To Mountain, To Mountain
I’m the least likely candidate when a week long hike is mentioned at Trufflepig. But what is travel if not a challenge to your norms? Aren’t those experiences the most rewarding? And to be fair, hiking with Mountain Lodges of Peru is far from an uncomfortable experience.
It was with some trepidation that I joined MLP’s Machu Picchu Lodge to Lodge Trek. As the title suggests, this tour is a six day, five night hike taking you along the Andean mountaintops to the town of Aguas Calientes, a jumping off point for exploring Machu Picchu. I chose this particular trek because of the lodges, which are closer to boutique hotels than backcountry mountainside huts, and provide the perfect base for exploring the natural beauty of Peru.
You have to earn your comforts out here: the day begins early with a big breakfast, then you’re out hiking before your morning cup of Peruvian coffee has the chance to hit your system. The day’s activity ranges in difficulty from strolling through meadows to grinding up never-ending switchback trails. For a girl who prefers things closer to sea level, those cliff-side moments did not pass easily. But despite the varied and often difficult terrain, your experienced guides and the ever-present “donkey 911” make the most questionable moments seem perfectly safe. In all, the hike spans over 50 kilometers, through a range of ecosystems from high alpine to tropical forests, and you’ll face altitudes of over 15,000 feet. Your sense of accomplishment at the end of all that is a staggering reward in itself.
In case you need a few more tangible goals to keep yourself moving, you’ll be trekking toward some pretty posh digs throughout the week. The lodges are only accessible by foot or hoof, but they are far from primitive. You’ll find king-sized beds and en suite bathrooms with rain showers to greet you, and jacuzzis and massages await to relieve your aches and pains. And I haven’t even mentioned the food yet; at times I felt as though I was on a gastronomic tour only punctuated by moments of hiking. In fact, despite the hours of non-stop physical activity, I didn’t seem to lose a single pound.
I’ve returned to the office full of pompous pride and the knowledge that with the right rewards, nothing seems impossible.
Diane has been causing quite a mess climbing from desk to desk without touching the floor since she arrived back from Peru. We’re also looking for a home for her donkey, which is no longer welcome in the Trufflepig offices.