We were up around 6am so an early start. We met Bruno and Caterina, a couple from Portugal who were in our group. This was it, the 5 of us for the next 4 days along with several porters and our guide Freddy. The couple seemed very nice and laid back. Our first stop was Ollantayambo where we could get some last minute supplies. For us, that meant some chapstick for John. The dry cold weather has given him chapped lips. Attractive! We also saw a lady on the street selling boiled eggs. We hadn’t eaten breakfast yet so we decided to buy an egg for John as he was getting peckish. The lady started peeling the egg for us and then she cut it in half and put it into a bowl. Then she lifted some pieces of cloth and there appeared a rather large pan. She plopped a few pieces of boiled potato into the bowl and then from another container she found some green sauce and drizzled it all over the egg and potato. Wow! We thought we had only ordered a boiled egg and for only 1 sole (about 25pence) it was a pretty decent breakfast and delicious might I add!
So after our final toilet stop we headed to the Inca Trail starting point. There was a bit of a queue here as we had to show our passports and official permits. We also got a stamp in our passport to show which day we started the Inca Trail.
Our group at the start of the Inca Trail
The first day was meant to be the easiest day but there was still a fair amount of incline to make sure you’re sweating! Our porters carry a ridiculous amount on their back. Each porter is allowed to carry up to 20kg. I think my bag weighs around 7 kgs and that’s enough! They leave after you do and they finish before you do as they rush past you so that they can get to the next stop and set up camp to start cooking ready for your arrival. What’s also amazing is the fact that they only wear sandals! And here we are spending hundreds of pounds buying top of the range walking boots.
At the start of the route we saw some puke on the floor, then about 10 minutes later we saw a guide coming back with a girl who looked as white as a ghost. Guess she didn’t acclimatise properly. Everyone in our group seemed healthy and according to Freddy, we made good time. We had enough rest stops and at each stop Freddy would give us a talk about the Incans or some other relevant topic.
At lunch we ate a ridiculous amount of food. The food they give us has been specially designed to give us a lot of energy. We wolfed down the food. It was so nice, given that everything was made using one gas burner.
We finished walking around 5pm and when we got to camp, our tents had been set up for us already. For dinner, we had trout, caught fresh from the river right next to our camp! Amazing. After dinner, we pretty much all just went straight to bed. We were shattered. But before we did, we spent some time looking at the stars. It was such a clear night!