Since I landed in Lima I have been reading “Turn right at Machu Picchu” by Mark Adams, a quite funny account of Machu Picchu “discovery” by Hiram Bingham in 1911, and of the (often hilarious) adventures the author lived when he set out to retrace Bingham’s path, I was therefore really looking forward to hike the Inca Trail myself!
As for the Conca Canyon, we decided on the 2-days version of the trekking that best accommodates our collective training shape. After the experience at the Colca Canyon I was I bit worried: our guide Manuel imposed a very early rise, a bus trip to catch the train to #km104, and then a full day of hike, and P. was not very keen at the idea. But this time the altitude was way lower, the sun shone on the valley after the morning rain, and P. quickly found out that it was now easier to walk at 2500 m after having spent almost a week at 4000 m: we ended up flying on the path always with a smile. Manuel was certainly instrumental to the success of the trip: we discovered he also turned 50 in 2023, and the coincidence added fun to the experience!
Arriving at Machu Picchu from the Inca Trail, descending on the city from the Porta del Sol, is indeed an incredible experience. What was Machu Picchu? We heard many hypotheses, but the mystery remains… On the way back to Cusco on the Machu Picchu train most of the hikers doze, I find myself writing on my loyal notebook something I got from #MarkAdams’ book, a stanza from a poem by R. Kipling:
Something hidden, go and find it
Go and look behind the ranges
Something lost behind the ranges
Lost and waiting for you. Go!