South America Adventures - Part 6 (Inca Trail)
Naturally the porters were running down the downhills...and our group was taking it slow (I mean SUPER slow) literally one step at a time. It became the running gag with the group because every corner we turned was more stairs.
Up to this point, I realized I majorly lacked skill hiking up mountains. Sure I beat the old ladies but for a fit active adult I was sure sucking ass. Anyway turns out I LOVE going downhill. Yes my brand new hiking boots with super traction sure helped, but I was flying down those stones like a porter. I think the phrase "Lindsay is part mountain goat" was used a couple of times. We came to this one particularly treacherous looking steep stair set that Dana called "the downward hill of hell". Here is a shot of it.
It took the group about 5 minutes to get to the bottom. I handed off my camera to get video of my attempt at either descending at record speed...or breaking my neck. Here is the link to the video, you be the judge.
Of course we took our lunch at this spectacular mountain top view of the area. Our guide addressed the crowd while standing about a step away from a 500ft cliff face drop off. Apparently they are not all that afraid of heights. I personally was shitting in fear. A couple from Canada dropped their lens cap over the edge by accident. It was caught in some bushes about 10ft below the ledge. Our guide tried to retrieve it with a pole before offering to go over the side for it (so long as someone held his feet). Did I mention it was a sheer drop off for hundreds of feet below those bushes...crazy man crazy.
Speaking of shitting...Dana got the sudden urge while on the trail to relieve herself. Thankfully it was just a number 1 from all the coca tea she drank. Lesson one, if you find a good place to tinkle...some one likely has already found (and used) it. We stationed ourselves on the trail as look outs while she climbed over a rock into a dense bush. She then called out "um guys I thinks some one has already been here...yep and they definitely had some bowel problems." When she climbed back down I noticed her right boot was ankle deep covered in mud. As I was pointing it out to her, we both made the realization that it wasn't mud. Girl shrieks of eeewwww and gagging followed.
Since our group of able bodied adults was making good time, the guide let us take a detour on the way to the camp. He had to stay with the main group since some Germans with walking sticks were taking FOREVER, so we were on our own. There were no other people on this trail off shoot so we took advantage of the lack of supervision to explore more. We went off trail a little bit to this small hidden ruin that was still mostly covered with jungle. It was cool to get up close to something few people actually see, but that scene in the movie The Ruins kept playing in the back of my mind. If you haven't seen the movie... in a nutshell, people go explore a jungle covered ruin and then the plants eat them...end scene.
Our side trip was rewarded with unparalleled access to one of the biggest farming ruins around Machu Picchu. Our time there was cut short because lightning started and we wanted to get back to camp before any downpour.
We think this means don't touch.
More gorgeous pictures