Hiking The Inca Trail
Fat old bird!
Dig the slippers!! 
Week 1 - The Decision
Written by Tina Sibley in January 2019

Should I?  Shouldn't I?

I'm writing this on 10th January 2019 but have kept notes of my thoughts over the past week. 

It all started with the simple thought that I wanted a holiday and has turned into something much bigger!

I will be writing future posts as I go along, but here's how the last week has panned out:

Thursday 3rd January

BOOM! I’ve decided what I want to do with my travel plans this year. I knew I wanted to go to South America but had no idea where or what kind of trip. After humming and hawing over remote working or house sitting, in the end I’ve decided I want a good, old-fashioned HOLIDAY.

I knew I wanted to go in August to escape the heat of Spain and the mad tourist season, but the choice was huge.

On the holiday theme, my first thought was a Caribbean cruise – but apparently August is not the month to do that.

So – South America, but where? Machu Picchu has been on my bucket list the longest, so I started researching it and found a great trip to Peru with Intrepid Travel.

The next decision I have to make is between the 15 day trip, ending in La Paz, Bolivia or the 21 day trip, which explores more of Peru, but doesn’t go to Bolivia. Hmmmm .......     

Friday 4th January

Still pondering on the two different trips and then BOOM – I spotted the perfect trip, actually combining the 15 day trip with a trip to the Galapagos Islands (never really been on my radar before but WOW!)

This trip starts in Quito, Ecuador, then goes to the Galapagos Islands then a grand Peru adventure, starting in Lima, going to the Amazon jungle, then Machu Picchu (and there is the option to take the train there) and finally Lake Titicaca. Then the trip ends in La Paz, Bolivia – so that’s another South American country on my list!

Now I’m really beginning to get excited by it…..

Followed by – really? Am I mad? 

Saturday 5th January

My friend Debbie posted that she’s going to Ecuador in August!! When I told her that my trip included Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands, we looked at how I could join her for a little while – now this is getting really exciting!!

So now I’m looking at can I reverse the journey and do Peru first and then do Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands after? 

Then I could team up with Debbie and we can fly back to Spain together, as she’s planning a trip to Spain in the Autumn. 

Hmmmm…. More pondering

But the whole thing is now HUGELY exciting and I can’t think of anything else. 

Sunday 6th January

After lots of research and with the help of Ruth Petralifi (travel agent who deals with Intrepid), we’ve figured out that the trip in reverse isn’t going to work. It messes with the flight schedule and to book the flights independently is going to pile on way too much cost.

So – back to Plan A – but shifting the trip departure from 3rd August to 10th August and teaming up with Debbie first.

Also – the flight there is via Miami – so it makes sense to break that up and book a couple of nights in Miami en route! I’ve never been to Miami, and wanted to go there ever since watching Miami Vice way back in the 80s - so that will be awesome!

Another BIG decision that has to be made:
The Inca Trail vs the train….

I’m going to be honest, my first thoughts around Machu Picchu were to take the train there! The Inca Trail is something I wanted to do around 10 years ago – but now??!! I seriously doubted my fitness levels. And I thought I could maybe put off the decision between the trail and the train nearer the time.


You have to book the Inca Trail at outset because of the situation around permits etc.


After much researching, reading up, looking at photos and contemplation, I’ve decided to go for the Inca Trail – GULP!  I know that if I don’t try, I will regret it! I CAN do this!

Worst case scenario, if I can’t because of altitude sickness or health at the time, I can switch to the train, but I’m going to do everything I can to get fit enough to do this – and practice hiking in as much altitude as I can over here in Spain. The Sierra Nevada range goes up to 3450 metres.

So I’m going to do this.
And take it seriously.

And write a blog about my journey – (I’ve just gone back and filled in the last few days).

I’m going to record everything – my weight loss, my walking and exercise, how I feel – the lot!

I hope that this will inspire and encourage others to chase whatever seems like an impossible dream for them.

Health Overview

I have to be aware that I’ve had a few health issues recently. After going into hospital last September, my Blood Pressure spiked in the ambulance to something like 226/115  :-O  

Even after starting medication, it was regularly around 180/105

Since coming to Spain though, and taking additional medication, it’s been gradually coming down and I just took a reading of 129/77 and another at 123/80 which have been my best in a long while. 

On my walk yesterday (Sunday 6th), which was about an hour and climbed equivalent of 13 floors, my heart rate peaked at 115, dropped to 88 as I was walking back down the hill towards home and after less than an hour was back down to 71. It’s now 67 – usual resting is between 57 and 62.
I need to work on aerobic fitness, core strength and build up the muscles in my legs. I intend to start initially by increasing my walking, especially up and down hill and of course through my dancing. I will introduce some Zumba and of course I need the stretching and yoga for flexibility. 

I’m on a mission!!! 

Preparation This Week 

OK – it’s been pretty crap to be honest!!!

Weight is a quarter of a pound less today than it was on 1st January…. 13st, 10.5 lb - or 192.5 lb Pfffttt…. I’m totally ashamed of that :-O

And, despite an intention of doing yoga or at least stretching every day and walking my 6,000 steps per day every day (that will have to increase now!!) – I only did the yoga once, stretched twice and only did my steps target three out of the first five days.

Having made my decision to do the trail on Sunday – I went out walking that afternoon and walked 7,500 steps and climbed the equivalent of 13 floors today!

I have to be honest, it felt good and I didn’t struggle with my breath, although my legs felt wobbly when I got in.

Now I’ve made the decision to do the trail, I’m going to get serious – hence this blog – no hiding!!

Monday 7th January

I made this video in the morning before I started on my preparations.  See how I get started with my preparation in next week's blog.  
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