“Anmol, do you have my phone??”

Even as the question came out of my mouth, I knew the answer. He didn’t have it. It was sitting on the roof of an outhouse all the way back up the trail we had just climbed down. And this wasn’t an area of the trail that was calm or even a small hill, it was the descent after the highest pass on the entire Inca Trail, Dead Women’s Pass. Yep. Awesome.

As I searched my bag one last time praying I was wrong, one of the girls in our group said to me, “I would never go back up there to get it. You are crazy if you are even considering it” Well, I wasn’t just considering it, I was doing it. It’s my trusty Samsung with the ridiculously cracked screen and all our pictures! I’m not leaving that thing behind! I dumped my pack with Anmol and our guide and as they watched me with binoculars, raced back up the mountain. I knew my stupidity was going to put our entire group behind and delay our lunch so I ran. Ran up a mountain on the Inca Trail at 4200m (that’s 13,800ft for us awesome Americans) to get my phone. I’m sure I looked a complete mess, red in the face, hair everywhere, sweating and heaving because I was completely out of breath. The guides, trekkers and sherpas that I passed just stood and stared at me thinking I was crazy but others wished me luck that I wasn’t doing all this just to find that my phone had been stolen.

In half the time our guide said the hike would take and after almost passing out, I finally made it to the top. It was like a movie with a ray of sunlight shining down on the roof of the outhouse and my phone just sparkling in all it’s ghetto glory. It was still there. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU. It was totally worth it.

Other than that ridiculous blunder, our four day Inca Trail hike to Machu Picchu went very well. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m not much of a trekker but we picked an amazing tour group and were surrounded by wonderful people. We used Alpaca Expeditions and it was almost (dare I say it…) luxurious. Honestly, if you are a real trekker, I would say to avoid the Inca Trail. You wouldn’t be able to take it seriously. The tour group did absolutely everything for us, from carrying all our stuff and setting up our tent every day to providing tea breaks and even cooking a cake on the last evening. We didn’t lift a finger. All we had to do was walk. The trek is pretty moderate and with all the steps and lack of oxygen, it can get challenging but as our tour guide kept telling us (and our new free bright green t-shirts proudly say) “the journey is the destination.”

I’ll say it again, we were surrounded by awesome people. VERY fortunately for Anmol, these awesome people hiking with us for four straight days were four pretty, young and fun American girls. Although at first I think Anmol may have felt a bit bummed about the circumstances, after just a few hours, he was having a great time and the girls loved him (even giving him a gigantic group hug on the last morning). And, I had a great time connecting with not only Americans but females! I loved the conversations, the laughs and overall just their company!

Lastly, of course, was our arrival to Machu Pichhu. After four days of not showering, absolutely disgusting outhouses, aching knees and bug bites, we had finally made it. I was not a happy camper getting up at 3am to wait in line and hike the last few hours to the archaeological site but making it there before the crowds and seeing it rising out of the morning clouds was definitely memorable. Being half Quechua (descended from the Incas) himself, our guide was extremely knowledgeable and we took our time touring the whole area. From the views to the history, the experience was unreal.

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The whole crew - 1 guide, 11 sherpas, 1 cook, 5 girls and Anmol

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While hiking up Dead Women's Pass I was not so happy.

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The whole group celebrating at the top of Dead Women's Pass

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A portion of the trail that I was forced to run back up. Stupid phone.

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At the top of the cloud forest

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Taking it all in.

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Who doesn't love a good llama photo?

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So gorgeous up close

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