500 people a day set out on the Inca trail to Machu Picchu, making it the most famous and famously traversed hike in South America. The lesser known road to the citadel, the Lares trail, offers a crowd-free alternative. Beyond my own group of twelve guests and guides and the ever present packs of llamas and alpaca, I saw only villagers and a handful of other hikers on the trail. I was also, by merit of short legs and labored breathing, alone more often than not. My whiskey shooting, swine swallowing, Marlboro breathing boyfriend was always a shaming quarter mile ahead of me, proving with each smug step that my teetotal clean eating yoga preparations were practiced in vain.