Everything to Know About the Machu Picchu Hike - Travel Squad Podcast

Everything to Know About the Machu Picchu Hike

We did the 4-day Machu Picchu hike on the Inca Trail and it was amazing!. The four day, three night hike through the Andes was an excursion through ruins and a truly memorable experience unlike anything else.

We tell stories from hiking the Inca trail to Machu Picchu, give tips if your are planning to hike Machu Picchu rather than take the train. We tell you exactly what we planed, how we bought our tour, what the hike was like and the once in a lifetime experiences we had on this journey.

The Peru Machu Picchu hike is ICONIC!! If you have the chance to go, go now!  Because it might not be open to visitors forever so as soon as you can is the best time to hike the Inca trail! June was also nice, that’s when we went and we had fabulous weather.

  • What to pack for the Inca Trail
  • How to “train” for the hike and prepare for the altitude
  • Making friends on an organized tour with Alpaca Expeditions 
  • Stories and laughs from the trail
  • Walking amongst impressive Inca ruins 
  • Amazing “camping” food on the trail
  • Why the trek was better than finally reaching Machu Picchu

If you’re interested in hearing more about our experiences with Alpaca Expeditions, listen to our episode on Guided Tours and Why You’ll Love Them! Alpaca Expedition truly too care of us with 5-star, first class treatment in the middle of the Andes mountains! All guided tours treat you like royalty and make for a really cool travel experience.

We know backpacking and long days of hiking aren’t for everyone, so we listed a few of our top picks of Viator Tours we would recommend for visiting Machu Picchu without doing the 4-day hike.

Looking back at these pictures from our hike to Machu Picchu on the inca trail make us want to back so badly! This really was one of the most epic trips you could imagine, to one of the most epic ancient ruins still standing today.

You can explore more of our trip to Peru in our episode on Cusco and riding mules up Rainbow Mountain at even higher altitudes on our episode on Three Days of Amazing Things to Do in Cusco.

Machu Picchu Hike – Episode Transcript

4 (53s):
Hello fellow travelers. Welcome to this weeks episode of the Travel Squad podcast. Today. We hope that you feel like you’re tracking the 26 mile long hike with us on the Inca trail to Machu Picchu, which was as a matter of fact, the very first trip we all took as the Travel Squad. So I’m really excited to talk about this episode

5 (1m 15s):
Located in the Andes mountains. This trail passes through multiple Inca ruins through Andy and climates and ecosystems, including cloud forests, Alpine Tundra, before reaching the sun gate at Machu Picchu

2 (1m 28s):
Over the course of four days and three nights, we hiked, we laughed and we ate the best food along the trail. And best of all, we gained some of the most wonderful friends along the track. In this

3 (1m 39s):
Episode, we’re going to give you tips for preparing for the hike, give you a breakdown on what you can expect on each of the days and share stories. You know, we have so many stories of all the ventures we had while we’re on the,

4 (1m 51s):
So just as a little preface before we get too far into it, I want to let everybody know what the Inca trail is. It’s actually a 26 mile long hike in the Andes mountains that leads to Machu Picchu. One of the really cool things about it going through the Andes mountains is it does go through a lot of different terrain as Brittany had mentioned. So she said, we went through cloud forest. Now cloud forests are usually evergreen forests where there’s low level cloud cover, usually at the canopy level. And what distinguishes them from a lot of other forests is the Moss cover that grows on the ground and all the vegetation.

4 (2m 32s):
And it’s really interesting because you could be in one little micro-climate area and then go around the corner. And then you’re in a new area of Alpine Tundra where you’re just so high that trees can’t grow anymore. So it’s just a real large disparity and very, very interesting trail to see all the other Inca ruins on the way to Machu Picchu. Okay.

2 (2m 52s):
A maximum of 500 people are allowed on the trail each day and only 200 of them are trackers. So the other 300 are your guides and porters. It takes a full team and crew to, to pull this off. It’s just an unbelievable hike and the trail is closed every February for cleaning.

3 (3m 9s):
So w how did we come up with the idea to go here,

5 (3m 12s):
Kim and I actually had been doing a lot of hiking in San Diego. And when we were talking about epic hikes, we wanted to do, and Machu Picchu came up as one of them. And so we decided that we were going to do it. And at the same time Zayna and her friend were thinking of doing the same thing. And we all had to convince Jamal because he didn’t

3 (3m 31s):
Want to do

4 (3m 31s):
No, no, you guys didn’t have to convince me. I was just not the next trip that I wanted to do with me. And Brittany is what it was.

2 (3m 40s):
Yeah. And for some more context, episode nine of how we met and how we got into travel goes into a little bit more about how this trip came to be.

4 (3m 48s):
Right. Right.

3 (3m 49s):
I remember reading a lot about this and also hearing that with the permit situation, the government was going to stop letting people hike it, or kind of like change where you could hike. And so, Yeah. And so there was a risk that we might not be able to do it if we didn’t jump on it right away.

2 (4m 7s):
So we jumped on it right away

5 (4m 8s):
And it was actually perfect for me because we booked this trip to take place in June. And I was actually graduating from nursing school in may. And I did this as a, kind of like a treat yourself vacation. And it so happened that I ended up taking the nursing boards the week before going on this vacation, left to go on the vacation and then found out that I was a nurse officially when we got back.

3 (4m 33s):
Yeah. And we were celebrating, we didn’t just go to Peru and start hiking. We booked it through a tour company, which is what you have to do, and they can secure the permits for you. So the company that we ended up going with is alpaca expeditions. They’re amazing. And so we did our research on the companies though, and there’s quite a few that are out there working every day, but a few different people recommended ELPAC expeditions to us. And all of the blog posts that I read about hiking this, most of them also used a pike expeditions that had the nicest things to say about them.

4 (5m 6s):
Yeah. And alpaca was actually, if I remember them telling us correctly, one of the newer companies that actually got permits from the government to be one of the guided tour companies, my friend Caitlin had actually done this trip herself. She and her friends hiked the Inca trail. And she told me alpaca expeditions. They used them just as well. So I took her recommendation on that. But like Kim was saying, you have to secure permits. All the companies that are your guided companies are regulated by the Peruvian government to be your guides and porters on the trail.

5 (5m 43s):
All of the permits are released in January of each year. And they sell out really, really fast. And the best time of year is actually to go between may and September, because it’s the driest part of the year where you’re least likely to be rained on

2 (5m 56s):
Rain or shine. You’re hiking that trail.

3 (5m 58s):
We got lucky. We didn’t have rain. We

5 (6m 0s):
Had a little

2 (6m 1s):
Bit on day four, but then it like subsided by the time we, oh,

3 (6m 4s):
That’s right.

4 (6m 4s):
Yeah. Early in the morning on day four, before we did the final hike to Machu Picchu. And I think our tour guide even told us, he said, he’s done this hundreds of times made that hike. And that we were one of the only ones that it never rained on that he’s done.

2 (6m 20s):
But, you know, even though we didn’t have rain, you know, we did have fucking fun.

3 (6m 28s):
We sure did.

5 (6m 29s):
One of the things that I loved about alpaca expeditions is they allowed us to rent all of our equipment through them, which meant that we didn’t have to bring any of the stuff with us to Peru. We were able to rent sleeping bags and air mattress, walking poles,

3 (6m 43s):
And anything they had. We got it.

4 (6m 48s):
Yeah. Because you have the option. If you want to bring your own sleeping bag, hiking poles, but what they charged to actually rent those items was very minimal. And we thought to ourselves, well, why are we going to lug all that stuff from here in the United States to Peru, take a baggage space, probably maybe pay checked fees. Let’s just rent it from them. And it made it a whole lot simpler that we just didn’t have to bring anything except our own clothes. And that was it.

3 (7m 13s):
Yeah. They cook all the food for you, breakfast, lunch, and dinner. And it’s five-star cuisine. It’s so good soups. Every day. At the time I was on a little vegetarian bender. And so they cooked meals that I could eat and they were fucking good.

5 (7m 30s):
You told them in advance that you were vegetarian so that they could accommodate you.

2 (7m 34s):
So we got to Peru a little bit early to accommodate for the high altitude because you are going to be in some serious high altitude there, we’ll touch base on that a little bit later on in this episode, but how did we get there?

3 (7m 49s):
We flew out of Tijuana since we’re in San Diego, we crossed the CBX and booked a flight from Tijuana. I think we were routed through Mexico city and then to Lima

5 (8m 1s):
And then from Mexico city to Lima and then Lima to Cusco.

3 (8m 4s):
Yeah. So it was quite a little journey, but

5 (8m 6s):
It took us 18 hours to get to,

3 (8m 9s):
And which airline had the best next at the top.

2 (8m 15s):
Oh yeah. Yeah. So, you know, S S Travel Squad. We’re all about saving a buck. So when you’re flying out from Mexico city, it’s just a huge hub. And then just leaving from Tijuana automatically because it’s a domestic flight to Mexico city. You’re saving a whole bunch of money rather than leaving from San Diego or Los Angeles.

5 (8m 32s):
One of the big texts that we did get from multiple people was to get to Cusco several days before your Trek because of the altitude. And so we are going to go into Cusco in a different episode. So we don’t want to leave that out, but it is important for you to prepare for the trip by going to Cusco early and also be safe rather than sorry, and get the altitude sickness medication, if you’re not to high altitude.

4 (8m 57s):
Yeah. And why we say get there a little bit early, obviously we’ve all heard of altitude sickness. If none of you have ever really been in high elevations and experienced it, it’s something that you just won’t understand until you’re there. And sometimes when you’re there maybe a little too late, so Cusco is the biggest major city closest to macho peaches. So it is pretty much base camp for everybody who is going to Machu Picchu. And actually the elevation in Cusco is higher than the elevation of Machu Picchu. So if you get there a few days earlier at definitely helps you get acclimated to the altitude, the thinner air, that way you’re not as exhausted when you’re actually Hiking.

5 (9m 36s):
Another thing too, to do before you go on this trip is practice hiking beforehand. And we live in San Diego. So we have a lot of different opportunities to hike, different types of trails. Dina actually hadn’t hiked before this trip. So,

2 (9m 49s):
Nah, we did that one over Memorial day weekend. And then I did, L-CAP here in San Diego with Brittany, which is, I think like 12 miles round trip. And it’s hard,

5 (9m 58s):
But you weren’t like a, truly a hiker before

2 (10m 2s):
I was a runner. And I told Brittany, it’s fine. Like I’ve got lungs of steel, man. I can handle it. And let me tell you something from a long distance runner like myself, I can is not the same. It’s not,

3 (10m 13s):
I also did a lot of StairMaster at the gym leading up to this trip. And that really helped. There’s a lot of stairs on the trail.

2 (10m 20s):
I remember you saying that. And I was like, what a fucking great idea.

4 (10m 23s):
I just killed the no prep. I just killed it. No prep. I always hike with Brittany just as well. Those hikes that Zaina was talking about for her preparation ones. Cause in general, she’s a runner, not a hiker. I didn’t go on the really long, want to El Capitan. So I’ve always kind of been a hiker with Brittany, but leading up to the trip, I didn’t do any specific hikes, like, oh, I’m training for it.

3 (10m 47s):
So that’s all you need to know really, before you go on the trip, there are a few things we recommend you pack because they were helpful for us or we wish we would have had more of them.

4 (10m 56s):
Yeah. These are definite musts.

3 (10m 58s):
Yeah. Mosquito repellent. You’ll need that one for the trail. Sunscreen, sunglasses, obviously cash so that you can tip your guides and your porters

2 (11m 7s):
And for emergencies too, because if you need to be transported out on the trail right. To pay for that. Yeah,

4 (11m 14s):
Yeah. Yeah. Very good point on having it for the emergencies because the Inca trail does go through some settlements of villagers who do live in the Andean mountains along the way. So your tour guides and the company that you go with, they have other people paying patrons on the tour that are going to continue on. So they will make sure that you get taken care of, but you were going to be paying for the emergencies, the locals who live on the mountain to help you on your way down. If you need to be evacuated for whatever reason,

5 (11m 46s):
Other important things you need to bring on the trail or medications always have Immodium, ciprofloxacin and altitude sickness pills on the trail with you,

4 (11m 54s):
Imodium for the tummy Cipro for that bacteria or any

3 (11m 59s):
Important

4 (12m 0s):
Or any other.

5 (12m 3s):
Yeah.

2 (12m 3s):
Let’s just go ahead and repeat that because we can’t stress how important that is. Imodium Cipro and altitude sickness pills. You will need them.

4 (12m 13s):
I really don’t think you won’t don’t roll the dice without one. Let’s put it that way.

3 (12m 18s):
Do not

5 (12m 19s):
One thing that I didn’t bring, which I wish I would have in hindsight was a portable charger for my phone. I didn’t bring a portable charger and I have one now and I love it. And I, I regret not bringing it because I felt like I had to save my battery along the trail for specific photos. And I wish I would’ve had that extra charge.

4 (12m 38s):
Yeah. There is no service up there. Brittany’s referencing four photos taken on the phone more specifically, but one thing as well, definitely going to need to bring your own toilet paper and baby wipes and plastic bags.

2 (12m 52s):
So your tour company is going to set up a bathroom when you stop to have lunch, or when you set up camp at night, it’s like a portable toilet. But in between when you’re going on the trail or, you know, nature calls, have it, just have it

3 (13m 4s):
And pack it out. We actually got Brittany and I bought because we’re like overly prepared, but we didn’t end up actually needing them. No, we didn’t. The only time we used it was when we were practicing at home.

5 (13m 18s):
My squat game came in handy on this trail.

2 (13m 22s):
We need guys shirts that say squat game, strong

4 (13m 25s):
Game strong.

5 (13m 26s):
I would say that another important thing to keep in mind is do your research on what time of year you’re going and what the weather is. It’s very likely that you’ll be rained on and you’ll be going through a lot of different climates. And so it’s very important to put your clothing and waterproof bags so that they don’t get wet. If you do get rained on and make sure to pack for all sorts of different weather. Because again, you’re traversing through different climates and ecosystems. So one minute it will be hot. The next minute you’ll be freezing.

4 (13m 53s):
No good point that Brittany did have. It is going to be a different season than most of the people living in the Northern hemisphere. You are going to be south of the equator, so a completely different season.

5 (14m 5s):
So the night before the hike, before you go, you actually have to meet up at the tour company to get all of the stuff that you need. And they give you a duffel bag where you’ll pack all of your stuff in for the trail and this stuff. We’ll bag, we’ll pack all of your clothing, your toiletries and whatnot, but you also will be packing your own day back. And that’s what will stay with you during the trip.

2 (14m 27s):
And the reason they’re giving you a duffel bag is this is color coded towards the company. And remember that your porters are carrying your stuff. So yes, you have your own luggage that you brought with you to Peru, but you can’t take that luggage on because it’s not going to be carried by the Porter’s.

5 (14m 42s):
Yeah. So we actually did leave our luggage at our hostel that we were staying at in Peru. And this is very common in Cusco.

4 (14m 50s):
Yeah. It’s common to leave it at the hotel that you were staying before you hike the Inca trail or go to Machu Picchu because the majority of people visiting Cusco are going there. So the hotels expect it. And all of them pretty much accommodate that request to hold onto your luggage. But another point that I want to make about the duffel bags that they give you, like Zena said, they are color-coded to your tour company. However, again, porters are carrying all of your actual clothing minus your specific backpack. So to make it easier on them, you’re only allowed seven and a half pounds. I believe Seven kilograms. So 14 pounds, then we’ll round that up of actual clothing or whatever for them to carry.

4 (15m 35s):
And those duffle bags, obviously a lot of things can be heavier, but the size that they give you pretty much makes it so that it’s right around that weight.

3 (15m 43s):
I remember when we were packing our duffel bag the night before, and we borrowed the scale from the front desk and we’re weighing our stuff, was like, how are we going to get this below seven kilograms? And we didn’t. We went the next day and they weighed all of our bags. We was like, I think mine was nine, but they still accepted it. So it’s a little bit loose on the restricted

4 (16m 6s):
And these with our company, it was, we can’t say for other companies, but they were with us without alpaca.

5 (16m 12s):
Let’s just be mindful. These are other people carrying your stuff for you, which is very, very new.

4 (16m 17s):
And they’re not just carrying your bags with your clothing again, they are carrying pots and pans because they’re also the ones cooking for you. They’re carrying your tent that they’re going to set up for you at the end of the day. So toilet

2 (16m 32s):
Mattresses,

4 (16m 32s):
They have like 50 pounds on their back already just of stuff that they’re carrying.

2 (16m 37s):
Yeah. So there is 12 of us, us four included. So there’s eight strangers that became our wonderful friends. And in the meeting area, our guide is asking us who rented the sleeping pad and all four of us raise our hand who rented the sleeping bag. All four of us raise our hands who rented hiking poles, all four of us raising hands. No one else is raising their hands to every single thing. The way that we are. So all of a sudden I look over and Kim and Brittany cannot stop laughing and they can barely breathe if they’re laughing so hard. So our guide looks at me and he says, what are they laughing about? And I was like, I don’t know. But if I knew I would be laughing with them, what are you guys laughing at?

5 (17m 18s):
We were just laughing because we were the only people that rented every single item that they offer.

3 (17m 25s):
And the day before we had done rainbow mountain and we got the horses. So it was just like, yeah, we’re just luxury over here.

2 (17m 32s):
And no one else got the horse, But we did.

4 (17m 36s):
The meeting was nice because it gave us our first intro to our hiking group of people that we were going to be hiking with, introduce us to the guides, but more so it gave us a little bit of preface of what to expect on the trail

5 (17m 50s):
After the meeting. Just make sure to go to bed early because you’ll start the next day. Really early. They pick you up at 5:30 AM. So after the meeting, all we did was we went home, we packed our duffel bags and we actually went out and got a beer to share on a park bench.

4 (18m 4s):
Oh, I remember that. I remember that. Yeah. Had one celebratory drink. If you will, before the trail and sat in a park bench in the middle of Cusco, sipping a beer, they do allow open alcohol there. So that wasn’t an issue. No laws were broken.

2 (18m 20s):
So day one, they pick us up at five 30. We drive with, for what seems forever. And then once we get to kind of like the trail head, they have breakfast for us there.

4 (18m 30s):
Yeah. So when we had already gotten there, I feel like the porters were there already making breakfast with the table all set out. So I think only in the van pickup with us was our actual guides of the porters were already at the trail head. And by the time we got there, it was a full breakfast, scrambled eggs, bacon toast, fruit, fruit,

3 (18m 55s):
And that kicked off the four days of amazing food, breakfast, lunch, and dinner

5 (18m 60s):
Breakfast is the first time we get to sit down and really meet our fellow hikers and get to know them while we’re getting ready for the trail.

4 (19m 7s):
That was one of my favorite things about the trip. You know, I really thought it was going to be exciting going to Machu Picchu. But one of my favorite memories of the trip is just all the friends that we made, because I feel like we all got along as a group and just really clicked. And that made the trip so much more fun. Yeah.

3 (19m 24s):
Yeah. It was nice if you compare how we were on that first breakfast to how we were on our last one, when we were waiting for the train, it was like night

5 (19m 32s):
And day. Yeah.

4 (19m 33s):
We’re family that, yeah.

5 (19m 35s):
And you’re trying to feel everyone out and see like, okay, like, are they a couple, like where do they live? Get, just get to know them. And everything’s kind of awkward at first. Like, you don’t know what to talk about yet, but then by the end of the trip, you have just spent 26 miles hiking with each other and you know everything about each other by that point.

2 (19m 53s):
Yes you do. So they have bathrooms right there before you get onto the Trailhead. And so I remember like we went to the restroom, use the restroom, and then you get in line, you show your passport, you show your permit. And then we took a picture under the sign that said Inca trail. And we were off

4 (20m 11s):
Just so you guys are aware, those are the last civilized bathrooms that you’ll find along the trail until you actually get to Machu Picchu. So don’t take that opportunity for granted. Definitely use it cause anything else that you come across on the trail, the toilets are either going to be squat toilets, or you’re going to have to wait for a legitimate one to be set up for you at camp that your porters take. But it’s just a seat that they put a tent around. So

2 (20m 36s):
Before you go in the middle of the trail,

4 (20m 39s):
Well more on that later,

3 (20m 42s):
That brings up a good point. So before we went on this trip, we made a pact. You’ll hear us refer to each other as the NSO T Travel Squad and NSO T stands for no shits on trail. And our pact was that we would use the toilets that the trail had or that they provided. We would not be animals and shit on the trail.

2 (21m 3s):
And you know, it came about on the night when we were packing before, you know, they picked us up because Jamal was telling us how he had a friend who got the shits on the trail. And it was me who said, oh my gosh, guys, let’s make the pact here. And now no shits on the trail in sot was born.

4 (21m 21s):
Just the acronym we lived by.

2 (21m 23s):
And you know, the only reason we’re telling you this story is because shits were had on the trail,

3 (21m 29s):
Didn’t your dad. We use that acronym so much that your dad tried to like, look it up and figure out what it means.

5 (21m 36s):
My dad, we referenced something that said NSO T and my dad was like, what does that mean? Does it mean next stop on top? Does it mean he was like, looking it up on the internet? Like, it must be a good acronym, but no, it’s our own personal acronym. Right?

2 (21m 50s):
So if you are taking the altitude sickness pills, and one of the side effects is making you a have frequent urination. And so I think it was like 10 or 15 minutes on the trail, even though there were the last civilized bathrooms there that you’re going to see before you get onto the trail, I already had to pee. So Jamal like made sure that everything was clear for me to get down in my squat game. And as soon as I did, he’s like, go, go, go, go, go. You’re good. You’re good. And then I start and he’s like, oh, Nope, nevermind. Here comes her door guy because people are always on the trail and like legit, it can be so empty and then people will come out of nowhere. And I tried so hard to pee as fast as I could. And I just couldn’t.

4 (22m 31s):
Yeah. Our tour guide came from behind with Jen and David as the caboose of the group. And they caught you go. And I thought we were good, but you know, nonetheless,

2 (22m 39s):
And on the last day it wouldn’t be that big of a deal. But on the first day, because you’re still kind of like shy, like it is so embarrassing. So what I remember specifically was like later on, I was telling Jamal how embarrassed I was. And he’s like, no saying don’t be embarrassed. I mean, look, don’t be obvious. But if you turn around now, our tour guide is back there taking a piss himself. And I turned around and he just like pissed in the middle of everything.

4 (23m 2s):
But the trail is clean. It’s not urine filled, but guys just want to throw that out there. Yeah.

2 (23m 8s):
Also we made the comment that you need to have the cash in case of emergencies. And at the beginning of the trail, I do remember seeing an older lady coming down on a horse because she did get injured. So occasionally you will see people backtracking because they did get injured. So just be careful.

4 (23m 25s):
Yeah. I remember seeing that and thinking to myself, oh my God, I hope that doesn’t happen. I think one of the other packs that we made before the hike was if one of us get sick or injured and has to go back, it’s not going to affect the hike for anybody else. And we all made a truce to accept the fact that if we had to go back to civilization, we weren’t going to end the trip for anybody else,

3 (23m 45s):
Brittany, she would’ve left with you.

4 (23m 47s):
She says that. I don’t think so.

5 (23m 49s):
I actually remember being the one saying that. And I said, even if Jamala goes, I wouldn’t go, oh,

4 (23m 55s):
I told you she went,

3 (23m 56s):
If I got sick, I would want someone to go with me.

4 (24m 0s):
Okay. One of the things that I find most vivid of that first day was the lunch that we had because the breakfast was good that they gave us before the trail. But sometimes they’ll break up the day with lunch. And obviously you continue on later for the day before you actually get to base camp. And we were just so excited to eat lunch because we had been hiking a long time and they fed us a lot of food and then we had to hike right afterwards. And I think we all stuffed ourselves to make that hike difficult for the last half of the day. Yeah.

2 (24m 34s):
Yeah. I mean, the food was amazing. I feel like we ate really great food in Cusco, but nothing can compare to the food that we had on the trail. It’s like far superior than five stars and you’re so hungry and they’re bringing out an abundance of food

5 (24m 48s):
More than you can even

2 (24m 49s):
Eat. Yeah. And everyone is like so hungry. They’re so excited. The food is so good. You eat so much. And then you go back on the trail and you’re like, oh my goodness. So pro tip, no matter how good it is, no matter how hungry you are, pace yourselves. And don’t stop yourself because you will make your hike so much harder. If you over eats and the altitude also kills your appetite. So you, aren’t going to be as hungry as you really think you are. Once you do start eating, you’re going to fill up really quickly. So just keep that in mind. What

5 (25m 19s):
I remember most about the first day is you’re just so excited. And at the first glimpse of Inca ruins, everyone is just taking out their camera. You’re taking all of these pictures, you’re posing, and then you hit another inker ruin. Then you hit another inker ruin. And then you realize the whole trail is filled with different Inca ruins. And like I said, I regret not having a different battery charger to charge my phone because I could have gone through my whole phones in the first day, if I wanted to taking all of those pictures

2 (25m 49s):
And shout out to our tour guide Lee Sandro. So smart. So knowledgeable every time you get to the ruins, he’s telling us the story about them. So, you know, just alpaca tours, just what a great company and what a knowledgeable staff that they do have.

3 (26m 1s):
So we spend most of the day Hiking was at nine miles on day one.

4 (26m 5s):
It was about

3 (26m 6s):
That. I think it was nine miles. It was our second hardest day. So we’re pretty tired by the end of the day. And so we pull up to our final destination for the night and they’re so amazing. They had our tent set up, they had dinner going, they had bowls of water was so put out so that you can wash your own hands. It was amazing. So we were like, our minds are blown. So we get up into our tent to start setting up our bed area. And me and Zane are sitting in there. Everyone’s kind of lined up on their tents and we just hear the loudest fart.

2 (26m 41s):
I don’t think anyone expected it to be that loud that Kim and I just look at each other because okay, there’s 12 people and every single person is with another person. So you have tick. Exactly. So Kim and I always each other’s plus one. So we’re in the 10th and Jamal and Brittany is like to the left or right of us. And there’s another tent on the other side of us. So it was on the side of Kim and I, and we just can’t stop laughing. And I remember Jamal said, like we could, we heard you guys laughing so hard and we had no idea what was going on, but I don’t know in the moment you’re just so tired. You know, it’s, it’s just been such a long day and it was just so funny. And let me tell you, when you get your first, the glimpse of camp, there is nothing like it because you’ve just what a day.

2 (27m 25s):
And to see that you’ve finally gotten to the place where you can rest. It’s just amazing

5 (27m 30s):
With everything set up for you. That was like the best part. It’s one thing to make it to an area or like to a summit or where you need to go, but to get there and have everything prepped for you and just know like, all you have to do is eat dinner. Yeah,

4 (27m 43s):
Yeah. And shout out again to the porters. Cause those ones that again, made us our lunch and had a little lunch camp set up. We start the trail before them continuing on, they break down, wash the dishes, they pack up, pack up, they get ahead of us. So yeah. So, so far ahead of us that they get to camp first to be able to set up, have dinner ready. So just real shout out to them and all the hard work that they do to make the trip for you as easy and enjoyable as possible.

2 (28m 14s):
And one of the things our tour guide was telling us is that, although they’re all in uniform and we were the green machine because I’ll pack a tour’s is green. So they’re all in uniform, but they aren’t given shoes. So they need to buy their own shoes. So you see some of the porters in tennis shoes, you see some of them in sandals that are like on the last straw and no matter what they’re in, they are running with pounds of stuff on their back to get to the next location. And the other thing is, is that the camp sites, they have to bid for them and I’ll pack a Torres, was always getting to the place first in order to bid for the best spots for us,

5 (28m 51s):
Shout out telepathic tours again, after we had the dinner there on the first night, we just all were so tired. We just crashed out and went to bed. I don’t think we did anything else beyond that. Yeah,

3 (29m 0s):
But at like eight o’clock and it was good because it was the coldest night. It was so cold that first night,

2 (29m 6s):
I remember having to use the restroom in the middle of the night and I thought, you know what? Nope, I’ll wait till the morning. I just don’t want to go out there. I’m afraid that I’m going to get eaten by a bear

4 (29m 18s):
Out there.

2 (29m 19s):
I know that, but I don’t know that it’s so cold. You know, 5:00 AM will come fast and that’s the thing is every morning they’re waking you up at like 5:00 AM. And it’s really nice because they wake you up with a nice warm cup of cocoa tea and also a Coca tea and a rooster, not alive rooster, but the sound of a rooster.

3 (29m 43s):
Yeah. That’s so cute. And they go in front of everyone’s tent and make the rooster sound go off and leave the tea there for you.

5 (29m 49s):
So day two was our hardest and longest day of hiking. And this is the day that you have been prepping for, with the altitude sickness medication

3 (29m 58s):
And all the Hiking you’ve been doing, because you’re going straight up dead woman’s past.

2 (30m 3s):
So you have your tour guide. Who’s usually at the very front of everyone. And then he also has kind of an, an assistant tour guide. So he is the end of everyone. The caboose, there you go. Making sure that no one gets left behind. This is you’re summiting two different mountain tops, and this is 12 miles and it is all uphill. And I remember at one point, Jamal and Brittany kind of disappeared and no one was nervous for not nervous, but like where’s Jamal and Brittany, whereas Jamal and Brittany, and we couldn’t figure out where they were. And we get to the top of dead woman’s pass. And eventually we were able to see them coming because Jamal had his San Francisco giants hat on and everyone was like, oh, look, there’s Jamal in his hat.

2 (30m 45s):
But what you guys missed was one of the guys on the trip with us today, he ran to the top of dead woman’s pass. And it’s taking your breath away because of the high altitude anyways. So it’s just so funny to watch him run. And then when he got to the top, he was like ready to pass out because he was like, oh, that might not have been a great idea.

5 (31m 5s):
And the reason that Jamal and I were a little behind was actually has the altitude was hitting me pretty hard. It was very difficult for me to breathe. And I was experienced with altitude because we had just done rainbow mountain. And it was just very difficult. Like you would feel you would walk 10 steps, feel like you need to take a break, walk 10 steps, take another break. And so it was very hard to track through. And even though I was taking the pills, it was just very difficult. And you guys know, by now I’m a nurse. And I had bought my own pulse-ox autometer to test my oxygen saturation. And I was dropping into like the 76% and my heart rate was going pretty crazy. It was like in the one fifties, which is pretty high, normal is 60 to a hundred. If anyone wants to know

4 (31m 46s):
What’s normal oxygen concentration, he said in the seventies, so what’s normal.

5 (31m 50s):
So my oxygen concentration was like 76 for part of the trail. And anytime you’re in a hospital setting, they encourage you to be over 92%.

2 (32m 0s):
No, your tour guide has, what is that called? The pulse oxygen Pulse oximeter. Your tour guide has one as well, but you know, nurse, Brittany, she’s always going to have everything that we need.

4 (32m 11s):
Yeah. But so do just give it a little bit of preface dead woman’s pass is the highest elevation point that you will come across on the Inca trail. It’s about 14,000 feet, correct? Yeah. Yeah. So really, really high up there. And I remember by the time that we finally made it to the top we had, did we have lunch that day? Or they brought out just little snacks for us.

2 (32m 33s):
It’s only snacks because we still had another, we got to the top at around 12:00 PM and lunch. Wasn’t going to be until one. So we still had another good hour of Hiking.

3 (32m 43s):
Did they give us,

4 (32m 44s):
That’s why I was going to say they had this snack. And I couldn’t remember if we had lunch or not. So

2 (32m 48s):
Remember we had breakfast at like five 30 or 6:00 AM

4 (32m 51s):
Awry and you’re doing all that Hiking. So they needed to give us a little bit of something for rejuvenation. And they had just a cheese sandwich. And let me tell you something, one of the best fucking cheese sandwiches I’ve ever had in my life.

2 (33m 5s):
I don’t know if it was because we were so tired or if it was like, really just that great. But like everyone was going bat shit crazy for how dynamite these cheese sandwiches were

5 (33m 15s):
Star cheese sandwich.

4 (33m 17s):
I thought it was. And then I was excited too, because one, I just got some sustenance with the cheese sandwich that I love too. We made it through the hardest part in terms of hiking straight up. And I was really excited. I was like, oh, we’re going to be going downhill from there. Because at that point it was just kind of downhill. And that almost sucked even worse than the climb, at least for me simply because you already work in your calves and quads on that hike. But as soon as you start going downhill, you realize how much weight and pressure you’re actually putting on it to support yourself. And I found going down to be harder than going up,

5 (33m 52s):
Going down. It was where I actually excelled.

3 (33m 56s):
Yeah, you were booking it

2 (33m 58s):
And you know, altitude sickness, it doesn’t discriminate because Brittany was pretty much like the hiking champion out, at least out of me and her, she’s the one that was dragging me to, to hike practice before the trip. So it really doesn’t discriminate, but I don’t know. I didn’t like going down because I agree with you

4 (34m 19s):
As we started going down the word designated toilets on the trail, like fixed toilets, but these were the Squatty potty toilets. And you come across

3 (34m 29s):
The ground, the

4 (34m 30s):
Hole in the ground. And like Zayna said in the intro, they cleaned the trail once every February and the cleaning of the trail includes those specific toilets. So depending on what time of the year, you’re at close to February or a way to it. Yeah. You’re at the tip. You’re at the tail and cause we were in June and my goodness. But anyway, nonetheless, I started to get the sensation that I had to go. And

3 (34m 59s):
Maybe a lot of bowel movement conversation in this episode.

4 (35m 4s):
I mean, it’s only natural.

2 (35m 5s):
The food that they’re feeding you is so fibrous

4 (35m 12s):
Just got to go when you got to go. But anyway, I felt the sensation and I was so stoked because I was like, Ooh, they advised us the bathroom’s coming up. I’m not going to break in sot model here or anything like that. And so I was fortunate enough to be able to make it to the designated toilet. One of us here, we’re not going to say who quite yet was not later on this stay tuned in the next couple of minutes for that.

5 (35m 40s):
Why don’t we just get into it?

2 (35m 42s):
Whoa, wait, wait, before we get into it, what did you say in the bathroom?

4 (35m 47s):
Well, it’s irrelevant, but you know, not the less basic

2 (35m 50s):
Side-by-side,

4 (35m 51s):
There are two stalls. Side-by-side, one’s a men, one’s a woman. And not that I think it really matters, but at the same point, everyone who was there was a biding by that designation. And I was in line. Kim was standing next to me. I don’t know what she was going to be doing in there, but nonetheless in line for the rest of

3 (36m 10s):
The poop. So it definitely wasn’t that.

4 (36m 13s):
Or wait until we get to the last day, huh? Only on day four, Kevin chemicals. But anyway, we went in there and then I thought Kim was going to be next to me. And then I was telling her like, I’m sorry for what you may be about to be here. And you’re Kim and then it turns out no one was there. I guess she was in and out real quick.

3 (36m 30s):
So after lunch we keep hiking. And on this day we come upon these ruins. I think at that point they were the best ones we’d seen up close so far. And there,

4 (36m 42s):
Some of us are, yeah, some of us saw them

3 (36m 45s):
At this point, we get to the ruins and there are these like tiered areas and there’s all these big ones that you can walk through. And me and Brittany are just having a good time taking pictures.

5 (36m 56s):
And it was actually really cool. Like earlier in the day, hiking, we were super hot. But at this point while we’re walking through, it gets so cold that two of our fellow hikers gave us their extra jackets to put on because it was so cold in that area. So nice. The sun was starting to come down and the sun was starting to come through the clouds and it just looks so beautiful. And Kim and I are together because Jamal and Zena continued on the trail because Dana was going to break NSOC.

4 (37m 26s):
I think this is the first time I’m actually hearing what the ruins even sounded like. Now that I think about it. Cause I, cause I didn’t get to see them. Why didn’t I, why didn’t they get, why didn’t I get to see them saying,

2 (37m 35s):
Because you’re a gentleman and you helped me. Well, we started to run to the camp cause I thought I could make it to the camp.

4 (37m 42s):
It wasn’t

3 (37m 43s):
That far.

4 (37m 44s):
Well, so we were getting close to the end of the day in terms of where camp was set up. So those ruins were maybe about 20 minutes. I think it was from where camp was going to be. But right as we were getting to the ruins Zaina was like, I don’t know if I can stay here and see the tour of the ruins. I just got to get to camp. I got to go to the bathroom. I got to go to the bathroom and she was too scared to go on the trail alone, all the bears, all the mountain lions that could potentially be on it.

2 (38m 16s):
I almost died from a mountain lion on day four, got to be a dog.

4 (38m 21s):
But anyway, Zayna basically was throwing a shit fit saying quite literally and figurative way that she didn’t want to go on the trail alone to get to camp. So I offered to go with her so that she could use the restroom. That’s set up at camp and what happens. They now

2 (38m 37s):
20 minutes is a long fucking time when you have to go. And that’s all I’m going to say,

4 (38m 42s):
We’ll leave it at that. Zayna broke NSO T

2 (38m 46s):
That’s my idea, Whatever.

5 (38m 51s):
So eventually we all make it back to camp. We meet up with Jamal and Zena and again, our Teddy

3 (38m 57s):
Tell us a story.

4 (38m 59s):
Yeah. We advise Kim and Brittany that oh, Zana, wasn’t able to make it to camp.

2 (39m 5s):
Okay. And we got to cab that crew, there is clapping for us as soon as we it’s just, it’s amazing the comradery and just how encouraging it is because really we didn’t carry anything. We’re just Hiking. They’re the ones running the trail. And as soon as Jamal and I show up, all the porters are lined up clapping for us. And it kind of made me cry because it was a hard day

4 (39m 30s):
And you’re working harder

2 (39m 31s):
And it’s just, it’s really beautiful. And then, you know, they already have warm water in a bucket right outside of your tent with soap. So you can wash your hands, wash your face again. Like I can’t stress enough how hard they work. And then everyone else finally showed up and we all enjoyed dinner together.

5 (39m 47s):
And after dinner we all went outside and our tour guide Lissandra was telling ghost stories while we were stargazing through the night. And I remember being so scared after the ghost story that I told Jamal, if I have to get up and go to the bathroom in the middle of night, you are coming with me

2 (40m 6s):
On the itinerary was stargazing. But Lee Sandro started to tell us ghost stories. I was like, what the hell dude? I thought we were going to be stargazing. I didn’t know. This ghost stories were on the,

3 (40m 18s):
I think it was more scary because the story he was telling was about someone on the trail and getting taken or getting hurt or something. And they never figured out what it was. And so we were like, oh crap, we’re going to die out here.

2 (40m 31s):
So bathroom buddies in the middle of the night were born.

4 (40m 34s):
Yeah. Well Brittany said that if she has to go in the middle of the night, I wasn’t going to go with her. And I thought that was just something she was saying in the moment. And then it’s the middle of the night. And literally she’s like nudging on me, like wake up. I’m like what? She’s like, I gotta go to the bathroom. So go. He was like, are you going to come with me? And I was like, no. Why? And she’s like, no, come on, please come with me. I’m still scared. I’m like, oh my God. So I had to be woken up to go because I mean, normally in the middle of the night, whether it would be at home hotel or regular camping, for that matter, you have to go. It’s not a big deal to tell anybody, nor did she tell me the other nights on the Inca trail that she had to go to the bathroom. So I was actually quite pissed.

4 (41m 14s):
I was like, dude, I don’t want to fucking get up.

5 (41m 17s):
It was cold outside. So like, you have to get your gloves, you put your shoes on. But he was a trooper. He went with me to the bathroom.

2 (41m 24s):
Oh Kim and I had a great experience. Cause I don’t know if I woke up to go to the bathroom and then Kim said, let me go with you. Or if Kim woke up and I said, let me go with you. But we were,

3 (41m 34s):
Yes.

4 (41m 34s):
Oh, that’s good. Either

3 (41m 36s):
One of us wanted to go alone,

4 (41m 37s):
But that’s what I was going to say. You’re both equally scared. So it was more like agreed upon.

2 (41m 43s):
Yeah, we should’ve knocked on your, your guys’s tent and had Brittany come with us. The threesome showed

4 (41m 47s):
Up.

2 (41m 48s):
Same to Jamal.

3 (41m 49s):
The stargazing was really nice too. That we could see all the stars, no light pollution.

4 (41m 56s):
I was going to say, it’s so nice. You know, that’s one thing that I regret I didn’t do more was to stay up and actually really do some serious star gazing on my own. Because like you said, Kim, no light pollution. You’re at a really high altitude already as it is. So you see the sky in a completely different way. And I know it sounds like really cliche, but a lot of us who live in cities, there’s lots of light pollution. Sometimes we’re just caught up. Don’t really get to look. But unless you’ve ever really been out in the country where there’s no lights and really see the stars, it’s such an amazing, amazing thing

3 (42m 27s):
That we can point out the constellation.

4 (42m 29s):
Yeah. You could even see the Milky way.

3 (42m 31s):
Yeah. There was a few of us up watching, looking up at the stars. And so it was nice, like bonding and talking to,

2 (42m 37s):
I missed out, I got into the tent to change and I didn’t, I never came out, but I really, really wished that I start gazed with you guys.

5 (42m 44s):
Well, after night too, we woke up and we actually got an easy day on this

4 (42m 50s):
Trip. Britney really means easy day. This time. It

3 (42m 53s):
Wasn’t easy day.

5 (42m 55s):
It was a half day.

2 (42m 57s):
I don’t like going down. I mean, yeah, it was easy. But day two, all you did was go up hill for 12 miles. So day three, all you’re doing is going down. And I just felt like it’s kind of hard to go down.

4 (43m 7s):
I mean it is. I know I said that earlier, but we didn’t. We only did it half a day because by the time we got to lunch, that was also base camp. So we were done hiking by noon. So we really had from noon up until the next day before Machu Picchu to really just kind of sit and experience camp life. But day three was by far my favorite ruins that we came across across the trail. And dare I say, I think I enjoyed those ruins more than I did Machu Picchu. If you want me to be completely honest, I wouldn’t say

3 (43m 35s):
That.

2 (43m 36s):
But before we got there, show of hands who got scared by Lee, Sandra and the mask and the tunnel.

3 (43m 43s):
Me.

4 (43m 45s):
I don’t remember that.

3 (43m 47s):
Okay. So here’s what happened. So day three, we’re walking through some ruins. We’ve been taking pictures, you’re telling us stories. So our tour guide is in the front of the line and we’re going through this like long tunnel is probably what, like, I don’t know, maybe 30 feet or so. So you can’t really see around the bend when it comes out. So we’re walking in a line, spread out. Like we had been the whole time and he’s in the front and we don’t know it, but he puts on one of those like wrestling masks.

4 (44m 17s):
Yeah.

3 (44m 18s):
Yeah. And then start scaring people one by one. So someone got scared before me, but I didn’t realize what was going on. And then as soon as I walk up, he scares me and I scream. Then he’s like, shh, because he wants to keep scaring people. And it was pretty fun.

4 (44m 33s):
I forgot about that. I vaguely don’t I remember the tunnel. I just don’t remember him scared. Maybe, maybe he felt like not scaring me, but that I apparently that came off the heels of ghost stories than I think.

3 (44m 43s):
Yes. And that’s why it was even scarier because he’d put that in our head.

5 (44m 46s):
Yeah. And before we talk about the ruins that we go to, when we do get to base camp, this is your one opportunity to shower along the trail

3 (44m 56s):
Is a nice hot,

4 (44m 58s):
Ooh, it was so hot steaming. Wasn’t it?

2 (45m 1s):
I know I take a shower because they’re totally joshing you. That is so cold. Like I know

5 (45m 9s):
A water heater

2 (45m 10s):
You’re in the middle of the Andes. It was

4 (45m 14s):
The, water’s probably coming from a mountain stream at 12,000 feet high. So I mean, it’s definitely going to be pretty, pretty cold. And you know, I was debating like, okay, do I want to take a shower? And we even packed a towel to be able to do it. I remember that’s one of the things that I included in My little pack, but

5 (45m 34s):
So I’m actually going to correct you on that. Okay. You said you didn’t want to shower. And Kim and I said, we did want to shower. So Kim and I packed one towel between the two of us to share where that shower experience then after Kim and I showered, you decided then you wanted to shower. So then you use the towel, Kim and I,

2 (45m 55s):
It was a good thing. I didn’t decide.

4 (45m 57s):
No, no, no, no.

2 (45m 59s):
But we would have shared it four ways regardless.

4 (46m 1s):
I think it will. I don’t know who you let borrow the towel because I didn’t end up showering because I was going to say, I ended up getting scared after I heard Brian who was on our, You did not say so. After, after I heard Brian, who was one of the fellow trekkers on our tour with us, Absolutely get into the shower. He was like, oh my God, like, you can just hear him like screaming with like how cold it was. He freaked me the fuck out. I was like, you know what? I’m not about to get in that water.

3 (46m 33s):
You did like you washed your head in the

4 (46m 35s):
Pies. Okay. So that’s right. Yes, I did. I didn’t do a full shower. I just kind of like rinsed my face off. I didn’t do anything else. I didn’t do like a full body, but I rinsed my head, got my hair wet, et cetera. So that’s where I guess I use the towel. Thank you for reminding me of that, Kim. I forgot when you said I used the towel. It didn’t ring a bell.

3 (46m 53s):
Here’s the strategy that I went in with. It worked out really well for me. I got in there and put the soap in my armpits and all the areas that you want to wash. I think I washed my hair before we went into, and then I just rinsed out the conditioner. So I prepped my whole self. Then I turned on the water and rinsed and washed as fast as I could and took like a 32nd shower.

5 (47m 13s):
Yeah. Before he actually got into the shower, there was like a sink basin outside. And so Kevin and I, we washed, we shampooed our hair. We rinse the shampoo out of our hair. And then we put the conditioner in her hair. And so once we got to the actual showers, all we had to do was rinse out the conditioner and soap with our,

2 (47m 30s):
I was just too scared. I really wanted to, but I was way too scared. And my hair is really, really thick. So I just feel like, oh, it would take forever to rent something out of my hair.

4 (47m 39s):
At that point, I figured what’s one more day. We’re about to be done with Machu Picchu. The next day we’re going to be at our hotel. I’ll shower then. And

3 (47m 48s):
Showered though, I

2 (47m 48s):
Like to have some FOMO. Everyone looked really clean.

4 (47m 51s):
They did seem clean and refresh, but I mean, Brian, if your listing, you scared me, my friend, You scared me on that one. But no one of my, like I said, other than the fact that we were able to, well, most everyone was able to get fully clean and shower. We really did have a nice half day. So it was just really nice. All of us hiking together to be able to sit as a group talk, shared tails. But my favorite thing, there was the ruins, like I said, they were okay.

3 (48m 20s):
So when I got out of the shower and went back to the tent, the tent was filled with all the girls on the trail. All of them were in our tent, braiding each other’s hair and talking. And I, all the guys were like together talking about, I don’t know, man shit.

5 (48m 35s):
Yeah. I can only speak about what the girls talked about and what we did, but I just started going around to all the girls and I, French braided everyone’s hair. And then I French braided my own hair and we all looked perfect for upcoming photos.

2 (48m 47s):
Right.

3 (48m 48s):
And then once, once we were all ready, they took us to the ruins at Jamal is in love with

2 (48m 54s):
Kim and I had the party 10

4 (48m 57s):
As

2 (48m 57s):
It should be.

4 (48m 58s):
That was one of my, so it took place in your guys’s tent. Cause Burton. He was probably in there doing your guys’ hair. Then it became just a little party or something like that.

2 (49m 6s):
Well, they asked Brittany to French braid my hair. Cause Brittany is like the girl who always gets to French, braid my hair. When we’re on vacation, lucky you fish tail French braid. Like she does it all.

4 (49m 16s):
But that was one of my favorite things about that half day as well was the fact that after the showers, we were all just able to hang out. You girls got your hair, all braided, all the girls on the trail where all the guys were kind of sitting around socializing. But after that, we were able to go to the ruins, which I really, really loved. And like I said, I think these ones were better than Machu Picchu itself. It’s tough to pronounce. I think they’re called want, how do you say it

3 (49m 44s):
When

4 (49m 46s):
Kim said it best

2 (49m 47s):
You need to know is translated. It means forever young.

3 (49m 51s):
Yeah. And these ruins were massive as we went through the trail, the ruins kept getting bigger and bigger and more impressive until the very last one.

2 (49m 58s):
These ones are on a steep hillside overlooking the UDL Bomba river.

4 (50m 3s):
Yeah. But what was really cool about it is, like you said, they’re on the hillside, but they’re terrorist because they actually did some farming on it, I think is what they said they used to do. And what’s really interesting is even to this day, even though these things are hundreds of years old, when they were built, does anyone remember the little water Aqua ducks that they actually had built through they’re coming through the terrorists? So they’re still running and their natural from obviously the snow runoff from the mountains. And to this day, the water still running there as a feat of engineering for those ruins. It’s really cool.

2 (50m 36s):
I loved these ruins and I think the most amazing thing about it was we pretty much had this entire site to ourself and it was huge. So when you get to Machu Picchu, it’s going to be super crowded. There’s going to be so many people here and here you are on these forever young ruins all to yourself, perfect picture opportunities. And to just like be in the middle of nature.

5 (50m 57s):
Yeah. Day three was one of my favorite days. One, the ruins were beautiful. We got them all to ourselves. And by this day, everyone in the group was really vibing, really knew each other. So it was a lot less awkward than day one. And I just felt like we really got to know each other and we still had MACI peak shoot after.

3 (51m 14s):
Yeah. And you absolutely do get to know each other because as you’re hiking all these miles, you’re, you’re pairing up with different people. So some days I’d be walking with thought and lean in some days, or some hours would be walking with you guys and you know, flip-flopping around. And just getting to know everyone really well

2 (51m 31s):
Before this trip, Kim and I really didn’t know each other. So we got an opportunity to get to know each other on the trail. If we didn’t already from sharing a tent,

3 (51m 41s):
The best part about the Machu Picchu hike was the journey. I

2 (51m 45s):
Was so sad when we got to Machu Picchu.

4 (51m 49s):
Well, we’re getting a little bit I had, but my favorite thing about the trip wasn’t even going to Machu Picchu. It was the journey and the trail itself, because that was the exciting part.

3 (51m 59s):
Yeah. And all of these ruins that we’re seeing along the trail, there’s no other way to see them other than to hike through the Andes. So it’s really cool.

5 (52m 7s):
So this is our final night that we’re going to be spending on the trail. And again, five star food along the trail. And this last night for dinner

3 (52m 15s):
Did up themselves.

5 (52m 17s):
They did themselves, the main cook made a cake. How on earth? He fucking make a cake? I don’t know. In the middle,

4 (52m 24s):
I enjoyed eating it.

3 (52m 27s):
He must’ve cooked it before

4 (52m 29s):
And then frosted it or something. Cause how did it break? I don’t know.

5 (52m 33s):
It was just amazing. And they’re just giving you all of this food and then they have this special dessert and it almost just brings you to tears because you’re like, wow, they’re really going out of their way for you.

2 (52m 44s):
Oh, I cried.

4 (52m 46s):
Yeah. Well, I also remember too. I mean, it was for us. And even though they’re making us all this delicious food, the porters themselves, sometimes aren’t even eating what they’re cooking. They’re eating other more simple food and not a lot of stuff. That’s extravagant is what they’re giving to us. So one thing that we all decided on as a group is we definitely had cake, but we ate like little bit of the cake and we made sure that the porters were able to eat the cake as well. Zune. Remember? That was specific. Yeah. So we had them all come in and eat. And that was really, really humbling and touching experience. I will say that

2 (53m 21s):
This is also the night where, cause you’re really not going to see them the next day when you into Machu Picchu. So this is your opportunity to tip your quarters. So Gretchen and I were the ones that spoke Spanish. And so we decided as a group that Gretchen and I will say the thanks and you guys, I could cry now because it’s just so moving. Like they would, at least Sondra said that he does that track five or six times out of a month. And that’s a four day tracks. If you’re doing it five times a month, you’re spending 20 days out of every month on the trail. And these are porters, like I said earlier in flip-flops that are breaking or tennis shoes with holes in them.

2 (54m 4s):
And they’re away from their family and they’re working for such a small dollar and they’re running on the trails and they’re getting to, you know, like your, your locations before you so they can set everything up and they’re just working so hard and it’s just, it’s so touching to, to see that kind of humanity. And then like when you’re on the trail, you know, you’re clapping for them. Like, it’s just like, I just feel so blessed.

3 (54m 29s):
And that’s exactly what you said too.

2 (54m 31s):
I just feel so blessed to be born where I was born and have the opportunities that I have. And these are people who work so hard and these are the opportunities that they have. And they’re clapping for you when you’re walking on the trail. And really they’re the ones that deserve the clapping. And I’m so sorry guys, but like, Like, it’s so touching. And so I’m saying this and I’m, so then everyone else started to cry because like, it’s just so touching. And there’s like, no way to describe it

5 (54m 59s):
On the subject of tipping, the orders before you even go on the hike, there’s a list, a packing list, of course. And they also tell you what you should include to tip your Porter and your guide. And so you want to make sure you have that money along with your spare cash. And like Sienna said, it’s just such a humbling experience. And they deserve every dollar that they suggest you tip. And so don’t cheap out on

4 (55m 21s):
That. Give them more like,

3 (55m 23s):
And you’re not tipping person to person. Your whole group comes together and gives a lump sum of money that they split amongst porters and cooks and all the other people.

4 (55m 33s):
So after that tear jerky night, definitely the climax of the trip was obviously getting to Machu Picchu. Now we actually had to wake up really early in the morning. They woke us up at three 30 in the morning.

5 (55m 48s):
They’re already up that day.

4 (55m 49s):
Okay. Well, no, well we had to wake up at three 30, but Kim was up earlier. Wasn’t that the case

3 (56m 0s):
I didn’t get much sleep that night. So I don’t know what it was, but something upset my stomach and I really needed to use the Cipro that I brought.

4 (56m 11s):
Got a good use of it. Yeah.

3 (56m 13s):
I’ll say that. So I think I was awoken around like 1:00 AM or something and my stomach hurts so bad. I did not, I’ve never felt stomach pain like that. It the worst. So I’m taking a bunch of Imodium thinking like this is going to solve it. No big deal. And I am, I think I’d already gone to the bathroom once. And then I came back and I woke up again as I had to go again and Zeno wakes up at the same time and she’s like, oh, just go with you

2 (56m 39s):
Bathroom buddy. And

3 (56m 40s):
I was like, let me go first.

2 (56m 45s):
Yeah. I felt so bad. I thought you were just going pee. So I was like, you know what Kim asked, cool. I’m just going to go like you’re on the trail and I’ll meet you back at the end and give you your privacy.

4 (56m 55s):
So at what point did you take the Cipro?

3 (56m 57s):
I think I took it right around that time, but

4 (56m 60s):
The good news is it really kicked in and he fell

3 (57m 3s):
That really fast. Yeah.

4 (57m 5s):
It worked really fast. And so it didn’t hinder Machu Picchu for you in any way that,

3 (57m 11s):
You know, I think I gotten it all out of me and I definitely, my stomach still hurt when we were at Machu Picchu, but they had the regular bathrooms. And so it was, it helped a little bit.

4 (57m 22s):
The rest of us woke up at three 30, I guess Kim was a little up a little bit earlier, but the reason why we had to get up so early is at this campground that they have on the Inca trail, they have a gate that they close because literally just beyond that gate is a short little Trek to Machu Picchu. I don’t think it was any more than two miles, right? So our camp was two miles away from Machu Picchu. And we were up that early because they wanted us to be first in line of all the other tour groups. That way we could get there first,

3 (57m 55s):
They were seriously hustling us.

2 (57m 57s):
And the other thing is that if you are one of the first groups to get to the gates, you get cover over you. And it did start to rain that morning. So even though it was just not comfortable waking up that early, when you’re already so tired, it was so nice to one. We had benches to sit on and we had a cover over us while it rained. And if you weren’t in that little area, that means you were standing or sitting on the trail and you were getting rained on. And that line lined up really long, really fast.

5 (58m 31s):
What I remember most from that morning was we got there super early to be first in line at the gate. And then it was just a waiting game because at that point they actually want to look at your passport and make sure that your permits do match up. And we got there so early, we were waiting that eventually I had to go to the bathroom. I had to pee and I went back and it was just a line of people back to the bathrooms and the bathrooms on the trail at this point. And I think it’s just because everyone just lines up and waits every morning. We’re fucking disgusting.

4 (59m 4s):
And the porters had already broken down like our camp bathroom then at that point, right? Yeah.

2 (59m 9s):
Because you know what it is is like the porters have to be on the first train out on Machu Picchu. So they gave us a box breakfast. We didn’t even get the luxury breakfast that morning. They’re hustling. You like sardines, but for good reason.

4 (59m 24s):
So finally they opened the gate. I believe it was around five o’clock, five 30. They opened the gate and we started going on the trail. And at this point it’s actually flat and the sun is still down, hasn’t risen yet. And I think Zayna thought she was going to get attacked by a bear that time or a lion, right. Or a mountain might, excuse me.

2 (59m 45s):
I always do. But you know, okay. As soon as they opened up the gate, everyone started to run. Do you remember that? So everyone’s running. And I felt like I was, and it’s so exciting. It’s so fucking exciting. And I was with you guys until I wasn’t anymore. So I don’t know what happened. And all of a sudden I’m by myself and I hear something behind me and I thought it was a mountain lion. So I first into tears and I was crying so hard and I didn’t want to turn around and make eye contact. So I was walking slowly and what felt like forever, this thing was following me. And then I realized that it’s a dog and I wasn’t about to die from a mountain lion, But it was really, really, really traumatizing.

4 (1h 0m 27s):
And we continued on the trail and there was one point that was actually really hard on that last little segment of the trail to Machu Picchu. And what was it, ladies?

3 (1h 0m 37s):
At least Sandra kept saying almost there. This is the easy part. It’s easy for him. When we got there, he’s like, all right, this is the easiest part. And we turn the corner and it’s basically a vertical, the vertical rock line.

2 (1h 0m 49s):
And he goes so ,

4 (1h 0m 53s):
But that was really pretty much the hardest part of that day. You did have to traverse up that. I think what was it, maybe 20 feet, 25 feet. So you get up there and then you catch your first glimpse of Machu Picchu.

3 (1h 1m 5s):
So we spent the day touring Machu Picchu in the beginning, our tour guides took us around and sat us down and was kind of giving us the history and the background and whatnot. But by that point I was so tired that as he’s talking, I’m just sitting there sleeping and he keeps saying like, no, sleeping, those sleeping. And I was trying to keep my eyes open, but it wasn’t happening. So then he set us out on our own. We got to go walk around and explore. There’s so much walking. It’s very crowded,

2 (1h 1m 33s):
Extremely crowded

3 (1h 1m 34s):
Because people can come from the train without Hiking.

4 (1h 1m 38s):
Yeah. So it’s not just the people who are on the trail, clearly, tourists who don’t want to do the hike can go to Machu Picchu. So there is a train that goes to the town or city Aguas Calientes at the bottom. Correct. And then you take a shuttle bus to the top and literally thousands of people it’s so crowded that your actual path that you have to explore Machu Picchu is in a one-way direction. So if you pass something and want to go back, you’re shit out of luck, you got to do the whole loop and then do it again. If you want to go through. So really, really crowded. And I feel that kind of takes away from the experience of Machu Picchu, which is why I liked the ruins day three, a lot more, just the peace quiet. And they were just as grand

5 (1h 2m 19s):
Anywhere. What I remember is all of the people that were getting off of the buses, they were huffing and puffing up to Machu Picchu.

4 (1h 2m 26s):
I forgot about

5 (1h 2m 27s):
Them. And they were like complaining about how hard it is and how tired they are. And I’m was just like, bitches, shut the fuck up. We just said 26 miles on this fucking trail. And you’re doing nothing.

4 (1h 2m 40s):
I know they were complaining about a future steps within Machu Picchu. I’m just like, are you kidding me? You took a bus up here. Like, come on. I got a complaint. I remember hearing somebody say that. And I was just like, look, these crazy fuckers. Yeah.

2 (1h 2m 52s):
You know what I remember? I was like, there was a moment where like we, Sondra was like, chit-chatting like flirting with me. And he looks at me for a response. And I’m so tired that I just like looked at him and I smiled. And I was like, huh?

4 (1h 3m 6s):
I mean, after, after four days and at the altitude, we were all exhausted. As a matter of fact at Machu Picchu, there is another hike that you can do, because if you’ve ever seen photos of Machu Picchu, there is this one big towering. I don’t want to call it mountain, but cliff or mountain scape that kind of overlooks it. And you can do a trail there. And Brittany originally wanted to do that. You have to buy the permits for it. We luckily opted not to do it. And we were so stoked that we didn’t, but someone from our tour ta-da and Lena decided to do it. And ta-da, I’ll still never, ever forget his reaction when we asked him how it was.

4 (1h 3m 46s):
And he’s like, yeah, I’m sitting, trying to sit in his German voice. So apologize for the terrible accent. He was like, yeah, I’m just tired. It’s the same view from the other side. Yeah.

9 (1h 3m 58s):
That was his

4 (1h 3m 58s):
Response. And I just, I remember it so vividly and I was like, oh, thank God, Brittany. You didn’t make me do this fucking shit. Like after

9 (1h 4m 6s):
This 26 months

5 (1h 4m 7s):
Tata, if you’re listening, you looked great after that.

2 (1h 4m 10s):
Yeah. What did I say at Tata and Lena walk in and I look at Jamal and I’m like, oh my God, look at Tata. He doesn’t even look tired. He looks so refreshed and he sits down and he makes the comment. I’m tired. Yeah. I started to laugh because I was just saying he does not look tired at all.

4 (1h 4m 28s):
Yeah. So after all the anticipation and Hiking, you know, we finally made it to Machu Picchu after we were done, they gave us a little bit of free time again to explore ourselves. But we all met down in the town of Aguas we had a final lunch together as a group before they put us on the train back to Cusco.

2 (1h 4m 49s):
What I do want to touch upon is you can get a stamp at Machu Picchu for your passport and Machu Picchu stamp, and then to get to August Kali and this, we had to catch a bus and it was just a bus ride down the hill,

4 (1h 5m 4s):
The big windy hill down to there. And then from there, you know, we caught the train, but such a fun, amazing trip. It’s the start of Travel Squad memories. Number one. But like I said before, my favorite part of the trip was actually the hike, the journey, and the amazing, amazing friends that we met along the way,

3 (1h 5m 23s):
Once we were done with the trip and we took the train back to Cusco. Do you remember the snacks on the train?

5 (1h 5m 29s):
Oh my God. Five star again,

4 (1h 5m 32s):
I loved the train. I was pleasantly surprised. It was almost like we were sitting in a first-class train. It was really, really nice. Yeah.

5 (1h 5m 40s):
The seats were so comfortable. We got to relax and recline. It was amazing.

3 (1h 5m 45s):
So this episode is pretty long. So we didn’t add in any questions of the week. I’m very sad about it. But if you have any questions about Machu Picchu and you’re trying to plan a trip, or you’re trying to prepare for your trip, just hit us up on Instagram at Travel Squad Podcast, send us a message or just comment on one of our pictures and we will get back to you and be your personal travel agent

4 (1h 6m 7s):
As always guys, definitely. Please subscribe to our podcast, leaver view and tune in every travel Tuesday for new episodes.

2 (1h 6m 15s):
And if you aren’t already be sure to follow us on Instagram and Twitter at Travel Squad Podcast

5 (1h 6m 20s):
Next week, pack your bags and throw your shit in the back of your car. Cause we’re going on a road trip to big Sur.

3 (1h 6m 27s):
Wait, thanks for listening.

5 (1h 6m 29s):
Bye

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