Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Hail the Conquering Heroes

My 30 year-old husband and my 60 year-old father have just returned from hiking the historic Inca Trail from the Sacred Valley to spectacular Machu Picchu. To say that the trek was anything but grueling, would be to diminish their achievement, not to mention an abject lie. They hiked for 4 days, usually going up (and up and up) and down (and down and down) rough stairs hewn into the sides and ridges of the mountain itself. They slept on less than adequate mattresses in completely adequate sleeping bags provided by their tour company for the bargain price of $15. We hired a half a porter for each of them to carry their packs (they were allotted 18 pounds apiece) and both admit carrying their own packs would have been next to impossible. They each had a head lamp, a camelbak, well broken in and sturdy hiking shoes and a book, in case they had some down time...they did not, and each night fell into bed/bag utterly exhausted from the day's travails. They braved what sound like the most pitiful excuse for toilets on the planet, fairly treacherous conditions (no railings on the Inca trail) and sometimes extreme temperatures for a trip of a lifetime with spectacular views. On the morning of the 4th day they hiked through the Sun Gate on their way down to Machu Picchu where my mother, wisely opting not to have this particular experience of a lifetime, waited for them having arrived by train and bus. Tired and none too clean, to say they were thrilled to be done would not do justice to their emotions, but the pictures might. While Kenny may someday undertake another such trek, to make clear that he would not, ever, my father gave their guide his trekking poles and camelbak. He had arrived and was most decidedly, done.


Anonymous said...

Ohmigosh, Dad looks so sporty, what with the zip-off pants, the fleece, the hat, the here-to-fore unseen yet topical-ish t-shirts, and even the scruff...who knew??? Many congratulations all around to both trekkers! Glad you made it safe and sound!

Kristy said...

I knew there was a good reason I didn't really have the desire to do the trail (the up, and up and up isn't that enticing to me). Congratulations to the trekkers and I'm sure it is an experience they won't be forgetting any time soon.

Nate and Sina said...

On my list of things I must do before the next life.


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