The 26 mile Inca Trail is a beast of a journey that physically taxed my body to its limit all while completely rejuvenating my spirit. Our Ketchuan guide was god sent, giving us a very unfiltered experience of the trail in all of its original glory. I found myself falling in love with Pachamama and the promise of brief rainbows that connects the earth to the spiritual realm.
All pride aside, the Inca Trail was extremely difficult. I went in obliviously confident that I did not need an additional porter and choose to strap 19 pounds of god forsaken weight onto my body. I won’t go into too much detail about the lingering altitude sickness, the unrelenting rain, or the fact that my period started on the first day of the trail (one that I wasn’t prepared for); these events do not paint a glorious, new world wonder image in anyone’s mind.
I dropped off my many demons on the trail as well- like the fresh heaps of steaming burro turds that lined the pathways. They became too heavy to carry. It was here where I decided to stop being such an angry person and to let go of things beyond my control. Every step I took was a testament to the fact that my will has finally matured to surpass my physical limitations.
So, you see? Physically and mentally taxing but spiritually renewed. And there wasn’t even a choir or a preacher necessary. Just me and Pachamama.
alongside the south bank of the Urubamba River
pass the Incan ruins of Llactapata
alongside the Cusichaca river
elevation gain of 4,000 feet
climbed Dead Woman’s pass
total altitude of 13,776 feet
alongside the Llullucha river
2 mountainous passes
total altitudes of 12,470 feet & 11,742 feet
pass the Runkuracay, Sayacmarca, and Winay Wayna ruins
through the sun gate into Machu Picchu