Inca Trail Day 1

Trip Start Oct 13, 2007
Trip End Feb 15, 2008

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Flag of Peru  ,
Saturday, November 24, 2007

Up  7 for an 8 pick up but bit late at 845.  50 minutes drive in small bus over small dirt roads to km82 (of the inca trail) which is where we start walking (we do about 33km through the mountains all up).  It started raining heavily as we gathered in the muddy place the buses stopped to hear Ruben brief us so we started off clocked in our own little world of hoods (you get tunnel vision wearing one) and  raincoats. We had to wait at the  checkpoint (where they check your passport (and stamp it) and ticket and despite the fact there are 500 people (most allowed on the track  in one day) to go through of course there is only one guy to do the checking.  Then we were off!!  The rain slackened then stopped and we started to steam up a bit so jackets were quickly removed.  It was very pleasent walking at first as we folowed the course of the river and it was level and we were only 2400 m (height matters, higher up, thinner air).  Everyone was chatty and in good spirits.  Had a break then started up this 200m stretch of steep uphill climb which really killed (and all of tomorow will be like it) .  At the top looked out over a ruined Inca city and it started to to rain again (the weather changes amazingly quickly in the mountains) so back to our own little worlds down an easy slope to the lucn tent the porters had set up (itīs big enough to hold 35 people and there are 31 of us on this walk and they carry it, a cooking tent, two man tents and cooking gear and our gear, thatīs why there are something like 38 porters(and 4 guides)).  Lunch was amazing, we had a 1st course of soup, then chicken and fries, vegetable rice, tea, coffee.
It was about 200 by now.  We had some level walking which gradually got steeper but it wasnīt too bad, just a lots of it until 430 where we stopped to camp.  The porters carry 25-30kg each and run ahead so the camp is set up before we get there.  We had a  beautiful spot overlooking the valley and near some minor ruins which we tooled around looking at beore settling down to watch the locals play footbball with some of the porters on this muddy small pitch with cliffs two sides and a big drop on the other!  530 was aternoon tea, which was popcorn, cake and hot chocolate.  Dinner was at 700 and was spectacular - cauliflower soup, rolled chicken, beef, rice, and a nice rummy drink to finsih up.  We were told it would helpus sleep and I hope it does as we were sent to bed at 800!  The wind and the rain had picked up again and Mike and my tentīs zipper wasnīt working properly  so that was amusing to fix in the sheeting train!  It was fun walkiug the 200m to the filthy toilets in it too!  You can go by the side of the trail in some places (and more places if you donīt mind people watching) but we try to hold on for real toilets with some privacy.  Trouble is, they are squat or box toilets and people just canīt seem to get what should go in the hole in the hole!  The stink is indescribable!  I wonīt talk about toilets any more! 
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