Machu Picchu Trek: The Real Deal with Kelley Kitley

February 18, 2016
Salkantay Trek, Machu Picchu Trek: The Real Deal with Kelley Kitley

Tell us about yourself! What do you do when you’re not traveling the world? Where do you live? What made you decide to go on the Machu Picchu trek?

I’m a 37 year old mother of four small children and business owner of Serendipitous Psychotherapy in downtown Chicago. I live in Oak Park, Illinois, nine miles west of downtown Chicago. I went on my adventure to Machu Picchu with my best friend, for a spiritual and challenging journey.

How long did you go for? How did you spend your time?

I went for six days, and four of those days were spent hiking.

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What were your most memorable experiences? What were the biggest disappointments?

The most memorable experiences were the trail guides who came to the tent every morning with cocoa tea to help with the elevation, and going to a bar on the mountain after day two and having celebratory beers with many other travelers from different groups. There were absolutely NO disappointments.

What do you wish you knew before you went?

The difficulty level. I had run marathons and participated in triathlons, and a half Ironman. I thought all of these were pretty tough. The four-day excursion to Machu Picchu was difficult because it was strenuous, and you had to get up the next day and do it all over again with sore muscles. It took mental stamina.

Any favorite restaurants/hotels/hostels/sites you’d like to recommend? Tell us what made them great!

We stayed at a hotel in Cusco when we finished the hike, and it was amazing to take a shower, sleep in clean clothes, and a bed! The simple things.

Is there anything that women specifically should know before they travel to your destination?

I believe women who travel alone in general need to be more aware than men, because we stick out as vulnerable targets. I felt very safe in Cusco, but Lima–where I flew into and stayed for a nigh–felt a little more dangerous because it’s a major city. I would just advise keener awareness.


Machu Picchu Trek: The Real Deal with Kelley Kitley

About Real Deal

On the Real Deal, women share the highlights and challenges from their recent trip–and what they wish they knew before going.

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