8 Apr 2018 (Inca Trail, Peru): The Inca Trail porters are ridiculous. Our group is 11 trekkers, 2 guides, and 17 porters (each company uses a different color, ours are in red). 500 people are allowed on the trail at a time, and about 300 of those are typically porters. Ours are carrying 25 kilos (55 lbs), and consistently by the time we get to the lunch spot or the campsite, they have already arrived, set everything up, put our sleeping bags and mini-duffels in the right tents, and started preparing the next meal.
One of our guides told us that 17 years ago, the Peruvian government held a race for the porters to see who could finish the entire trek the fastest, and someone did it in 3 hours 45 minutes! I wonder what the international competition would look like for a long-distance, high-altitude mountain running race. Somehow though, I don’t think we’ll be seeing it in any upcoming olympics.