It is not a competition. It is not about fitness, but endurance. It is not so much about endurance of the body, but of the mind. The speed of your progress depends on how much luggage you are carrying, physically and mentally. At the end of the trail you are bound to have lost some baggage along the way. You will meet many different types of hikers. In terms of hiking gear, from the most technologically advanced to the least. Often you will notice the least equipped hikers doing much better than the most equipped. Every day will bring a variety of feelings, sensations and emotions. Varying altitudes will have physical and mental side effects. One moment you will think: “I’m not doing too badly”. (Sometimes you will pass the fittest and most experienced guides and hikers.) Not long afterwards you will think: “I’m not doing too well.” (Sometimes the least fit or least experienced hikers will pass you.) The best approach is: one step at a time. Focus on your breathing.
Everyone is hiking on their own even though they are part of a group. The highest points are best spent on your own for reflection. Socialising and camaraderie is very important in the evenings at the camp sites. The Incas didn’t shy away from challenges . Everyone will make it.