As I mentioned previously, day 3 of a 4-day Inca Trail trek is a scenery day. Leading off, not so far from the night 2 campsite, are the ruins of Runkurakay (about halfway up day 3’s climb to the next pass).
Category Archives: Essays, Reviews, and How-tos
A day 2 respite
Day 2 on the Inca Trail was (as you’ve likely gathered) quite a workout. Folks on this trek got a longer-than-usual break at the end of day 2, so we can take a break here as well — don’t you think? Continue reading
Well, that escalated quickly…
As I mentioned previously, day 2 of a 4-day Inca Trail trek is a brute. As one online source put it, it’s like climbing stairs without any landing for 5 hours straight. At altitude.
At least you’ve got great scenery to distract you (a little). Continue reading
One day ends, another begins…
One lesser-known bit of trivia about the Inca Trail — some current-day communities on it still rely on the trail for transportation of cargo. How to do this while keeping the trail in its largely-historical state? Why, by burro, naturally:
After a bit of hiking on day 1 of a 4-day Inca Trail trek, you’ll get to the Inca farm town of Patallacta, here seen from its similarly-named neighbor, Llactapata.
But before I prattle on for too long, I suppose I should talk a bit about names. Continue reading
Little house on the Urubamba
This is Salapunku, the first ruin you’ll see on the first day of a 4-day Inca Trail trek.
It was located next to a canal, so may have been involved in administering water from it. Otherwise, from what I can uncover, it was just a little Inca farm town.
It now overlooks the rail line to Aguas Calientes / Machu Picchu Pueblo — so any local ghosts don’t get much rest these days.
The Inca Trail: and so, it begins
Every journey has to begin somewhere. Since travelers on the Inca Trail are fairly tightly controlled of late, a journey on the Inca Trail starts at a checkpoint. In this case, the checkpoint at the km 82 marker (measured from Cusco — possibly along the river, or possibly along the rail line, I never asked).
A profile of the Inca Trail
Before I hiked the Inca Trail, I naturally did the modern thing and consulted the font of wisdom that is the Internet. Quite a few sites talked about the cardiovascular challenge of the trail, the risk of altitude sickness, etc. Before I hiked the trail, though, I didn’t appreciate how helpful resistance training would have been.
The normal brief description of the 4-day approach to the trail goes something like this:
- Day 1 — warm-up
- Day 2 — painful climbing
- Day 3 — a little climbing, but mostly down-hill
- Day 4 — smooth sailing into Machu Picchu
This is generally accurate, but an over-simplification. Continue reading
So I recently returned from a trip to Peru — including a hike along the Inca Trail, a good chunk of time spent in Machu Picchu, even more time spent in Cusco, all sorts of good things. I plan on writing up a number of blog posts on things I saw and experienced — but first thought this might be helpful to future Machu Picchu visitors (it’s a sign at the entrance, laying out 25 things you may not bring to / do in the site):
Bottom line — there’s lots of inaccurate information online w.r.t what is and isn’t allowed into / at the site of Machu Picchu. So, since the above text is a bit small, here’s the posted list of restrictions (as of May, 2018), along with my comments on them: Continue reading
This goes here, that goes there (using the E-M1II’s two card slots)…
There’s been some discussion online about ways to use the Olympus E-M1II‘s dual slots, so I thought I’d write up how I use them — in the hope that this is useful for other owners of the camera.
So, first off, three things:
- The camera’s two slots have different speeds. Slot 1 (the “top” one) is capable of handling UHS-II cards but is backwards compatible with earlier cards, and Slot 2 (the “bottom” one) is capable of handling UHS-I cards. This is a new thing (to Olympus) with the E-M1II, so earlier models don’t have this capability, and only time will tell what later models will have it. If I’m reading the card specs correctly, the fastest UHS-II card will be 3 times faster than the best UHS-I card.
- You can use the two slots in any of six different modes for stills, plus a separate choice for video. Note that your selections are “captured” by custom modes, so you can use the cards differently for each of the 3 custom modes plus your normal mode — if you’ve got the cognitive “real estate” to remember all these permutations.
- You’ll need to make changes in two places in the menu system (maybe three, depending on how you set up your camera), but they’re logically separate so pretty easy to keep straight.