Me with the gang, From left to right.
Ricardo, Vervic, Xona, Mike, Liz and me. KM 82 the start of the trail
So here we are at the start of the first day waiting outside our Hostal for the transport to KM82. Its raining, in fact pouring it down, both fixed up with our small backpacks, as we put our large backpacks in storage. The time is 6am, we are tired, wet and full of beans. We wait 45minutes, finally the mini bus comes, we get on the bus and meet our new trek group for the first time, nobody speaks the whole way to Ollaytambo, which is a bit stressful, whats our group gonna be like, oh my god i thought, they are a bunch of snobs and will prob hate us. How wrong i was, the group turned out to be great and made the trip more fun. that first impression was down to nerves.
Ollaytambo, is a little town just before the start of the trail, its a wonderful little place, gorgeous cobble streets and lots of twisty turns and crannys everywhere, we had twenty minutes to get our last things, ie Chocolate, Coca leaf, Walking sticks etc.
Me feeling good about the start of the trek, little did i know how much it would challenge me and push me
We brought a new torch as both our head lamps had proper f**ked up in the first month away, so we got a hand torch for only 10soles, we also brought our coca leaf, and water etc from a little shop, it seemed like a maze of ppl, all trying to find something to take with them on the trek. The walking sticks were a bloody god send!! they were absolutly essental to the task in hand. We brought ours from a little old lady with no teeth, they cost 10 soles each, had a woven handle and had pictures carved into the sticks, i cannot stress enough how important it is to have a walking stick, they are so important like your boots, and a rain coat.
We got back into the bus and made our way down to KM82, had lunch and we all got introduced to each other, our guide was a chirpy peruivan guy called "King of the Mountain" yes that was his name, its Queeche.
Start of the trek, not Cuzco but KM82
He was fantastic during the trek, he is a very smart bloke indeed, speaks english, spanish, queeche, and is learning Japanese. Our group was made up of 6 ppl. From Colombia was a lovely bloke named Ricardo, who during the weekend gave everyone sweets, and was lovely to chat with at dinner time, he was doing research for a book he plans to write. Sadly he was also a bloody Gooner, and couldnt understand how i hated gooners, he sadly believed that they were number one football team in England, i put him straight and told him, in fact spurs were the best team. From Swizerland was Xona, who is part Greek, she had a large backpack with her, and i felt she had trouble sometimes on the trek, she was shy and quiet, coming out of her shell when we had a few beers on the 3rd night.
First site on day 1 the ruins of Llactapata.
From the USA was michael, who goes to Colombia Uni, he was doing the trek with his mate from India Revic, both guys were bloody fast at walking, both carried giant bags, and both guys were so friendly and nice, always cheering us on when it got tough, once again sadly Revic was a gooner, and sadly as he lived in London for 4years, kinda knew a little about Spurs form... both these blokes loved to drink beer!! And finally there was me and liz. I think our group size was perfect. We all got on and never felt left out.
We started the trek about 10am, it was a rainy day so we had our coats on, the rain got annoying once you started the descent upwards, the first bit was not tough, but is a shock for the system, and puts you in touch with what to expect later on in the weekend.
Me all decked out in my clean fresh treking gear, a year in the making
After about 1 hour and 30minutes you reach the first Inka landmark of the trek, LLacatapata, which loams down in the valley floor, it was quite large, and didnt look like much had been done to it, its one of those landmarks which i dont think anyone visits. We then started up again and for another 2 hours we treked to the campsite, it was a bloody tiring walk, and the rain made it harder. When we got to the campsite, dinner was waiting for us and so was our tents all made up by the cool Porters!! We had a good filling dinner and then all said night for bed. Once we got settled into the tent at 8pm the rain started up, but thankfully the tents kept out all the rain, it was cold but not freezing. I had a good night sleep, our morning cup of tea was set for 5am... Day 2 loamed over us.