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Fitness (or lack of) and hiking the Inca Trail

Travel Forums Central/South America & The Caribbean Fitness (or lack of) and hiking the Inca Trail

1. Posted by Khandilee (Respected Member 99 posts) 2y

I am really struggling here. I am headed to SA for two months in Feb/March and going with a very good friend. I am early 40's and friend is early 50's. We are both smokers and neither of us in in good physical shape. We are both average height/weight; neither is what I would consider 'overweight'. We originally had planned on doing the 4 day trek (which is something that I feel would be an amazing experience) My travel partner has a lot of doubts on the ability to finish the tre and has talked me nto doing the train insead. I am totally bummed! I was in agreement with her but now I find that I am really wishing that we could do the trek.

I dont know if I can survive the trek and complete t but I really want to give it a try. I have to decide SOON what to do so I can get the required permits if I decide to to the trek without her. I just dont know....

About me: I am 5'6" weight about 150, can walk all day for days on end sight-seeing. Haven't been hiking in quite a while (several years). Not really in a position to get out and hike where I am currently as its winter. I recently (six months ago) had foot surgery which has me a little limited still on my shoe choices. I work 12 hour shifts as a nurse and am accoustomed to being on my feet for long hours....but....this is not hiking. I can jog up 4 flights of stairs with being slightly winded at the top. (have been working on this in preperation doing it twice daily). Going down steps is not a problem for these old knees of mine.

Can anyone give me some insight and advice? I am thinking about chatting with my friend and bookinng the ttrek for myself and having her meet me at the ruins via trainn. Do you think (given the above information) that I could do the trek? What happens if I gt to day 2 and cant finish? I had read somewhere that there is a possible trek that offers mules to ride for part of the trek? Does anyone know anything about this?

Thanks for any information/Advice/thoughts....

2. Posted by birdmccabe (Budding Member 22 posts) 2y

Hi,
My friend and i did the trek just this past summer. we are both mid twenties. I am a very active person, but my friend is not. She really struggled the the 2nd and 3rd days of the trek. It was no easy feat for me either, but i enjoyed the experience...whereas i think she would probably advise against it if you are not active and have not had any hiking practise. Aside from the hiking itself, you are also facing altitude issues, particularly on day 2.
Personally, if you are up for a challenge, Go for it! but know that it will be tough. I dont think there are any 'get out of jail free' cards if you decide you cant go on in the middle of the trek.
Have a great time on your trip!

3. Posted by KyleMac (Full Member 60 posts) 2y

I reckon go for it! If you really want to do it I'm sure you will find that little bit of extra energy to get you through to the next rest stop.

Have you considered hiring your own personal guide and porter. Then if you need to go a bit slower than the rest of the group you are free to take your time? Although this will obviously be more expensive.

I would hate for you to miss out on this experience of a lifetime just because of a few doubts. I reckon go for it!

Worst case scenario: you can't do it, head back down and catch the train the next day.

4. Posted by Beckiboo (Respected Member 134 posts) 2y

Maybe this can be the push you need to get yourself a bit healthier! You've got 3 months at least to start doing a bit of training for the trek. Pack in the fags and start walking everywhere you can. Even if you get yourself 30% fitter from now until then you will notice it loads and it will make your experience that much better!

I damaged a disc in my back recently and have been out of action physically since. Bit of a different situation I know, but the thought of going to such amazing places (I'm going in January) and doing some trekking is spurring me on to get myself in the bets physical condition I can be in for my trip :)

5. Posted by Khandilee (Respected Member 99 posts) 2y

Thanks to everyone for the info/advice. I am continuing to have post surgical issues so I have decided to take the train this time....I will be doing some other hikes while in SA. Just don't think I am up for the 4 day trek right now.

I have cut back on the smokes and have been working the stairs like crazy. Now if this d*&n foot would just heal completely; I would be fine. Not going to put it off.....bought my ticket 2 days ago!!

6. Posted by Unieque (Budding Member 2 posts) 2y

Hi

I've just completed inca jungle trek alot easier than the other options although it may not sound it. It's 4 days day bike for about 2 to 3 hours down hill which is amazing and not too hard. Day 2 is difficult but not as difficult as sallkatay or inca it's flat for 1.5 hrs then up mountain for 1.5 hours which is tricky but with a friend going at your own pace should be grand they stop along the way a few time then down hill after lunch for 3 to 4 hours. Day 3 is 5 hours mostly flat and day 4 you are there. I think it's the best option for the unfit. Just be aware the altitude and there are some side paths which are very close to the edge that you have to take your time over on day two and if there's any problems buses and trains can take you to the next point.

Best of luck

7. Posted by Khandilee (Respected Member 99 posts) 2y

Quoting Unieque

Hi

I've just completed inca jungle trek alot easier than the other options although it may not sound it. It's 4 days day bike for about 2 to 3 hours down hill which is amazing and not too hard. Day 2 is difficult but not as difficult as sallkatay or inca it's flat for 1.5 hrs then up mountain for 1.5 hours which is tricky but with a friend going at your own pace should be grand they stop along the way a few time then down hill after lunch for 3 to 4 hours. Day 3 is 5 hours mostly flat and day 4 you are there. I think it's the best option for the unfit. Just be aware the altitude and there are some side paths which are very close to the edge that you have to take your time over on day two and if there's any problems buses and trains can take you to the next point.

Best of luck

Canyou give me any information on the company that you used?