Inca Trail - Day 1 - Learning about ¨Peruvian flat¨ trails
Cusco Travel Blog› entry 37 of 58 › view all entries
So up bright and early at around 6ish and we were on our way in a bus out to Ollayantambo for a last break before we hit the world of hiking. By this point we had met our guides Fernando and Nelly, and had managed to ascertain from one of the books on the bus that Fernando's idea of flat did not match up to what is internationally consdiered flat. Suddenly Fernando's assessment of an easy first day wasn't looking as good, however from that point on when 'flat' was mentioned we were sure to clarify if it was International Flat or Peruvian Flat.
This last break means a few important decisions had to be made. Which snacks to get (lollipops were a popular choice), whether or not to get a hiking stick (I elected not to), all of course to be done while wearing your hat, gloves, beanie and water bottle carrier so that people stop trying to sell you them! :)
Here we also had our first introduction to the porters.
So after overcoming the guilt of seeing our bags carried off by these guys we were under way. A lot of the first day is spent snaking alongside a river, with a bit of a climb but it's not too bad (especially with the benefit of hindsight knowing what follows ;) ) After a couple of hours of skirting villages full of pigs and donkeys we had our first lunch stop.
This was the first realisation that we were really in for some luxury style camping. Firstly, not only had the porters gone on ahead with all that equipment on their backs, they'd set up a lunch tent with dining table, stools and cutlery lined out, then just to top things off they applauded US as we came in to camp. I think we all we wish we knew how to say 'There is no way we deserve that' in Quechan. As if that weren't enough they then laid out little tubs of warm water each for us to wash our hands before lunch!
Lunch, as for all the food to follow, was just superb. However our descent to the depths of lazy gringos was complete when they laid out some sleeping mats so that we could have an afternoon siesta before continuing the hike. I'd love to say I held firm and didn't cross that line to complete laziness, but it was just too comfy to not lie down :)
The remainder of the hike wasn't too bad, just a couple of hours of gradual uphill and we were in camp getting accustomed to the acrobatic poses needed for the floor level toilets.
Quick roll call for our tour:
Mark, Mike, Devon, Josh and David (all work for Microsoft in Seattle)
Georgina, Bettina (teachers from London)
Antoinnette, Andrea, Jannis
Shane and Emer