Thursday, May 14, 2009

Day 44 - 46 - The Lares Trail

So, we started the Lares Trail... three hours of walking mainly uphill climbing almost 800 metres...

I´m not going to lie to you.. the first two hours were absolute agony. I had nothing to eat apart from a bread roll all day.. I was living on no sleep and I was feeling terrible... I almost gave up.. I really did... I was so close to asking for the horse to take me to the camp.. It got to the stage where I could walk for maybe 20 paces and then I had to stop and take a break. Pathetic huh. But then thanks to the power of Gatorade and also Cynthia´s encouragement I got through it. The last hour, I had my ninth or tenth wind and walked at some pace to the camp... the feeling when I got there was one of amazement. I couldn´t believe it. I think it was the most difficult challenge i´ve ever had to overcome... It sounds dramatic but it was really tough. I went straight to my tent and collapsed for the night. Oh.... I saw a humming bird on the trek too and possibly a condor (it was far away).

The next morning (15th May)... after 12 hours of rest... we faced our biggest challenge. Four hours of hiking, climbing to a mind numbing 4,600 metres. I felt so much better.. I managed some breakfast, did my stretches... I did... honest... i´m 33after all... the knees aren´t what they used to be..., and then we set off.

The scenery was amazing.... we passed lots of local kids and I´d bought with me some pencils and notepads to give out.. It felt very special.. I walked at a decent pace and we were well ahead of schedule at our first stop... the trail was getting steeper and steeper but the end was in sight... I got to within 50 metres or so of the peak, breathing was a little difficult... I rested for about 5 mins and then ran the final bit...

I really wanted to do it to for no other reason than to satisfy my curiosity that I still could. It felt amazing. I got to the top and I felt like the only person in the world.

I have never been through anything like that before. I really thought I wouldn´t be able to do it. For me, it was such a special moment and an achievement I never thought i´d be able to make.

The trek down to the camp was a little treacherous with the loose stones and steep declines but well worth it.

We got to camp ahead of schedule all feeling pretty happy with ourselves and Rambo, a dog that belonged to one of the porters, even came up to me for a little pat... He´s usually stand off-ish. It was my second achievement of the day.

That night I had some dinner... we played the card game asshole... I avoided being the asshole and then I slept like a baby..

Today, we travelled by train to Aguas Calientes (Hot water) and I had a hot shower... hot shower... a blessing from the gods after three days on the road/trail.

Anyway, we´re going out for dinner tonight and then Machu Picchu tomorrow. Can´t wait.

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