“Oooh, Machu Picchu!” Even my mom caught the hype when I told her we were headed there last week. As excited as she’s been about our travels, I think that was the first “Oooh!” of our trip she ever uttered.
We kept our expectations low, however. Maybe it’s our reflex reaction to the prevailing travel wisdom: “Machu Picchu is the granddaddy of South American sights.”
But add to Machu Picchu a hike to the foot of a hulking 20,575 foot (6,271 meter) glacier, a walk through Andean valleys, and a skim of the Peruvian jungle. Throw in a diverse and upbeat group of travel companions to share the slog across switchbacks and up giant staircases, and the march to Machu Picchu becomes an event, a series of accomplishments and a trip well worth taking.
That was our Salkantay Trek. Continue Reading »
At the time this is published, we should be crossing Apacheta Pass (4,650 meters/15,255 feet) and one day away from Peru’s Machu Picchu. That is, if the scheduled publishing works as it should and we don’t need an emergency mule ride or airlift from the top of the mountain.
In preparing for this, the Salkantay Trek, we reflected on other memorable multi-day treks we’ve completed during our journey around the world. Continue Reading »
The weight of my backpack at 5:00 AM was brutal: 9 liters of water, 1 sleeping bag, and sundry other camping bits and bobs. And I was one of the lucky ones. Dan carried all that plus an old school (read: heavy) four-person tent.
Even at this hour, it was steamy. Under the weight of my pack, I was glazed in sweat before we reached the crossroads for the chicken bus to the trail head. I looked around at the young, energetic faces – mostly in their early 20s – and wondered, “Am I too old to be doing this?” Continue Reading »
Nepal’s Annapurna Circuit trek didn’t make the first cut of our respective **25 Things To Do Before I Die lists. But maybe it should have.
With bathroom books like 1000 Places To See Before You Die serving as life-prescriptive authorities, we’re hesitant to describe anything as a “must-do life experience.” “Must-do” sounds presumptuous and “life experience” sounds trite. But what the heck. Continue Reading »