Half Dome – Yosemite Musing
When I chew the fat with other domers, we often speak of other places to go. I did the Inca trail at Machu Picchu a few years back. This is a very good follow-on to your Half Dome trek. It’s in Peru. You fly to Lima then a short jet hop to Cuzco. It’s at 11,000 feet so be prepared to take it easy and feel a bit woozy on arrival. The Coco tea really helps. OK, so a little cocaine is good for you! After all, that was the main ingredient of the original Coca Cola! I went with the REI program. It was well run and we had no problems. 12 hikers and 2 superb guides. They bring about 15 porters to carry stuff, so you only need a light backpack for your day’s water and jacket. The guide sets up camp for the 3-night, 26-mile hike. They provided a 6 person tent for each 2 people. They dig the toilet and provide all the food. We ate in a huge 16 person tent with tables and chairs. All this is hauled by the porters …. in shorts and sandals. They even passed us on the trail. There are 2 high passes to go over – 12.6K ft and 13.2K feet. No one got altitude sickness. You are on the original Inca trail. They now require rubber tips on your hiking poles. The site was discovered in 1911 and they believe it was used as a religious site by the head guy – called the Inca. In the 1500’s the Spanish wiped them out with the sanction of the church. Convert or die. Oh yeah, and take all the gold you can find! The Spanish had no trouble with their horses, swords, muskets and small pox. Anyway, you will learn all that. The Machu Picchu site is really neat. And be sure to go up the steep Huyana Picchu peak that sits behind the village. That will remind you of the Half Dome cables. You then take the train back to Cuzco. While in Lima – be sure to go to the Gold Museum. A private collection of artifacts and weaponry.
Unrelated thought worth quoting: “The rain in Spain falls mainly on the plain.” – A pronunciation drill.
*Mr. Half Dome – Rick Deutsch – www.HikeHalfDome.com