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The Travel Journal of Jacqui and Lars

 

Peru - 30 November, 2001

 

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Location Latitude Longitude Elevation

Travel Distance

Start Hostal Las Orquideas, Ollantaytambo S1315.560' W07216.025' 2,810 m
Inca Trail trail head (km 82) S1312.858' W07222.841' 2,695 m 20 km (by bus)
Finish Inca Trail Camp Site Day One S1315.507' W07227.682' 3,344 m 12 km (by foot)

Leg 1 Total:

4,629 km

Galapagos:

771 km

Grand Total:

5,400 km

 

Weather: Began clear, sunny and hot.  Became cloudy and cool with rain over lunch.  Cold at night.

 

 

Today we start hiking the Inca Trail.  As they are working on the access road, we have to get up early to beat the workers.  We leave at 6:30 AM and arrive at the trail head at km 82 after about an hour of driving on poor dirt roads.  We climb off the bus, sort out our gear and walk to the check point.

 

Peru01_IncaTrail1_01_TrailHead_Group_4018_Web.jpg (144152 bytes)

After the obligatory picture at the start of the trail, we head off.  The morning's walk is easy - quite flat following the river.  We have a short break over looking the Llactapata ruins with story time.  Our guide tells us a bit about the Incas and shows us how to chew the coca leaves.  It is what they have been using for hundreds of years  (including the Incas) to climb and work in these mountains.

 

Peru01_IncaTrail1_02_Lunch_C122_Web.jpg (107349 bytes)

Just as we approach the lunch spot, the rain starts to fall.  It had been sunny, but the clouds blew in.  As we huddled under some tree branches, the porters were in a mad rush to set things up.  We were amazed to see them setting up dining tents, and then tables and then stools.  We were not expecting such luxury.  As we ate lunch it continued to rain, but just as we were getting ready to head off, the rain slowly tapered off.  We tried some of the coca leaves in the afternoon, but we were not sure if they helped us or not - tongue just got a bit numb.  Some people thought it worked.

 

Peru01_IncaTrail1_05_Camp_View_4021_Web.jpg (94929 bytes)

It took us about another one and a half hours walk to reach the camp site.  While it was uphill, it was not as far as we thought it might be.  It was a great spot - our tents were set up in a small clearing with a fantastic view of the valley below.  The porters had run ahead of us and had set up camp, including our tents.  Now this is service.  We even had a wash bowl with water outside each tent so that we could freshen up.

 

Peru01_IncaTrail1_04_Camp_Group_4020_Web.jpg (161998 bytes)

The guide had arranged for one of the local women living nearby to bring us up some beer (it is amazing how much they can carry around these mountains), so we spent the afternoon relaxing with a beer enjoying the wonderful views.  It is interesting to note here that there are many local people along the way selling everything from water to soft drinks to candy bars.

 

We have dinner at 5:30 PM and it was good and filling.  It got dark and after hanging around the dining tent for a while, we drifted off to our tents.  We could not have a fire, so we thought we might as well get a good nights sleep.

 

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