Showing The ‘Pachamama’ who’s the top hound in the Inca dog yard: Machu Picchu trek guide and survival kit.
CONQUER MACHU PICCHU
Rediscover Your Y Chromosome on The Inca Trail
Machu FREAKING Picchu
That jibber-jabber alliteration of poppycock, palaver, pretense and the proverbial prattle of hooey like rantings of words alone should stoke in a everyman, iconic, baseline, barely coherent and even with a fondness for Liberace like sway, the need to grab their nut sack and proclaim:
“I Am HOMBRE hear me roar, belch and pass me the hard stuff… Fuck, Bud Lite, I want Thunderbird!”
There’s no better Napalm in this world to rev’ up that terminal condition we call masculinity than going against nature, coming on top and flicking it off in the process. Machu Picchu, the Inca trail, might not make you feel like Rambo, but will surely give you a taste of the fuel that jumpstarts Bear Grylls every morning.
Conqueror Machu Picchu
Before we do the triumphant Snoopy nose in the air happy dance, let’s first cover our bases and project into our frontal lope essentials tidbits. What we need to know before going all bonkers, with our man-tackle in the air, Ray Bans perched on our noses and enthusiasm spilling from every pore into the bush.
First of all, read my previous article before jumping on the plane to Cusco.
Machu Picchu comes in two flavors:
1. The Inca Trail: laced with mosquitos, sore knees and bedraggled feet, your stomach grumbling, your boxers soaked with rainwater, your socks a petri dish for fungus, hippies as far as the eye can see, the slight chance of dehydration, a snake or two, and miles of terrain.
2. Trains: Passable to luxury wagons that will speed you back and forth to Machu Picchu. Various trains, A/C approved and lined with dining carts and flatscreen TVs, will take you to the base of the mountain on which Machu Picchu is perched.
There are dozens of way to cannonball yourself into Machu Picchu.
- The Inca Trail: A 2 day to 7 day tour (depends on your travel guide and your willingness to jog) that covers almost a 150km by foot.
In essence the Inca Highway is really a series of overlapping trails, from shortest (One Day) to longest (Mollepata)… condemned choice. Most of the pathway is located in the Andes mountain range, passing through several types of environments (cloud forests and alpine tundra) and skating by through villages and old Inca ruins.
The Trail is closely monitored and there is a government sponsored guerrilla force on the lose keeping a close eye on it.
Due in part to erosion, overpopulation and pesky hippies swamping the area, as of 2001 The Peruvian Government has put a limit on people allowed to trek the Inca Trail. Only 500 people are permitted in the area daily (200 trekkers, the rest being guides, porters and natives).
All the year’s permits are released on January and are sold on a first come-first serve basis. The government demands that each trekker be accompanied by a guide; as such you can only purchase the permit through registered tour operators.
TRAINS, But not planes or Automobiles:
- Train: there are a number of locomotives that can take you to Machu Picchu. Peru Rail which offer 3 services: Hiram Bingham, Vistadome and Expedition (First, Executive and, “look ma chickens.”) and Inca Rail: which offer Executive (panoramic views and snacks) and First Class (same as executive but with more leg room).
In order to hop on the hobo expressway to Machu Picchu, you’ll need to get to Ollantaytambo Train Station. You can take a taxi, minivan or a bus; it all depends on the depth of your bank account and how much your willing to sacrifice of comfort and haste just to save a buck or two.
When to Visit:
Machu Picchu is smack dap in the middle of a rainforest that holds strong to its nomenclature. It’s the sort of place that when it rains, it doesn’t just pour, it calls on Moses for a repeat performance of his 40 day cruise.
The Inca Trail is mostly closed, for maintenance and simply because the natives are sick and tired of having to haul out drowned hippies, during the months of December to March. February being mudslide season.
The Best time to visit Machu Picchu is during September to November; it is the dry season and the orchids are in bloom.
What To Bring To Machu Picchu:
If you’re doing the hike:
- Hiking Boots.
- Bug Repellant.
- Detachable cloths. Those funky heavy duty pants and shirts that magically transform into Bermudas and tank tops.
- Water: loads of it.
- Walking Poles.
- Light warm jacket.
- Flip Flops.
- Lightweight Hat.
- Flash Light.
- CONDOMS: beauties abound from all over the world. Like the diligent iconic man you are, always be prepared. Bring back knick-knacks, not viruses or that genetically prone STD that will scour you out and one day knock on your door and say. “Hello, Daddy.”
- Guitar or Ukulele: Did I mention the beauties and vixens? From Argentina, Venezuela, France, South Africa, Russia, London, Spain. Blonds, brunettes, red heads, goths and EMOS with painted locks and shaved haircuts. The strum of a musical instrument akin to catnip during those long cold nights out in the stygian darkness. Your tent open. Their phones without Internet connection. Your mating call dancing in the air in C notes and G notes, maybe a sensual fingerpick. Their noxious friend unable to shut up about her man troubles. You, the only one who brought deodorant. Her, with nothing to do for the rest of the night. The cicadas sound out. The other couples moan like chimps in their tents. Her friend fetches a voodoo doll of her dog of a hubby. You strum “Kiss Me” or some other sappy affair. It’s meant to happen. Time to get your Machu on and waylay her Picchu.
If you’re going by train:
- Money: bring a lot cause the natives will be selling their wares… and after awhile, you’ll be tossing out bills like holy water just to ward them away:
“Please, leave me alone… Go away… Jesus… The power of Christ compels you. The power of Christ, sorry I mean Washington, compels you!”
- Balls of steal: once you get to Machu Picchu, you will have to board a bus that’s been yanked straight out of the Reagan administration. Said bus will climb a snake like path carved into the mountain with a sheer dead drop at one side. You will look out the window and see nothing but your own mortality; there, in that instance, your family jewels will shrink straight into your belly.
So, that’s it. Go, get off the couch and give that harried wench, the Pacha-mama, the lay of the land. Show that shrewd hussy who’s the boss.
Now, here’s the gip, the cost of my wisdom, I don’t do this shit for free - OK, I’m getting paid, but screw it, I’m double dipping. Shout out below in the comments and demand like Vikings pillaging a village, Barbarians storming the gates, implore like a politician at Congress and shout at my cheap-ass penny pinching editor:
“Buy Max a ticket to Burning Man, with a stop-over at Colorado for some ‘ammunition’. We need to know what Spanish Fly is needed to attract those Post-Apocalyptic honeys.”
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Travelers, snake-charmer, writer, Shakespeare’s guro. Purveyor and collector of cool stuff.