Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Inca Trail Marathon Adventure Day 5: Start of the Inca Trail Trek!

We started the day early -- all of us managed to get up and out on time, and we piled into our buses for the drive to Ollantaytambo.

DSC01648
getting ready in the lobby
DSC01654
on the move
DSC01658
on the bus!
We got to Ollantaytambo after a couple of hours of winding through the countryside, looking at political signs (how could I not love the idea of a "Tierra y Libertad" party???) and the glorious scenery.

DSC01660

Then we headed over to the ruins at Ollantaytambo, which were amazing -- terraces all the way up the hillside, complete doorways, granaries, etc. Really impressive. Wil and I slipped off to explore on our own, including a trip around to an Inca storehouse -- which was a dead end.

DSCF0131 



DSCF0154

DSC01667

DSCF0134

DSC01671

DSCF0141

DSCF0150

DSCF0153

Really nice day exploring, but all too soon it was time to get back on the bus.

I did manage to buy a new soft drink in town -- a Coke Life, which we believe was sweetened with Stevia?

DSC01693

We drove another 45 minutes or so, mostly on a single track road, through smaller and smaller villages, criss-crossing the railway. We eventually arrived in a little compound where we took everything off the buss and were directed to go into lunch. (Spaghetti marinara, garlic bread, and a soup to start.) More milling about, some last-minute adjusting, some fretting over the amount of stuff the porters were carrying, and then we were off… for a little bit.

DSC01697

DSCF0160

DSC01699

DSC01704

DSC01711

DSCF0162

DSC01712

We walked through the village to the "Kilometer 82" sign, took a group photo, and made our way to the checkpoint. It's an elaborate process -- checking the passport number matches the permits, and so on. We had to line up in order of the permits, but after about 20 minutes we were all through.

DSC01714

DSC01716

DSCF0167

DSC01718

DSCF0169

DSCF0170

We crossed the bridge and we all got nervous and jittery -- we all just wanted to GO. The first day was pretty short -- only a couple of hours, nice and gentle, and about 6km. We stepped off the trail so we could see the ruins across from our camp, plus looked at some other ruins. Then down the hill to camp. Ahh…

DSCF0171

DSCF0173

DSC01720

DSCF0176

DSC01742

DSC01746

DSCF0180

DSCF0184

DSC01768


Camp life: tents are already set up, porter bags in a pile on a tarp. Find your bag, find a tent that isn't occupied, and get settled. Snacks would happen later!

We also nipped over to explore the ruins at Llactapata -- we saw llamas, checked out some Inca stairs, and felt like bad-ass explorers.

DSC01770

DSC01773

DSC01775

DSC01776

DSC01783

Dinner was served as a group in two big tents; the first night we had slices of battered eggplant rather than the fish, plus rice, sauce, and vegetables. Very nice. Also soup, and a dessert that was a little like warm gelatin with small diced chunks of cinnamon apple.

DSC01787

DSC01788

Toilet was slightly scary, but hey, toilets. To bed early, with amazing stars in the sky. Day one was done, which was both happy news and, weirdly sad.

DSC01794



DSC01793

No comments: