We survived the Inca Trail!
For some reason, AK and I were under the impression that it was possible for unfit people like us to hike the Inca Trail (delusions of grandeur). AK, who has asthma, literally almost died from the lack of oxygen on the first day. Luckily for us, we had 4 doctors in the group (well, 3 residents plus 1 real doctor). Anyway, it was an extremely grueling vacation, if you can even call it that, but ultimately we had fun and it was quite an experience. Machu Picchu was amazing, as expected. After resting for a day or two, we flew to a small town called Puerto Maldonado in the Amazon basin, then stayed at a jungle lodge for a few days (just getting to the lodge involved a 35-minute canoe ride through narrow waterways, a 1-1.5 hour hike through the jungle followed by a 1-hour boat ride across a lake). It was “fun” in the sense that being in a giant sauna room can be fun, although I did enjoy seeing toucans (apparently difficult to see) and a ton of monkeys, plus a close call with a water snake that mistook our canoe for a floating log. Souvenirs from the trip include peeling skin from the sunburn (but a great tan!), tons of mosquito bites (still taking my malaria pills) and hundreds of photos we still need to sort through (will post soon).
But ultimately, I would recommend Peru for sure, for Machu Picchu (definitely take the train rather than trek, unless you’re a glutton for pain), the majestic Andes mountains, the amazing food and the great people.
Gearing up to return to work tomorrow, but will fill in details later!