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Trekking the Inca Trail
A Tremendously Rewarding Travel Challenge

Intipunku sign
 Only 50 more steps. Fifty very steep steps to complete the four day, 43 kilometer (nearly 27 miles) trek. So I steeled myself and climbed the first of the last steps to see Machu Picchu, one of the new Seven Wonders of the World. Two days earlier I had survived Dead Woman’s Pass – barely. By comparison, I knew this would be a piece of cake.

Those were my thoughts as I looked up at the last 50 steps to reach Intipunku or the Sun Gate. At the top of those steps I would get my long awaited view of the mystery shrouded city built then abandoned by the Incas more than 500 years ago.

My journey actually began three years earlier when I decided that I wanted to see Machu Picchu. After months of planning and anticipation I finally arrived at the Piskacucho Control Point at the famed Peru Rail km82 railway marker
where the trek began. We arrived at the marker, which refers to the distance from the city of Cusco, after a 45 minute bus ride from Ollantaytambo in Peru’s Sacred Valley.

The porters had laid out a blue tarp where we all tossed our blue canvass duffel bags filled with sleeping bags,mattresses and personal items that we wouldn’t need during the day. The bags, along with food for the four day trek, cooking, dining and sleeping tents, cooking gear, dining tables, stools, dishes, eating utensils, and everything else we could possibly need would be transported along the trail on the backs of the 17 porters and two cooks.

Continue to Day One
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