In 2009, Frank, Derek & Louis guided by Jerry Walsh summitted Mt Kilimanjaro and here started their new love for adventures. This time around, joined by Derek's son Ciaran, they set off for a week's trek on the Inca Trail (Peru). We followed their progress as they trekked their way on the Alternative Route from Cusco. Jerry again was supposed to accompany the group on their challenge but only days before departure, he broke his ankle and was unable to travel. To say Jerry was disappointed was an understatement but he joins us all here in wishing the lads a wonderful and safe trip.
Report 16th Aug 16:30 (IR) 10:30 (Peru) The team were in contact over the weekend to say they had all arrived safe. Frank texted Jerry with latest update ''We have just arrived in Cusco after a 1hr flight from Lima. We have been travelling 23hrs since we left Dublin..Local temp 18 degrees and a drop to 4 degrees at night time expected.. Our accommodation is very good. We are at altitude 3000mt here in Cusco and feeling a little bit light headed. Time here is 6hrs behind. We are meeting our guide for our tour of Cusco at 14:00.. All are in good form. We had CoCo tea when we arrived to help with altitude. Cusco seems nice and safe. We already found Paddy's bar but can't go too mad as we are up at 04:30 tommorrow to start on trail''
Report 18th August 14:26(IR) 8.26 (Peru) The team have been in contact to say that they are all well and enjoying their trip..so far :) Day 2 of their trek is about to begin. Tito, our trekking partner, has just send this report '' Hello Lorraine, all services of your team are under control, transfers in Lima ok they arrived to Cusco fine ,in the afternoon City tour. Monday night our tour guide & their team had a meeting in order to explain to them details of the trek. Yesterday, they departed to their adventure journey. They are enjoying their walk, breathing fresh air, watching condors and feeling the magic of the Andes . Today your team begin their second day of trekking (is the most difficult,) yesterday they walked good & went well. The first day helps to adapt better for the nexts ...Anything I will be in contact w. you frequently regarding the team journey'' Tito
Report 20th August 15:00(IR) 9:00(Peru) Tito rang to tell us that everyone was in great form, doing very well with trek and altitude and were appearing to be throughly enjoying their trek and trip to date. Tommorrow see's the final trekking day with Machupicchu in sights and then return to Cusco where a few days of well deserved rest between there and Lima are scheduled. Reports have been coming in from the team...
17th August - Frank ''Set off at 7:00- still freezing. Within a steep valley- mountains on both sides and ahead, the snow covered Mt Salkantay. Today we climbed to 4600m to reach the pass to get around this giant. We have 5 horses, 2 horse men, 1 cook, 1 porter and a guide we call Willow. It started off easy enough..getting steep after 2 hours where progress slowed..really hard climb..no air..chest tight..only a few steps at a time..Louis and Derek had to use horses for last bit. By 12:00 we had made it! Fab view- even saw an avalance!! What a sound- very loud. Took photo's and set off. Lunch at 14:00 and a long hike to the camp. We lost a few hours during the day and camped at Huayracmachay (3300m) instead of Challway. 18:00 All tired- no appetite. Just want to lie down- skipped dinner straight to bed. Tough day
18th August - Frank ''Everyone was up at 06:00 feeling good and ready to go. Basins of hot water- feels great to wash dust off and brush teeth!! It was still very cold- 3 layers on. Sun can't reach us in the valley. After breakfast we de-layered as sun hit us around 09:00- warm and amazing views...5 hour trek today. Trail is cut into the side of the valley about 500m above a river..SPECTACULAR 5 HOURS...humming birds, butterflies, orchids, ferns, bananas, plants of sub-tropics
20th Aug- Ciaran ''a few group photos from the trek so far...Been a brilliant trip and the hardest thing I've ever done''
21st Aug- Frank '' After breakfast, we took a 1hr trip by minibus from Santa Teresa to Hydro Electrica. We then set off on a pleasant trek following the railway line and the river into Aguas Calientes (2050m) Trek took us 4hrs. Lots of birds, butterflys, bamboos, flowers, ferns and banana plants. The town of Aguas Calientes is at 2010m and lies in the shadows of Machu Picchu (2400m) It is a small, lively town with lots of bars and restaurants, surrounded on all sides by the mountains and the river runs right through it. The only way to get to Aguas Calientes is to trek in or to take the train. We reached Hotel Cabana at 15:00- we were all tired. The last few days were catching up on us. Sleep.. Shower.. Change.. Out for a bite to eat and back to beds for 24:00''
22nd Aug- Ciaran sent some images of the team having successfully reached The ruins of Machu Picchu. Rediscovered in 1911 by Yale archaeologist Hiram Bingham, they are one of the most beautiful and enigmatic ancient sites in the world. While the Inca people certainly used the Andean mountain top (9060 feet elevation), erecting many hundreds of stone structures from the early 1400's, legends and myths indicate that Machu Picchu (meaning 'Old Peak' in the Quechua language) was revered as a sacred place from a far earlier time. Ciaran reports '' it has been well worth the effort! The site itself is amazing, but the setting-surrounded by an incredible mountain range is just incredible. All here at The Mountain Lodge wish to congratulate the team for what has been no easy feat and I am sure an adventure that has left a life time of tales to tell. Today they return from Cusco to Lima where they can enjoy some of the cultural tours on offer before setting off to airport tommorrow for flights home. We look forward to hearing more on their experience
27th Aug- Frank, Louis, Derek & Ciaran have all returned from what they describe as a wonderful trip. Derek ''A big thanks... a wonderful well planned trip... I would highly recommend this trek'' We look forward to hearing more from all the team once they have settled back. Where to next...
Direct link to Worldwide Travel for more information on simular trips or something