July 18-19, 2007
I saw an article about Choquequirao a few weeks ago and decided it was somewhere I wanted to go. The ancient Inca site has been known about for a long time, but archaeologists have only recently discovered how important it really was. In fact, people are now calling it a sister city of Machu Picchu. Only a small amount of it has been excavated, there's no road or rail line to the site, and only a few thousand tourists go there each year, so it still has an adventuresome feel to it, and I'd love to see it before it's discovered by the mainstream tourists. The problem was how to get there.
I did a lot of searching and found a decent topographical map of the area in a bookstore. I talked to a guy at my hostel named Jose who has been to Choquequirao as a cook, and he figured that most people walk there from the nearest town for two days, stay for a day, then walk back on the same path. That sounded a bit boring to me, but I soon discovered that it is possible to continue walking all the way to Machu Picchu.
Jose gave me a lot more info about the region, and now I definitely want to do the longer trek. I've already been to Machu Picchu, but it's been a year and three quarters, so I figure it's worth another look as long as I'm already in the area. The only major task remaining was to find some people to go with me. I printed up a dozen notices inviting anyone interested and put them up on message boards and in bars around the city. The waiting game has begun.