Four Day Inca Trail with Audley Travel

MachuPicchu

In 3 weeks time I’m off to Peru to trek the Inca Trail over 4 days, and it’ll be my first solo trip!

I’ll be away for 10 days, 4 of them spent on the trail, camping and trekking our way up to the stunning Machu Picchu.

I booked this adventure via Audley Travel 2 years ago now, having decided to treat myself for my pending 30th Birthday. I’ve organised complex travel before and do it regularly at work so opted to have someone else do the hard work for me this time!

I’ll be spending the first two days travelling; flying out from London Heathrow to Peru on Saturday 30th April (via Madrid and Lima), and landing in Cuzco on the 1st May, where I’ll be escorted to my hotel by an Audley representative.

Days 3 & 4 are spent acclimatising to the altitude of the area, so Audley have organised a shared guided tour of the highlights of Cuzco and nearby Inca ruins on day one and day two will be spent ‘at leisure’.

Day 5 we get going on the Inca trail. I will be picked up from the hotel and driven to Piskacuchu, the starting point of the Inca Trail, to meet the rest of the small group I will be walking with. We will walk alongside Urubamba River visiting some Inca ruins along the way before reaching the first camp site.

Day 6 provides an early start to the most difficult day of the trek. There is a steep ascent for 9km up to the mountain pass (4,200m/13,770ft), after which we will descend into the cloud forest to set up camp for the second night. It’s this day I’m told tests you most mentally – however rewarding from here on out.

Day 7 is the longest but most impressive day of the trek, when we will visit four different Inca ruins which are only accessible via the Inca trail, then set up the final camp near the ruins of Winaywayna.

Day 8 is the final day on the trail; when we will finish our trek at the Sun gate, with our first unforgettable view of the ancient citadel, Machu Picchu. We will explore the ruins on a guided tour and in the evening we will take the train back to Cuzco.

Days 9 & 10 are spent with the morning in Cuzco before I travel back to the UK, no doubt in a state of awe and ready for my next adventure.

Training
My boyfriend and I are both avid hikers, so we’ve been out and about quite a bit although I am first to admit I’ve not really done much of an actual training regime.

The next 3 weeks will consist of walking everywhere, consider the lift out of bounds both at the office and at home, and I have compiled a yoga sequence that will strengthen and restore my body specifically for hiking which I will be chopping and changing each day depending on what I’ve been doing around that. I’ve also cut out alcohol and junk food to give me that extra fighting chance of hauling myself up to the Sun Gate.

Kit
I got a new pair of boots for my birthday this weekend, and they very much need breaking in before I leave. I’ll also be shopping to collect the last few items on my kit list – I have much of it already but there are a few things I need – thermal underwear for one! J I will compile a full kit list and post shortly.

I’m nervous about travelling alone, but I’m assured it’s a great place for my first solo trip. Having people like Audley there to call upon should I need them is also great reassurance.

Have you been to Peru and done the Inca Trail or been up to Machu Picchu on the train even? Have you travelled alone before and do you have any useful advice for me?

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