Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Inca Trail- Day 1

For over a year, Jesse and I have been planning to travel to Peru and hike the Inca Trail. Especially once we got our jobs in Paraguay, it was decided- we are doing it! We got together with some teachers from here, and after discussing it with Dad, he came along too.

We boarded a bus in Cusco and drove for over four hours to get to kilometer 82, which is where the trail begins. I was a little nervous about embarking on such a long hike, because frankly, I've never really hiked before. Looking back, it was one of the best experiences I've ever had.
Our group wasn't very large, just 9 hikers, plus our two guides. We hiked with a couple on their honeymoon from London, and two other Americans who were studying abroad in Buenas Aires.
We started around 10:30 on Friday morning.

Since I have never really been around mountains, I was constantly amazed by the view. For me, hiking along the path and seeing such amazing scenery was almost inspirational. On the right of the picture below, you can see another path, the commercial path, that follows the river to get to Machu Picchu.
Day 1 is called the Easy day. However for me, it wasn't all that easy! There were quite a few uphills and we climbed about 400m to our camp. Along the way, we stopped to view a few Inca sites along the way.
The sites along the way were Inca villages, or stopping points for messengers when they traveled between towns, especially between Machu Picchu and Cusco.
As we hiked, we stopped for lunch. I don't have the words to express our shock and amazement over the quality of our meals. The trail uses porters who carry our tents, food, and their own personal objects. Porters run ahead and have everything set up for us, including a lunch tent, complete with table and chairs, which they disassemble and reassemble for dinner at the campsite.
Jesse, me, and Dad, at one of the fantastic views. We ended the day at the campsite Wayllabamba, where the porters played soccer and we relaxed in the tents.

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