Trail… In Review”
Definitely the train!
I ran the Comrades Marathon over here in South Africa (90 kms) several times and I’ll bet this was a doddle compared to what you just put yourself through!
Amazing photographs! And a great description of the hike!
Your comment about the squat-type toilets was hilarious. A Swedish friend of mine once visited me to Pakistan. The most traumatic experience for her was to get used to such toilets. 😀 Squat-type toilets are quite common in Asian countries, although we have commode types in my home (and Pakistan) too.