Passing by a small city on the way to the trail start poitn
I arrived in Cusco
, Peru on the 8th of November. Its such a cute little city in the middle of the mountains but a little swamped with tourists. Nonetheless it was my first experience in a town like this and my second South American country so I was very impressed. It was also the first time I went anywhere by myself so I was feeling a bit adventerous. That night I met up with some of the other members with whom I would be hiking. I was getting ready to set out on a four day hike and wasn't really sure what was ahead of me.
On the morning on the first day of the hike, I was picked up near my hotel by two peruvian men who took my backpack and set off towards a large mini van/small buss.
Inside the bus were a few more Americans and about 20 peruvian porters sitting in the vary back. As I was sitting waiting for the bus to take off I heard them talking but couldn't understand what they were saying. Being that I was in South America studying abroad in Chile I was a bit disappointed that my Spanish comprehension wasn't up to par like I thought it was. Then my ignorance was lifted and I realized Spanish wasn't the only language spoken in Peru. The porters were speaking Quecha, the primary incan language spoken in peru and across other parts of South America. I was fascinated.
Once all the members had boarded we set off for the entrance point of the Inca Trail. We stopped in a small town to buy any last goods (ie coca leaves and water) before we set off.
My little goat friend
We were bombarded with people selling various things from ponchos to walking sticks to bags of coca leaves. I bought some coca leaves and this black stuff (I forget the proper name) to chew with it. I had already gotten a poncho in Cusco. After our shopping stop we headed for the start point. It was an amazing drive. I had not seen that type of beauty ever before, besides maybe on national geographic. Once we got to the start point we took a group pic and began the journey.
The first day was pretty easy and I was feeling good. The terrain was mainly flat and the weather was pretty pleasant. We stopped for lunch about 2 hours or so after starting. The food was GREAT! I don't know how the porters were able to carry all that food, the stuff to cook it with and our bags all the while staying way ahead of the group, almost running! After taking a break we were off again.
Traditional Inca style house
We passed a small village of maybe three families. They were living in traditional Inca style houses. I made friends with a really cute baby goat. We had the opportunity to buy water or whatever there before continuing. We walked a total of about 4-5 miles that day. Once we reached our campsite we we able to use the bathroom and relax. The bathrooms were suprising not bad. It looked like a shack from the outside but once you go in its a normal flushable toilet. I was pretty tired as were the rest so we ate another fabulous meal and went to bed in really nice tents previously set up for us. I was starting to feel a bit spoiled. We were warned that day 2 would not be so easy...