It’s August, and that means the countdown to our big Peru trip has begun! On Sept. 29 we’ll fly to Lima and then spend 23 days exploring that magical country. One of the big highlights – and our current obsession – will be a four-day, three-night trek on the historic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu.
On the advice of friends, we booked the trek with Alpaca Expeditions – a highly rated tour company that will provide guides, porters, camping gear, and sumptuous and tasty meals. To say that we’re excited is an understatement. But we keep having to remind ourselves that the Inca Trail is but one of many fantastic things we’ll see and do on our month-long adventure to Peru. John the travel planner has been hard at work on an itinerary that will give us time to explore Lima, Cusco, the Sacred Valley and Ollantaytambo, Puno and Lake Titicaca, and Arequipa. Sept. 29 can’t come fast enough!
We both expect the Inca Trail to be one of the most physically challenging things we’ve ever done. To get ready, we’ve been steadily upping our hiking game here in Boquete. We’re lucky to have an excellent training ground right in our back yard – Volcán Barú, Panama’s highest mountain at 3,474 meters. About a year and a half ago, I did an overnight hike all the way to the top with a group of friends, an unforgettable and challenging experience (I blogged about it here).
Yesterday we hit a milestone in our training program. We made it up to almost 2,800 meters (about 9,000 feet) on the Barú trail. We’re feeling pretty smug about it because we climbed 3,000 feet and covered 5.5 miles in just under three hours. To put it in perspective, the second day of the Inca Trail, from the beginning to the highest point, climbs about the same amount and they’re giving us four hours to do it. Piece of cake! Of course, there’s the small matter of the much higher altitude on the Inca Trail. We may be the slowest and oldest farts on the trek, but we WILL make it!