I know lots of people who have hiked the Inca Trail including my father and stepmother who love to trek and have done so on almost every continent. But I’d never really thought about it as an option for a family trip. And then over the weekend I checked in with Wandermom (aka Michelle Duffy) who is two months into a yearlong world journey with her sons and husband and who just hiked to Macchu Pichu with her kids.
That’s what I love about the online family travel community – I’m constantly inspired by other bloggers to consider doing things I’d never thought of before. And so I’m fully into dreaming mode now, imagining taking in the views:
exploring the ruins:
and maybe making some new friends:
As Michelle points out in her post, completing the trek isn’t easy. First there’s acclimating to the altitude. Then there’s the fact that the classic hike (the one that most people do) takes four days, with three nights of camping. Portions are very steep and the charm of scenery and ruins can run thin when legs get tired and bodies get cold and wet. But as Michelle demonstrates with a lot of encouragement and a little flexibility, like allowing an occasional soda and candy bar and not insisting that children explore every nook and cranny of every ruin, a hike like this is completely possible and ultimately rewarding. I can’t wait to read her description of arriving at the Sun Gate, as awesome an experience as I’m sure most children ever have. (Update: it turns out that the Machu Picchu experience is perhaps a little less, er, spiritual with kids but still worthwhile in every way.)
Michelle’s boys are 9 and 13. That gives me four years to prepare and dream if we were to follow in her footsteps (and to convince Matt that this would be fun – no fan of camping he). I think that’s long of enough, and as of this Monday it’s officially on the list, so I hope you’ll check back to see if it becomes a dream realized. In the meantime, please enjoy the pictures in this post courtesy of Peter West Carey, who is yet to take his daughter to Peru (“maybe in a few years,” he says) but who will be back there again himself in a few months, taking more gorgeous pictures I’m sure. And if you’ve got your own Monday dream, feel free to share it below (just link back to this post please – see here for details).
All photos in this post courtesy of Peter West Carey. (Word to the wise: he sells prints and calendars and will even photograph your wedding!)