Inka Trail Day 2
We were all quite nervous for this day! We knew Dead Woman’s Pass lay ahead of us which is at a 950km higher altitude than our campsite, Ayapata. I’m not a big fan of hiking against gravity!
The stoney uphill steps seemed endless. Our walking sticks helped a lot! (We bought wooden sticks from the starting point for 5 soles each.)
I told Marc that this long uphill can represent life. Each time you think you are at the top and you tell yourself: “after these 10 steps it should get easier,” then you get around the bend and an even steeper uphill awaits you!
I loved Marc’s reply! He said: “That is why you need to stop and enjoy the scenery every once and a while.” Sometimes we are so busy staring at the steps we don’t see the beauty around us.
The scenery was indeed truly spectacular! You could see Veronica, a snow-capped mountain in the distance and little streams flowed next to the Inka pathway. It was quite magical.
The steep incline was tough but like Marc also said: “bietjie, bietjie maak baie.” If you climb the mountain bit by bit, eventually you will get to the top. I think you have to be reasonably fit for this, but at an easy pace it is not too difficult. Our tour guide, Roger, always said: “Take your time….but hurry up!”
Three of our group members turned back that morning before we started our day’s trek. Two girls weren’t feeling well and another girl went back with her sister. We had two tour guides so our one guide, Marco, went back with them. Maria, another group member, had bad stomach cramps but she pushed through and made it to the top.
We took a moment to celebrate our accomplishment at the top of the pass. It was all downhill from there! Climbing down a million Inka steps is also quite a challenge!
There was another smaller pass to climb that day but after Dead Woman’s Pass we felt as if we could do anything! When we arrived at our campsite after a tough 12km our tents were pitched and freshly popped popcorn was awaiting us.