The IDEAS Machu Picchu team is back together now after a little more than 25 hours without Ashley and Holly, who had stayed back in Cusco for an extra night because of logistical issues. “We surprised them at breakfast,” said Holly. “It was great to get the whole team back together; the best part of our IBD Adventures trek is the camaraderie we’ve formed and it just wasn’t the same without all of us together…”
It was a big day of trekking on the Inca Trail between Llaqtapata at 2700 metres elevation and the day’s destination at 3800m. Most of that elevation was gained in the afternoon with a long, steep climb that had the trekkers in nervous anticipation at lunch.
“Rob reminded us to eat and drink lots to fuel up for the afternoon ahead,” said Michelle. “It was good advice. That was a big day!”
The trekkers arrived, tired, to find a hot meal almost ready and the camp set up for an evening’s rest.
“The weather was gorgeous today,” Michelle reported. “Sunny and warm, the views went on for miles around us. We’re in a gorgeous place. It’s a fantastic distraction from what’s happening with our bodies as we tire ourselves with big climbing efforts.”
The team, tired as they were, found it hard to retire to their tents despite having a very early start the next morning.
“Oh my god! The stars,” Ashley said. “The sky is so dark and the stars are so bright. Unless you’ve been at altitude its difficult to explain. It’s just so intense and wonderful. We wanted to sit out under that painting all night. But eventually had to pull ourselves inside our tents to rest for another big day tomorrow.”
The team will hit their high point on their journey around mid-day Thursday at 4200 meters above sea level. Thus far, the adverse effects of the altitude haven’t hit any of them too hard. A night’s rest at 3600 meters Thursday should ensure that any altitude symptoms like headaches and nausea, should they hit, will be short lived.