Inca Trail to Machu Picchu Guide Book

and Site Guide


Photographs, Travelogues, a Novel, a Guidebook & Links

Jacquetta Megarry and I have writen a guidebook, Explore the Inca Trail for the benefit of those who want to enjoy the experience that impressed us both so much. This page also explains how I came to be interested in Peru and acts as a guide to my Inca Trail web site which contains photographs and brief descriptions of the ruins and my account of the experience of hiking the Trail. For those who would prefer a more eloquent and literary description of the unchanging attractions and the, hopefully, less permanent problems of Peru there are some quotations and paraphrases of material from my sister's novel, Into the Fire.

Dreams of Peru - an Appetite Whetted

As a boy I read about the civilization of the Incas and its destruction by the Conquistadors, about a sophisticated society without either money or the wheel which nevertheless erected buildings of huge stone blocks fitted together so perfectly that it is impossible to insert a sheet of paper between them, and about ruins not found until the 20th century and others which even now are believed to await discovery. I also read Thor Heyerdahl's account of his voyage in the Kon Tiki to demonstrate the possibility of contacts between the civilizations of the Andes and Polynesia. But I could hardly imagine visiting such places myself. That seemed almost too much to dream of!

Ambitions Fulfilled

Nevertheless, in 1989 at the height of the Sendero Luminoso or Shining Path's campaign of terror, I travelled around many of the (supposedly) safe areas of Peru and hiked the Inca Trail for the first time. The experience is as fresh in my memory as if it happened yesterday.

Several years later, because of her husband's job, my sister Linda Davies moved to Peru, where they lived for three years, and they hiked the Inca Trail on a couple of occasions (and also tried the then recently opened shorter trail from Km. 104) while gathering material for her thriller Into the Fire. Some of the events in the novel take place on the trail and at Machu Picchu while others are inspired by my sister's experiences in Lima and other parts of the country as well as her career in London before moving to Peru. (See her biography for more details).

I re-visited the country in 1997 to see Linda and her husband and while there I saw many new places, but could not resist the chance of hiking the Inca Trail once more.

The Peru of President Fujimori was a rapidly changing country but its great attractions remained untarnished. I was pleased to discover how much of the Inca Trail I could remember as clearly as if my first hike had been only yesterday. The different ruins along the way had acted as anchors to fix my memories and although, at the height of the holiday season there are a lot more people on the Inca Trail than at the same period in 1989 that served in some ways to make the hike to Machu Picchu seem more like a pilgrimage - as it probably was in the days when the Incas ruled over most of the Andes.

cover of the novel, Into the Fire

The thriller. From London to Peru: out of the frying pan - into the fire. Follow the heroine to Lima, Cusco, the Inca Trail, Machu Picchu, the jungle near Paititi, Boca Manu, Bogotá in Colombia, and back - to confront the men who framed her.

Writing the Guide Book - Explore the Inca Trail

In 2001 I first collaborated with Jacquetta Megarry, an information technology specialist turned publisher, on the first edition of a book about the Inca Trail. Jacquetta is responsible for the creation of Rucksack Readers, a firm which publishes guides for walkers in a handy format.

Three of the first four in the series are about walks in Scotland, where I lived when I was a teenager and went to university. The fourth, about Kilimanjaro, was also of great interest to me as I climbed that mountain the summer after I did the Inca Trail for the second time.

In September 2001 Jacquetta hiked three trails to Machu Picchu including the longer, more strenuous route from Mollepata, researching and taking photographs for the book, which was first published in January 2002. A new edition of the guidebook is out.

Other sources of information on the Inca Trail, (including some guidebooks by other authors) are mentioned in my links page.

 

cover of the book, 
                       Explore the Inca Trail

All three versions of the Inca Trail are covered; starting from Chilca/Km 82/Km 88, or Km 104, or Mollepata. Many colour photographs of scenery, ruins and wildlife are included in addition to maps, a site plan of Machu Picchu, and practical advice on preparing for the trek.

 

More details of the book Explore the Inca Trail are available at the Rucksack Readers website, from which it may be ordered. Orders are also being taken by Amazon.com and the British branch of Amazon, Amazon.co.uk.

About my Inca Trail and Machu Picchu web site

These pages are maintained by Roy Davies. I am not an archaeologist or a travel agent - simply someone who believes that Peru is a fascinating country and has hiked the Inca Trail twice and loved it on both occasions! To make contact with people interested in discussing the Inca Trail use Usenet newsgroups such as rec.travel.latin-america and see also the links page for additional sources of information. Also, see the guidebook written by Jacquetta Megarry and myself!
[ Top ]
[ Inca Trail home page ]
[ Ruins on the Inca Trail ]
[ Into the Fire - a novel including action on the Inca Trail ]
[ What is it like to Hike the Inca Trail? ]
[ Linda Davies' home page ]
[ Roy Davies' home page ]

Maintained by Roy Davies.
Last updated 28 October 2008.