Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu (Peru)
The Salkantay trek was one of the most amazing hikes of my life! But it was also one of the hardest hikes!! And I am about to tell you why!
The most popular route to see Machu Pichu is the Inca Trail. But one, it's very popular so it's hard to get permits. Two, Salkantay trail is supposed to be top 10 most beautiful hikes in the world. I didn't come all the way here just to wuss out!
I'm not afraid of challenges, and in my head I'll finish one way or the other, it's just a matter of effort and time! Sometimes my head gets too big....I really should have trained a little for this hike.
I wasn't exactly fit for this trip since I've been on the road for work. I had a 30 lb backpack since I needed my laptop and marble notebook as a journal and tent. Lastly, I've never experienced high altitude training before! That was the biggest mis-calculation!
My dad always told me as a kid, if you don't do it now, you'll still have to do it later. The earlier you finish, the earlier you can rest. I apply that to most things in life.
When it comes to hiking, I"m the guy sprinting up the mountain and pushing my body to finish. The sooner I get to the top, the sooner I can relax and enjoy the view.
It was almost physically impossible this time!
With the added weight, lack in physical condition and mainly the ALTITUDE, every 20ft seemed like a long sprint! I've never had to rest so many times in MY LIFE!
I forgot to mention, we DID NOT HAVE PORTERS! Most people have porters to carry their backpacks, food and tent.
Can't turn around now! Enjoy it right? It is absolutely amazing!!! You have green mountains to the left and right of you. A beautiful little stream of water running down. And in front of you is a massive snow filled mountain that is just so captivating!
The hike started off decently since it was flat dirt roads. But as we started to ascend, that's when it got difficult.
Good thing I had good company. We all would rest for a few minutes, catch up and continue the trek. (BTW, make sure you bring enough water for a day or two. There are stops you can buy water, but it's atleast one day hike)
We were able to hike the Salkantay trek pretty fast and got to the top the first night where we camped.
Dress warm! It is freaking cold and windy at night! You can't really tell by the photo, but icing all over our tent.
It was nice and sunny when we woke up. It felt so good to have a good nights sleep. Waking up, we were just admiring the beauty of the mountains and view until the fog started creeping up! It was a bit scary, like what happens in a scary movie. The fog crept up pretty quickly, so we hurried ourselves out of there.
We chose a little valley area to rest for the night, and if we didn't move, we would have very poor vision getting out of there.
As we got out of the valley and started descending to the other side, the sun was so bright and warm it felt amazing just cause the previous day we were so cold!
Since I was a little ahead of our group, I took the time to wash up a little in the river and relax. My buddy Danny decided to drink for this cold glacier water. Hours later, he had one of the worst runs....don't think you should drink the water.
This is towards the end of the trail. Soooo much easier coming down. Above is the marble notebook I take with me everywhere to record my journey.
Being out of touch and no one around for 2 days. I was soooo excited to see "civilization".
I've been lost hiking before, and it did concern my that I was lost for a brief moment until I saw a man made bridge! Then I felt comfort.
Since my friends were still behind, I decided to take a little nap and this is the photo I woke up =/
Hope this was able to give you a little insight on the trip. I figured there are so many articles telling you what to bring and prepare for that I just provide you my personal experiences instead.