5/16/10: Inca Trail, Peru
[Editor’s Note: For over eight months you’ve only been able to read what Zhou and I could find rattling around in our heads. You’re about to be in for a real treat – our first guest post from the road! Today we welcome The Real Steve Curry to bring you the action from Day 2 of the Inca Trail.]
It’s amazing how drastically circumstances can change in a short period of time. Three days ago, I was blankly staring at (I mean, thoroughly engaged in) an Excel spreadsheet at a quiet desk in Arlington, VA. It’s still pretty serene where I am now, but instead, I’m staring across the Andes mountains at 4,200 meters (~13,800 feet) above sea level with my dad, brother, and sister.
Last Friday to Sunday mornings, I woke up at 8:15, 11:15, and 10:30AM. This weekend, it was 4:00, 3:15 and 5:30AM. What can I say, there’s just a lot more to get done in a day in Peru.
As a brief introduction for those of you who don’t know me (TRSC), I’m Kevin’s younger but wiser brother. Unlike some people, I have not had the opportunity to quit my job, get married, and travel around the world for ten months. However, I have been fortunate enough to take six days off from work to fly down to Peru to see my family. You probably have gotten to know Kevin pretty well over the last eight months, so I’ll just say that I’m a lot like him, except I prefer Mom’s seven-way chili (and beef jerky for breakfast apparently) to chili dogs.
Kevin and Zhou have given me the opportunity to write a few posts during my time here with them, so I hope you can get 10% of the enjoyment that you get out of Kevin’s posts and 5% of what you get out of Zhou’s posts. Now that we are through introductions, I will leave you with a MadLib of our second day on the Inca Trail. The crossed out words are how I would have have answered the MadLib back when I used to do them 15 years ago, and the underlined words describe today’s actual events.
I was stupidly groggily (adverb) awoken by the porters at 5:30 this morning. On tap for the day was 1,300 meters of uphill hiking and 1,000 meters of downhill in an estimated 11 hours. To get physically and mentally prepared for this stinky daunting (adjective) day, we were offered energy-boosting Coca leaves. Unlike Red Bull and 5-hour energy, Coca leaves are icky illegal (adjective) below 7,000 feet. Fortunately, we were above 10,000 feet, so I can safely say that for the first time ever, the Curry family each threw in a lip and headed up towards Dead Woman’s Pass.
Early on in the day’s trek, we were passed by some killer tigers dainty llamas (adjective + plural animal).
While llamas really are quite interesting animals and Zhou’s second favorite on their entire trip, following behind them can be poopy poopy (adjective). Despite the smell, we trekked onward to reach Dead Woman’s Pass by 10:30AM, now covered in boogers sweat (noun)and gasping for farts oxygen (noun). Our descent was long and steep, but was filled with idiotic enjoyable (adjective) conversation about movies among other things. I may be summarizing (and/or fabricating) a bit, but I think we all agreed that Mighty Ducks Dumb and Dumber (movie) is the funniest movie ever made. After rolling into camp around dusk, Ken Griffey Jr. Zhou (person) demanded delicious pizza popcorn (food), which we were rewarded with. We played a card game with some others in our group called freeze tag/dodgeball/Hungry Hungry Hippos Oh Heck/Judgment/Hiram Bingham (games x 3) depending on where you are from, before an excellent meal cooked up by Michael Jordan Chef Jorge (person). We ended the night with a hilarious group floss session under more Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles stars (plural noun) than I have ever seen at one time in my entire life. And yes, our butts teeth (body parts) were clean, even though it has now been 48 hours without a shower.
Ohio Picture: O-H-I-O from 4,200 meters.
Picture of the Day: Our Inca Trail group of 11 at Dead Woman’s Pass.