Peru - Short Inca Trail

  johndrew 11:30 26 Jul 2008

We are considering going to Peru next year and walking the Short Inca Trail. I have searched the various sites and know the length of the route and the average inclination from start to the highest point. However there is little to aid in making a decision based on age, fitness and altitude.

Given that we are no longer young, but are of average fitness and reasonable health, has anyone walked this trail and is able to suggest its suitability for us older folk?

Additionally if suggestions as to acceptable footwear (hiking boots/light walking boots/trainers) for use on the trail these would also prove useful.

Many thanks in anticipation.

  johndrew 13:54 26 Jul 2008

Thanks for coming back. I had heard the coca tea was helpful, some of the Peruvians chew the leaf.

How `high` it lets you go I`m not sure, but `Lucy in the sky` was a good record even if I was not running in the same league!!

  spuds 14:46 26 Jul 2008

A number of charities might still do the Inca Trail stuff, so it might perhaps pay to investigate this angle. They should provide all the details you require, plus at the same time, you might be helping a charity, if you think its worthwhile.

Would mention, watch the chewing or storage of coca leafs, especially in airports :O)

  Forum Editor 15:30 26 Jul 2008

and he says you need to be reasonably fit to do it. He said there were some middle-aged people on the walk, and a few of them suffered slightly with altitude sickness, mainly because they thought they knew better, and tried to move too fast. It's definitely not something to attempt if you suffer from shortage of breath after a brisk walk up the stairs.

The guides kept everyone supplied with coca tea, and that helped. Apparently, decent trainers seemed to be the order of the day as far as footwear goes.

  wiz-king 16:19 26 Jul 2008

I would go for two pairs of hiking boots as they have more ankle support than trainers, but make sure you have broken them in well before you go. Same goes if you decide on trainers.
Also try not to start the walk on the first day,spend a couple of days getting used to the altitude if you can.

  johndrew 19:52 26 Jul 2008

A very good point. May earn a few bob for the local hospice.

As I said earlier ``Lucy in the sky` was a good record even if I was not running in the same league!!` I am not into any leaves.

  johndrew 19:55 26 Jul 2008

We would have a full day to do the nine miles and only the first half is uphill!!!

fourm member mentioned coca leaves/tea and it is well reported to have beneficial effects - provided I don`t drive after(?).

  johndrew 20:00 26 Jul 2008

We have `used` hiking boots so that is not a problem. Your point about ankle support was one that I was considering when I asked. On well used trails the going is often easy and flat and doesn`t require the added support; whether this trail fits that description .....?

The trail is planned at day ten so we have time to raise our game a very little. Other parts of the trip are also at altitude so that will help; but some is at sea level.

  charmingman 00:21 27 Jul 2008

johndrew" my wife's from Ecuador..let me know what you want, feel free to email me...

  Forum Editor 14:10 27 Jul 2008

and he's expanded on the information I gave earlier:

1. On his walk there were several people over sixty years of age, and they coped just fine - they were a little slower than the younger ones, and a couple of the men tried to overcompensate for that by walking too fast; they paid the price by feeling awful, and the guides had to be quite firm with them.

2. The best shoes are definitely not full-blown leather hiking boots, but stout trainer-type shoes. My son said he used a brand called Merrell, and they were just perfect. This is the one he wore:

click here

3. Coca tea is far better at staving off altitude sickness than any of the pills that are available, and the guides will bring it to you automatically - my son says don't refuse it, it really works.

  johndrew 14:53 27 Jul 2008

Many thanks for the offer. I shall collect my full thoughts and questions and send an e-mail.

Thanks again.

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