121 - 9th April 2006 - Inca Trail

Beginning the Inca Trail - Handing over our bags to the porters

The Inca Trail starts at kilometer 82, measured from Cusco

Looking and feeling optimistic at the start of the trail

The first checkpoint - they check your passport number against the ticket

Horse on the trail

Donkey on the trail - The first section was quite rural

Sheep on the trail

Pepe - Our guide taking a break

The trail wound through the Sacred Valley of the Incas

It crosses several rivers

Bhanu walking up one of the larger hills from the first day

The trail we just walked along from the top of the hill

Willkarakay Ruins

It began to drizzle in the afternoon

More animals on the trail

The mist covering the tips of the andes

The bull attacked anyone who came to close

The last rest of the day

Walking up the muddy track to the campsite

Inca Trail Shopping Centre - They accept Visa and Mastercard

Our home for the night

The view from my sleeping bag

Day Two - Back on the trail

Crossing a rickety bridge

Day two covered 9 kilometers and a climb of 1.2 kilometers

But the scenery was spectacular

Walking through the tropical forest

Toilet stop in the Andes - Surprisingly clean

Dog hanging around looking for scraps of peoples snacks

There was a bit of a climb to the toilet

Climbing up to Dead Woman's Pass - Steve, the other tour leader giving me a wave

Tired but still going - Nearly at the top

Climbing, climbing, and more climbing

At the top - 4215 meters above sea level

Happy to have finished the climb

The four at the front - We finished the last section in 50 minutes - It was supposed to take an hour and a half - Stephen, Chris, Karen and Richard

But then of course you have to climb back down

And it's a long, long way down

Waterfall by the side of the trail

Washbasins waiting at the campsite

Home sweet home

Another rickety bridge

The map of the trail - The campsite was between the 15 and 20 kilometers mark

Tiny waterfall by the path

The mist closing in as the evening wore on

The campsite from further up the trail

The whole team - The men in the tunics were our porters - They were incredible and did the trek far faster than us and carrying over 20 kilos of equipment each

The Dead Womans Pass as seen from the campside - It is supposed to be in the shape of a resting old woman

Night falling

The waterfall running through the campsite

Late night poker

Day Three - Morning view through the valley - We had 21 kilometers to walk on day three

The first ruins we came to - Runkurakay - a lookout point

The waterfall running down the mountain

The view from the top of the second pass

We had to climb down over 2000 Incan steps

And some of them were very steep

Sayacmarca - The second set of ruins on day three

Below them were the ruins of Conchamarca - the servants town

The number three was very important to the Incas - Hence three niches

Pepe showing us a sacrificial altar - You can see a carving of the Inca in the rock wall

A caterpillar on the trail

The mist really came in on the third day so we couldn't really see the valley below us

The trail went through some caves

A fountain at the Phuyupatamarca ruins

More Incan stairs - They seemed to go on for ever

Keeping off the mist

More of the ruins

More Incan steps - Hard on the knees

They just kept on going for hours

Flora of the trail

The Peruvian rainforest

We were told that the campsite was near a pylon - I have never been so glad to see a hunk of metal in my life

The Urubamba river far below us

Walking along the railway to Maccu Piccu town - The main trail had been closed by a mudslide so we couldn't cross the famous Sun Gate

Victorious at Pacamamas Pizza restaurant