A Couple Conflict Over the Inca Trail – Should We Axe It?
If you’ve been following me on this blog or on Twitter for awhile, you may have noticed I have an obsession with going to Machu Picchu. It’s been at the top of my bucket list for years. When people ask when I’m having children I joke that it won’t be until I make it to Machu Picchu. Yet I can’t seem to get a trip there to actually happen.
Part of the problem – and it’s a good problem to have – is that I can’t ditch my husband to go. It’s a trip we’ve talked about doing together since we first started dating (though I’d like to point out that I’m the one who introduced the Machu Picchu obsession to our relationship). Since then we keep saying we’re going to go, but things keep coming up for it not to happen.
We originally were planning on going to Machu Picchu two Christmases ago until we looked into it more and realized December is not a good time to hike the Inca Trail. So we went to Thailand instead. Which was awesome.
Next, we talked about going the following Thanksgiving. We were so close to booking that I even wrote a blog post about it. Then Tom realized he had to be available for a school project that week. (Darn smarty-pants MBA-getting husband. Though I am very proud of him.) So we decided to go somewhere over Christmas instead and decided on New Zealand. It was also awesome.
But I need to see the awesomeness of Machu Picchu! Tom then figured we could go as soon as he finishes school this June as a celebratory vacation. He figured whoever his employer was would be fine with (he was still looking for a job at the time. He has since landed one. Again, so proud of smarty-pants husband). Alas, we went to start planning and…all the Inca Trail permits were already sold out! This is several months ago, people. We thought we were planning with well enough time. Apparently not.
Are you seeing a trend here? The Inca Trail. I’m ready just to axe it from the trip.
Too many conditions need to be aligned for us to hike it, so it seems. And to be perfectly honest, despite the many hundreds of glowing reviews out there for hiking the trail, I think it sounds quite awful. Is the scenery really that much more amazing than in the rest of Peru that it’s worth five days of strenuous hiking, sleeping in the cold, crappy toilets, and altitude sickness? I’m not convinced.
So therefore I’m trying to convince Tom that we can stay the night in Agua Calientes (the closest town to Machu Picchu) and still get up to Machu Picchu before the tourist buses all arrive, and just skip the whole hiking the Inca Trail thing. He’s steadfast in that we will regret it if we go all the way down there and don’t hike the trail. He’s now promising we’ll go in the fall.
To which I say: But what if….(fill in the blank of some reason we can’t go and which is why I think we should go sooner than later and skip the Inca Trail.)
What do you all think? Is the Inca Trail an absolute must? Is it really as spectacular and memorable as people say? Or are they just so glad they survived that in retrospect it become this incredible journey?
And will I ever make it to Machu Picchu?? (Maybe this is all just a sign that I shouldn’t have children yet…)
What ended up happening? I think once it’s over I would quickly forget the things I didn’t like and end up saying it was worth it. But in the 4-5 days of hiking, I would regret it. That’s what I’m curious about, how you felt before reaching it.
Thanks for sharing Diane! Hiking the Inca Trail seems to be winning… 😉
diane valenti says
I hiked the Inca Trail a couple of years ago and before I went I was more worried than excited. It does sound awful. All that hiking, camping in a freezing cold tent, no shower for at least 2 nights, and the bathrooms…well need I say more. In retrospect, it turned out to be an amazing experience, perhaps the most memorable experience I’ve had traveling. In fact I wrote a blog post called 5 Reasons the Inca Trail is Amazing http://blog.llamaexpeditions.com/blog/bid/97454/5-Reasons-the-Inca-Trail-is-Amazing. I think it is definitely worth it!