Hiking to Machu Picchu

We’re so excited!  We’re about to take off on another grand journey with Active Adventures.  Five years ago we joined this outfitter company to celebrate our 25th anniversary in Peru.

In 2008 we spent several days hiking in the Andes with a marvelous variety of people and lots of llamas and alpacas.  From South America, Hong Kong, England, Austria, Ireland and the United States… we were a happy group of campers!

Our first day on the trail brought us to this gorgeous village in the Lares Valley.  We will never forget unzipping our tent door the following morning to this magnificent view.

And then the little children began to show up at our tents.  We were to visit their school that day, and they were so excited.  Many of them were late to school that morning, because they were determined to wait for us to finish breakfast and walk along with them on their path.  We all brought gifts to them, and they sang songs for us.  It was enchanting, and one of the most special mornings of my life.

We hiked a few hours every day.  It was a different world.  The air was thin and the views were grand.

This was our highest moment… literally.  14,500 feet at Ibsacocha Pass.  So many pictures of G and me together, and no way to choose a favorite… but this one is high on the list.

Our porters would go ahead of us on horseback and set up a lunch camp daily.  Yes… there’s a reason it’s called luxury camping!  On this day we arrived at the grand dining hall in the middle of the Andes, and this couple had come from somewhere over the hills to show us their beautiful wares.  I got more socks and another hat… of course!

The “purpose” had been to reach Machu Picchu.  It turned out to be a little icing on the cake.  The week getting there was spectacular.  Our guides made sure we were out of our beds in the dark on this special day.  We were at this amazing site as the sun came up, long before other tourists began to arrive, and we laugh that our photos look like fake cut-outs.  I could look at this photo for hours.  What a moment!

As if he’d been trained to pose, this alpaca stepped right out onto this ridge on the ruins while everyone there took his photo.  There is no possible way to NOT take a photo when an opportunity like this comes along.

The steep mountain that shoots up behind Machu Picchu is called Wayna Picchu.  400 visitors a day are allowed to climb to the top.  Of course we climbed it.  Gary wasn’t going to be content unless he did it, and I wasn’t going to be left behind.   We’re looking down on Machu Picchu here.  This summit was as “thrilling” as any roller coaster.  I’m not kidding!

Oh my!  What a vacation.  If you’re inclined to enjoy this kind of travel, I certainly recommend Active Adventures.  It’s taken us five years to get ready for another trek with them, but we’re taking off in a few days to let them pamper us again.

I hope you’ll stay tuned!


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