The Inca Trail Day 2: The Arduous Climb and My Horrible Blisters


So, after crossing the Indiana Jones bridge, this is pretty much what the trail looked like for the next couple of hours.  Fortunately I was pretty much recovered from my hangover at this point in the hike (I don’t know if I was clear on this, but our hike was on the 5th of July, so naturally I was pretty drunk on the 4th of July…sometimes I don’t know why I insist on doing things like a 20 mile hike hungover).

Like I’ve said many times, this is where the hike got hard.  It got so hard in fact, that I stopped taking pictures.  When you’re so tired that you don’t even have the energy to push the little button on your camera, that’s saying something.
It was a few miles into this part of the hike that I also realized I was running out of water.  I could tell by the fact that the bulge in my camelbak started to feel egg shaped rather than watermelon shaped.  Just when I started to kick into “conserve water mode,” Jesus (my guide) came up to me and asked for a drink.
Well…what was I going to do?  Deny him a drink?  I couldn’t do that.  So I passed him my drink tube and he took a long draw. 
Actually, Jesus was some kind of physical marvel because besides that one drink from my camelbak and two glasses of some kind of local juice he bought along the way (actually, I bought him the juice at the juice stand), the guy had NOTHING to drink all day.  He just hiked along in the hot mountain sun for 10 hours without drinking anything.  I suppose his body was more or less used to it, but it wasn’t healthy.
I actually did run out of water before I reached the summit, but fortunately there was a bodega halfway up the climb that had water for sale (yeah, I thought that was totally improbable too).  The other crazy thing was they only charged a 300% mark up…which was great for me since I was ready to pay ANY amount of money for a thimbleful of water by then.  I’m glad I wasn’t taken advantage of!

This is the sign for Santa Rosa where you can buy water and food (and beer…I think I’ll be drinking beer there with Micah this year).

“Some Snaks” which is good enough, even if you’re looking for SNACKS.  There are also several campsites at Santa Rosa.

People…this is frickin’ EXTREME territory!  It’s AWESOME!

Here’s my nasty blister at the end of the first day of hiking.  Looks like I didn’t take any pictures all the way from Santa Rosa to the Campsite, so you can look forward to seeing Choquequirao the next time I post about the Inca Trail.  
I had blisters like this on both heels.  Not taking adequate care of my feet was the biggest mistake I made when I did the Inca trail hike.  Really stupid.  This totally could have made it impossible for me to finish the hike.  Honestly, my guess is that a huge majority of people wouldn’t have been able to continue hiking with massive blisters like this.  They were good for the first hour or so in the morning and then they just got bigger and bigger and more and more painful.  But I’m a glutton for punishment, so it didn’t bother me all that much (well…it bothered me, but not enough to stop me).
This is the little village that we camped at on the first night on the Inca Trail.  The lit up mountain on the left is Choquequirao.  
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