Community Inca Trek

Trip Start Jun 26, 2010
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Peru  , Cusco,
Monday, August 2, 2010

2-8th Aug. Community Inca Trek (with Andina Travel Co)

Day 1.
Left Hotel at 6am, drove to Saqsayhuaman - Ancient Inca Archeological Site overlooking Cusco City. Drove to Pisac, past the Sacred Valley view point and spent an hour and a half having a tour around the ancient Inca Agricultural Terraces.  The vast majority of these agricultural terraces are built on the sides
of mountains and hills. The Incas used them to harvest potatoes and crops.

We then drove through the mountains to Quisharani Community and set up camp. We walked visited the local school which is part funded by the Dragoman project, unfortunately it was school holidays so we were unable to go inside.

Our 2 chefs cooked us up a camp meal which we enjoyed shivering in our dinner tent, with lack of heat, light and entertainment everyone was in bed by 8.30pm!

Day 2.
Wake up call at 6am, chefs bought us Coca Tea to warm us up and help with the altitude. After a porridge breakfast we hiked 3 hours uphill, and around 3 dowhill to reach an elevation of 4400m above sea level. The scenery was stunning - amazing blue lagoons, glaciers appearing through the clouds, local villagers from small mountain communities, llamas and alpacas. The hike was tough, especially with the altitude which made us short of breath every few minutes.

Reached our 2nd camp at Cuncani (local community) mid afternoon, the porters and mules which had left our 1st camp an hour later than us we already at the site ... all the tents were already up and they had tea waiting for us!

The president of the community invited us all to his house, We sat in the living room/kitchen .. his wife had prepared us locally grown potatoes and they had killed 3 Guinea Pigs for us... there were some others alive in the corner of the room for the next guests! A few of the group sampled it, others including me couldn{t stomach it.

They then watched them perform a traditional ceremony - when a child speaks their 1st words, friends and family gather together along with a selected god parent and they each cut a piece of the childs hair and then offer gifts (in modern times, money) the money is then saved for the childs future education... (and perhaps a future hair stylist)

Day 3-4

Due to a twisted back muscle I could only manage 20 minutes of the day 3 hike before I was in too much pain to carry on uphill. This day was meant to be 9 hourswalking  and I knew I wouldn{t be able to continue so our only option (along with some other casualties from the group) had to walk for 3 hours to the nearest village of Lares. We had to stay overnight as there was only 1 bus per day. Luckily we also had a guide who had come with us from the travel company who helped arrange a hostel and dinner for us. It was a very small village with no english speaking people,... very cheap though! The next day we caught a local bus to Ollantaytambo to meet up with the rest of the group, this was a 3 hour bus and an hour taxi ride!

Day 5

Left hotel at 6.30 am & caught the Peru Rail to Macchu Picchu. Felt really surreal being there.. like walking into a postcard. Really interseting and amazing place!

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natalie on

told you hiking was hell!! :)

natalie on

i still cant get over the guinea pig thing. they are so sweet alive :(

wish i was there, it all looks lovely and very different.

glad you are having a good time :) x

mum on

stunning photos you both look like your'e having a lovely time.
I am so glad you didn't eat those poor guniea pigs how awful!.
missing you both ,much love Mum x

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