Tuesday, August 27, 2013

the inca trail day 1

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As soon as we decided that we were moving to Peru three years ago, Blake began to dream of hiking the Inca Trail. Since I very strongly dislike both hiking and camping, I knew that I would never do it with him. Blake knew that too and dreamed of doing it with friends. Then about a year ago our psychologist friend, Matt, mentioned that he wanted to put together a marriage retreat on the Inca Trail. I told him that we wouldn't be able to participate because I don't hike or camp. Then Matt told us that WinShape Foundation would be generously covering all of the expenses (except for our flights). And then my parents said that they would cover our childcare expenses while we were gone. And then I lost my battle and had to concede that there was no good reason for us to not go on this marriage retreat. 

So, a few weeks ago, we embarked on the Inca Trail with our closest friends here in Peru. It was physically the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. I would choose to go through labor and delivery before I would choose to hike this trail again. We camped in below freezing temperatures and the bathrooms looked like this (where there were actually bathrooms).
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But it was very special to do this with Blake. We actually had fun hiking together (most days), being away from our kids, and having important conversations that always get put off in the rush of life. We also got to spend four days in the Andes Mountains with the most beautiful scenery that I have ever witnessed. And it all ended at Machu Picchu, the lost city of the Incas, one of the 7 New Wonders of the World. Being able to experience the Amazon rainforest and the Inca Trail in one year? We are incredibly blessed to live in this country.

The day before our hike began, we flew into Cusco and had our initial team meeting. 
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This picture was taken right after I threw up from altitude sickness.

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Our cute hostal, which I highly recommend, the Hostal Amaru.

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Day 1 of the Inca Trail started at 7am with a 3 hour bus ride to the starting point of the trail. On the way we stopped at Ollantaytambo, a quaint little village in the Sacred Valley.IMG_1607IMG_1613IMG_1561

Then we started our trek. Day 1 we hiked about 6 miles and because it was relatively flat, it was considered an "easy" day. We stopped for lunch along the way and made it to camp around 5pm. 
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inca trail day 2
inca trail day 3
inca trail day 4

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