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Trek takes doctor to the peaks of Peru

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AmphitheaterNearCusco

Preparing for a climb into the clouds
Slow and steady. At 14,400 feet, that mantra can’t be beat. Neither can the views.

As someone who recently traveled to Peru, Dr. Richard Buck will tell you that those breathtaking sights are best enjoyed when your mind is open and your body is prepared.

 

DrBuckFor several months leading up to his 28-mile hike through Peru’s picturesque landscape, Dr. Buck logged many hikes up Mt. Pisgah and Spencer’s Butte to ready himself for the heights that lay ahead.

“At my age, people have wondered if I should be doing things like this. But I say, ‘Why not?’”

The road less traveled
Instead of opting for the highly toured routes commonly taken by visitors of the Machu Picchu region, Dr. Buck and a friend, accompanied by a guide and porters, opted for a trek off the beaten path.

“We backpacked part of the Inca Trail that’s rarely traveled. It passes through some isolated villages — we didn’t see another tourist for three days. What we did see was an ancient culture that was pretty much still intact.”

FHikingarmers, who trek many miles to take their goods to market, were easily identified by their brightly colored, woven ponchos and hats, he says. There were 600-year-old houses. No running water. No toilets. No TVs. No cell phones.

While on the trail, they slept in sleeping bags, ate simple foods, and enjoyed the stunning views and way of life that surrounded them, despite the snowstorm that met them at the top of the pass.

“It’s fascinating — we could literally see their culture being passed on to the kids as they learned a traditional condor dance right there, in their schoolyard.”

Advice for other travelers
In addition to being physically and mentally prepared, he says, anyone who takes on such a trek should plan for time to acclimatize by spending a day or two in a city like Cusco, which sits at 11,152 feet in southeastern Peru, near the Urubamba Valley of the Andes mountain range.

Dr. Buck also recommends talking with a doctor before planning a trip, getting vaccinations, taking any prescriptions, and studying the region you plan to travel.

“There’s a lot that can be learned from cultures other than our own,” he says.

MachuPicchu2

 

Tagged in: Hiking Travel

Independent and progressive, Oregon Allergy Associates provides comprehensive care for Allergy, Asthma and Immunology patients, and treats multiple associated diseases.