High-altitude prescribed Coca leaf candy filled our pockets as we prepared to start our hike throughout the Incan trail. Our day started bright and early, but not really that bright because it was well before the sun was up. After the truck ride and only slightly delayed train (there was a mudslide the night before, so we were glad it didn’t stop the whole trip), we hopped off to begin the day-long journey on the Incan trail. The country works to keep the area preserved, so the government requires a guide be there on the trail with tourists in order to monitor how many people are going through the tour.
The hike began in the forested area with Incan ruins scattered throughout the trail. Our guide was able to fill us in on some of the histories between the Incans and the Spaniards. His family came from the indigenous parts of the country, and he was well read on the stories behind the fall of the Incan empire.
The Incans territories in these hills were vital to keeping their people alive during the wars. Since the Spanish horses were unable to battle in the steep terrain, the Incans were able to live in the mountains with less of a chance of being attacked. Incans also figured out the proper techniques for building in these high areas and often built out shelf like areas to increase their room for storage and homes. One of the first we came across was Winaywayna, which looks like the Waterfall area from the Black Panther fight scenes. The steps all the way up were not easy, so afterward we took our first big lunch break.
After loading up on some chicken, rice and, veggies, we were ready to take on the last half and make it to Machu Picchu. It was an on and off again rainy and cloudy day, and luckily for us, the clouds cleared out as we made it to the high point for a view of the entity of Machu Picchu on the horizon. The site does not disappoint, it is everything from the pictures.
While the hike was not the easiest task we’d taken, it was certainly worth all the effort. Should you have the opportunity, I’d highly recommend taking the Incan trail hike to Machu Picchu. Or any of the other hikes available to make it there. Without the hike, it can be an experience filled with hours of transportation for a quick view of a world wonder. Getting the build-up to the site and a local rich history of the site helped me connect to the historical importance of it all.
The ruins themselves are filled with tourists coming in and out, so it was nice having a more relaxed time on the trail beforehand. We made it at a good afternoon time so it wasn’t too crowded as we perused around through them all. While not all the buildings are still around, there are several houses and community sites that are still around. Having a tour guide was key in understanding each of the different artifacts. After doing some reading myself, it was interesting to see how some of the history books and the stories passed down word of mouth can vary. As they say, history is written by the Victors (wink). #VidaLaVic