Free travel home page with storage for your pictures and travel reports! login GLOBOsapiens - Travel Community GLOBOsapiens - Travel Community GLOBOsapiens - Travel Community
 You are here: Member pages
 Forgot password?
sign up

Top 3 members
wojtekd 30
el2995 10
basia 4
Member snaps
jorgesanchez Sion - A travel report by jorge
about me      | my friends      | pictures      | albums      | reports      | travel log      | travel tips      | guestbook      | activities      | contact      |

Sion,  Peru - flag Peru -  San Martín
9950 readers

jorgesanchez's travel reports

Machu Picchu through the Old Inca Trail

  28 votes
Page: 1 2 3 4
Machu Picchu was an Inca bastion unknown to the Spaniards. Only was discovered in 1911 by the American explorer Hiram Bingham, who erroneously took it for Vilcabamba, the refuge founded by Manco Inca Yupanqui after being defeated by Pizarro.

Old Inca Trail
Old Inca Trail
BRAZIL. My decision to attain the legendary citadel of Machu Picchu off the beaten path was taken in Rio de Janeiro, during the Carnival. After five days of navigation from Belem to Manaus through the Amazonas, sleeping in hammocks, I made friendship with four intrepid companions: Fernando had been travelling for about six months around South America and now he was heading back home to Mexico D.F. together with a friend, an Argentinean Jew called Diego; Manfred and Heinz were from Munich, and wanted to travel overland until USA to culminate their around the world journey flying over the Pacific Ocean to Japan, and back to Germany through the Tran Siberian train. Arriving to Manaus we soon found a cheap dormitory behind the splendid and famous Theatre Palace. My four friends had planned to continue the journey by river until Tabatinga, followed by Iquitos in Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, and further north until Mexico. Then I proposed them to reach Colombia throughout an exotic way that no other traveller since the times of Alexander von Humboldt ever dared: across the unknown jungles bordering Brazil, Colombia and Venezuela. Once in Bogota we would separate. They would continue their journey through the Darien gap and I will descend to Peru to visit the Machu Picchu. They agreed. We were travelling on a budget (I was almost broken) and had arranged the following to travel on the cheapest way sharing the minimal expenses: Fernando, who was the tallest of us, would pick up the fruits from the trees (papayas, bananas, mangoes, etc.) and would fish; Diego would prepare the food since he was cook by profession; Manfred and Heinz would collect firewood and would wash the dishes, and I would negotiate the prices of the transport with the captains of the boats carrying garimpeiros (gold seekers) going up the River Negro until Pico da Neblina, the accommodation with the chiefs of the villages, and the permissions with the authorities of the FUNAI (Fundaçao Nacional do Indio).

Favourite spots:
Amazonas Indian
Amazonas Indian
AMAZONAS. We left Manaus by boat and stopped for a few days in Barcelos, then Santa Isabel do Rio Negro, and finally spent one week in beautiful Sao Gabriel da Cachoeira (Cachoeira means waterfall in Portuguese). Our objective now was the small town of Mitu, in Colombia, but it was not easy to get there. Only after drinking several bottles of cachaça with a Greek garimpeiro who owned a motorboat, and beating him in an exciting chess game, he agreed to take us until the border with Colombia in a journey that would last ten days, sleeping in villages inhabited by leprous and eating piranhas and coconuts. In some villages we were the first Europeans that the Indians had seen in their life. They looked at us with naïve curiosity and touched our body, arms and the hair of our chest. At the border there were neither military control nor FUNAI agents nor garimpeiros, so we paid to the Greek and crossed the River until a village called Yavarate, in the Colombian Indian Reserve of Vaupes.

What's really great:
Deportation from Colombia
Deportation from Colombia
COLOMBIA. Yavarate was populated by ten families of Indians Guanano, a few soldiers and a kind of superintendent or Corregidor, el Senor Luis, a real gentleman who gave us hospitality during three weeks until we were sent to Mitu by a small airplane to report our illegal presence with the DAS (Departamento Administrativo de Seguridad). The verdict was: Deportation. We were embarked to Bogota and given a period of ten days to leave Colombia. The view in that plane was overtaking; the jungle appeared beneath us as a giant green carpet. My four companions took the way to Turbo and some weeks later they successfully reached Mexico D.F. I travelled by bus until the archaeological site of San Agustin to visit the mysterious statues representing the “Doble Yo”. Subsequently, being the sources of the Magdalena River so near, I determined to get there on foot and then to Valencia. I was joined by five Europeans backpackers. We slept in a farm. In the middle of the night some Colombians arrived.

some funerary statues of the DOBLE YO, in San Agustin
some funerary statues of the DOBLE YO, in San Agustin
MAGDALENA RIVER. Early in the morning the young Colombians said that they were guerrilleros of the FARC (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias Colombianas) and showed us their revolvers. They asked us our passports and when they read our nationalities (one Swedish, two Swiss, one German, the only girl was Norwegian, and me) called us “capitalists”. They requested our money, sleeping bags, cameras, watches, etc. I was not robbed at all (I had nothing valuable to be stolen from), what looked suspicious to the foreigners. I made the mediator because nobody of them spoke Spanish, and convinced the chief of the guerrilleros, Victor, to let us continue our journey given that we were just harmless travellers. (Some years later I met Victor in Moscow, and presently he lives in Kharkov and has formed a family with a Ukrainian beauty). Victor came with us until Valencia and “ordered” a friend of him, who was the driver of a public bus, to take me free of charge to Ipiales, the last Colombian village.

exotic Indian cattle market in Chimborazo, Ecuador
exotic Indian cattle market in Chimborazo, Ecuador
ECUADOR. I had fantastic travelling plans for Ecuador: to climb the Chimborazo (as Humboldt did) and then to catch a boat to the Galapagos Islands. But the Ecuadorians immigrations officers informed me at the border: “Since the Colombians gave you ten days stay in their country, we can only issue you a ten days permit to transit through Ecuador”. That was really a low blow! Within that time I could only visit the Indian market of Otavalo, the monument to the Equator, and spend a few days in Quito, without any doubt the loveliest capital in South America. The last two days I enjoyed pleasant Banos, a gorgeous resting place and meeting point of independent backpackers travelling around South America for a long time. There are many schools to learn Spanish in Banos; it can be compared with Livingston or Panajachel in Guatemala. To leave Ecuador I chose a border rarely frequented, south of Loja, with the hope of avoiding the ten days transit visa. The eleventh day I entered Peru.

"bridges" in the Old Inca Trail
PERU. I was granted 90 days stay. Hurrah! I wished to get to Machu Picchu following part of the 40.000 kilometres of roads of the Old Inca Trail through the Andes uniting the Inca Empire, called in quechua Tawantisuyo, or Tahuantinsuyu, which means Four Regions (from Ecuador to Chile and Argentina, and from the Brazilian jungles to the Ocean). I hitchhiked but I had to work for the rides. Lorries carrying goods picked me up and I helped to sell fruits in the markets. I stopped in Cajamarca, where Atahualpa, the last Inca King, was sentenced to death by Pizarro for having ordered the murder of his half brother (and also Inca King) Huascar and all the members of his family. Kuelap was the first Inca fortress that I visited. Via Chachapoyas, Moyobamba and Tarapoto I arrived to Juanjui. In order to continue further, to Tingo Maria, I had to travel by motorboat along the Huallaga River via Sion. I was advised not to go there because in Sion there is no law. But it was too late to back down.

I play with China in the exuberant jungle in Sion
I play with China in the exuberant jungle in Sion
HUALLAGA RIVER. In Sion there was no law, no policemen, and no priests. Every day landed two small airplanes from Colombia to buy PBC (Pasta Basica de Coca). I was inquired for the purpose of my visit and explained that I was broken, in transit to Machu Picchu. Then I was offered a job as a waiter serving beers and chicha in a night club with twenty young girls practising the oldest feminine profession. I accepted. The customers were workers who picked up leaves of coca. I was given a revolver calibre 38 for my self defence, because every night they were shoots, and in the morning, in the only street, laid several cadavers that were thrown to the river. I always slept with the revolver under my pillow. One of the girls, nicknamed China, came to see me one morning, and crying said that the Colombians wanted to kill me that evening because they suspected me as being a DEA agent. I thanked her, drank the tears from her face, returned my revolver, cashed my salary and left to Tingo Maria.

Garimpeiros in the Amazonas
Garimpeiros in the Amazonas
MADRE DE DIOS. I arrived to Cusco via Tingo Maria, Jauja, Huancayo and Ayacucho, but instead of heading directly to Machu Picchu I boarded a truck to Puerto Maldonado, in Madre de Dios, near Bolivia, to work as a garimpeiro because I needed money for my travel plans in South America. I was accepted at once in a camp in Colorado, near the Manu National Park, were supposedly is hidden the legendary city of Paititi, searched by the English colonel Percy Fawcett and his son, who in 1925 disappeared in the jungle. I worked as a “cascajero” removing the stones from a wooden box called “tolba”. The work was hard but well paying in grams of gold every day. The worst were the thousands of mosquitoes. Some of my companions explained me that some patrons killed with a machete their employees while sleeping in their hammocks, to rob their gold. After hearing this I resolved to quit my job. Now, with all the grams of gold that I earned in one month of work I was ready to visit the Machu Picchu.

Other recommendations:
no words to describe Machu Picchu
no words to describe Machu Picchu
MACHU PICCHU. From the old Inca capital of Cusco I took the train to the famous Kilometro 88 to start my trekking during three days and two nights to traverse the 45 kilometres of that touristy Inca Trail through breathtaking gorges and passes at over 3000 metres of altitude, ruins of old Inca citadels, rivers, canyons and jungles. When I arrived to the Puerta del Sol I rested for one hour to admire the spectacular beauty of the Machu Picchu and the neighbour mountain Wayna Picchu. I was exalted, almost in ecstasy. Finally I accomplished my dream. And although thanks to the gold that I earned in Madre de Dios and that I sold whenever necessary, I traveled without economical troubles during several more months visiting the islands of the Titicaca Lake, Tierra de Fuego, the channels between Puerto Natales and Puerto Montt in a fantastic boat journey, and saw so many other wonders, I can assert that nothing was more exciting than my journey to the Machu Picchu through the Old Inca Trail.

Published on Tuesday September 20th, 2005

send travelogue via e-mail    Publish on Facebook  

Thu, Aug 03 2006 - 09:25 AM rating by sajjanka

nice beautiful

Sun, Mar 26 2006 - 03:16 AM rating by st.vincent

Much more than a journey, a real adventure. One of the best reports I have read in my short time on GLOBO. Thanks

Tue, Sep 27 2005 - 02:10 AM rating by magsalex

Another top quality report. Makes great reading.

Mon, Sep 26 2005 - 10:05 PM rating by britman

Another professional, intriguing and such a readable report. Beautifully illustrated and an example of what a best report should be! Congratulations - brilliant work.

Fri, Sep 23 2005 - 11:01 PM rating by downundergal

Loved it!
Great story - I thought I was reading "Diarios de motocicleta parte dos".
That's what you call adventure travelling for sure.

Wed, Sep 21 2005 - 08:11 AM rating by rangutan

An increadible journey. The title should be "Road to Machu Picchu and Beyond" or "A Long Way to Machu Picchu"? Quite an adventure!

Wed, Sep 21 2005 - 06:32 AM rating by gloriajames

Hiya Jorge
Globo's Best Explorer!!
It was an absolutely fabulous report. Loved reading it! Must say I would be happy to buy your book if you ever write one of all your travel journeys!
Cant wait to see more of your reports!
Thanks for sharing it!
[5* star is rather underrated i must add :-)]

Tue, Sep 20 2005 - 11:15 PM rating by dipaks

nice report

Tue, Sep 20 2005 - 08:12 PM rating by ravinderkumarsi

very nice report and good pictures too

Tue, Sep 20 2005 - 07:07 PM rating by eirekay

Jorge, this is why I love your reports. I too have been to Puerto Maldonado and hiked from Kilometer 88 to Machu Picchu, but my adventure was not nearly so adventurous. I have yet to deported ;-)

Tue, Sep 20 2005 - 05:28 PM rating by ardelia

Hi there, a good write up & a real life experience that I shall refer to anytime soon should I wish to visit Machu Pichu. I loved the part where you helped to sell fruits in the market. and when you worked as a bartender. Fun stuff..

Login if you are a member, or sign up for a free membership to rate this report and to earn globo points!

   Jalalabad average user rating for this report
   Ushuaia average user rating for this report
 Bosnia - Herzegovina
   Mostar average user rating for this report
   Vila dos Remedios average user rating for this report
   Goose Bay average user rating for this report
   L'Anse au Meadow average user rating for this report
   Yellowknife average user rating for this report
   Djamena average user rating for this report
   Robinson Crusoe average user rating for this report
   Kashi average user rating for this report
 Christmas Island
   Settlement average user rating for this report
   San Andres average user rating for this report
   Roseau average user rating for this report
 Falkland Islands
   Stanley average user rating for this report
   Helgoland average user rating for this report

Publish your own story!
 More on Peru

   Cusco - peruvacation average user rating for this report
   Huanchaco - krisek average user rating for this report
   Aguas Calientes average user rating for this report
   Ballestas islands average user rating for this report
   Machu Picchu average user rating for this report

  Terms and Conditions    Privacy Policy    Press    Contact    Impressum
  © 2002 - 2024 Findix Technologies GmbH Germany    Travel Portal Version: 5.0.1