The Walk to Aguas Calientes

Ziplining was quite a remarkable experience! Our favorite part was when Chris got an eagle soaring next to him on video. On the last line of the day, Chris had to go tandem with the guide because of what happened in the second line. Everyone wanted to make sure he stopped in time. The lines were not originally made for super tall people so his height and weight made him go super fast. The guide went with him, sitting in Chris’s back, while he was laying in the Superman pose. A fitting end to the wonderful, remarkable, day. We wish we could share the video with you all but unfortunately he lost his phone a few years ago. Life’s lessons in always having a back up! One memory we wish did not happen was our friend getting hurt. Right after she got off the line, there was a jagged rock and she tripped on it.

After our friend got taken by ambulance to the hospital, we all piled into a van to go and meet our temporary guide. We were escorted to a restaurant with delicious food and had a nice relaxing time together before we met turbo. The hike ahead was going to be our longest daily stretch spanning over nineteen miles, on foot, in a few hours time. Being very mindful of this, we decided to linger at the restaurant, eat as much as we could, drink relaxing teas, engross in conversations with friends, and prepare mentally for our new guide. We all took a deep breath and laughed when it was time to go. Papa had warned us about the pace set by others and told us to go at our own. When we left the restaurant, things changed.

Karen Hilliard Art Blog

We met up with not only our new guide, but a new group. They were all adrenaline seekers. Every one of them looked super tired, had bug bites with welts all over their legs, and their feet were in sandals with cuts and boils. The five of us looked at each other and made the decision to chill walk no matter what. Our guide took off and luckily there were so many people on the last leg of the trail that we just followed along. Our guide stopped for us three times at different sections. The problem with this is that the guide and the fast people were done with their break, fully watered, stretched, and ready to go. The five of us just arrived and they all wanted us to start walking immediately because they were ready. The first time our initial group did not take a break and kept going. The next two stops we did not worry about what the new group thought because we had to take care of ourselves at that point. Another lesson learned…take the breaks on the Inca Trail!!

Next week I will write all about Aguas Calientes and the colorful shops at the base of Machu Picchu! Have a safe and happy weekend!!

-Karen Hilliard

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