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Day One of the Inca Trail Hike (with lots of pictures)

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

After 3-4 days acclimating to the altitude in Cusco, Peru, our group was ready to start hiking! We were each allowed 16 pounds of gear -- clothing, toiletries, pillow, spare shoes, etc. All of our stuff went into duffle bags, was weighed, and packed up for the porters.

Our group of 14 people had 22 porters, each of whom was allowed to carry 55 pounds. Believe it or not, porters have a union which has improved conditions for porters immeasurably. They carried all the gear, food, tents, cooking utensils, etc. etc. More about these amazing men later.

At the beginning -- KM 82. A few last photo ops.

The bridge over the Urambamba River and then we start! See the donkey heading up the trail on the right?

Porters going across the bridge

A gigantic Yucca

The first day we are close enough to "civilization" that we see locals now and then and pass through a few villages.

The scenery and Andes mountains are breathtakingly beautiful!

After hiking for a couple of hours, we come to Patallaqta. It is at the convergence of three valleys. Was it a lookout post or a place for messengers to meet? Often the purposes of the ruins are open to interpretation. But the terracing was used (1) for erosion control and (2) to make flat surfaces to plant crops.

TC and I looking decidedly worse for wear!

Continuing on....

Finally -- lunch time! Our porters have basins of warm water and soap for us waiting as we arrive.

Our dining tent!

Back on our way! This is a group of French tourists, singing "Sur la Pont, D'Avingnon" as we walk between them!

Taking a break. This is the oldest couple we hiked with, she was 72, he was 75. See the red bag hanging on the end of the pole? It signifies a BAR, a place where the family has alcohol for sale!

And here's the barkeep! Yup, right on the trail!

A welcome sign -- after nearly 8 hours of hiking, it's only .2 km to our first night's camp:

It's in this small village, the last we'll see:

So the first day went pretty well: We started at 9000 feet above sea level, went down to 8400 feet, then climbed to 9700 feet over 8 miles. We had tea, then dinner at 7:00 pm, and then lights out!

If you think I added way too many pictures, let me just say that TC took over 100 on the first day alone. So I think I exhibited amazing restraint! Thanks for reading and looking!

Member Comments About This Blog Post:
BABYSOX 3/2/2014 12:48PM

    These are great photos. I am considering doing this trek next year maybe. It looks amazing.

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MARYINFL2000 10/25/2013 10:27PM

  Thank you for sharing, I loved the pictures! I have been an avid armchair traveler for far too long, although I did go to Japan earlier this yr to visit my son and family stationed there! Looking at your photos really make me want to get myself back into shape...yes, round is a shape but it's not the one I want! I feel encouraged reading of the older couple as I've been feeling like I've let so many "good" years pass me by while I sit idly by. I'm 53, have a little over 100 lbs to loose and feel disheartened at times. Thank you for reminding me to get over it!

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KENDRACARROLL 10/20/2013 8:21PM

    Thanks so much for sharing your pictures. What a great adventure you guys had. Looking forward to your next post.

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MAZACK 10/17/2013 11:37AM

    Thanks for sharing and I enjoyed pictures, not too many.

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SUSANNA37 10/16/2013 9:21AM

    Thank you so much for sharing. I did this hike ten(!) years ago when I wasn't in nearly as good shape as I am now. It was nice to bring back the visuals, and the reminder of how tough I was/am! I see you're not feeling well now--I hope it passes quickly. emoticon

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A_NEW_CHAPTER 10/13/2013 7:05PM

    What an experience - thank you for sharing it with the rest of us!

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AJDOVER1 10/11/2013 11:26AM

    More pictures, please! What a great adventure! Thanks for sharing with us!

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MEADSBAY 10/10/2013 2:26PM

    Grrrreat blog!
Loved it.
What were the temperatures day and night?

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BUTTERFLY-1976 10/10/2013 10:34AM

    Amazing!! I don't think there was too many pictures..I think you could've added more.
Thanks for sharing

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CM_GARDNER78 10/10/2013 9:31AM

    No way!! In my opinion, you could have added MORE pictures!! :-)

This is great! I can't believe how much the elevation changed in just ONE DAY! The views were so stunning!! I'm so glad you are sharing your trip with us!! :-)

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EBEAMS 10/10/2013 8:40AM

    Look exciting! And NEVER too many pictures for me! Wow ... that is awesome!

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NUTRON3 10/10/2013 8:29AM

    Looks like so much fun!

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NANCY- 10/10/2013 8:21AM

    Not too many pics!!! Your posting is exciting and inspiring....Getting out and living life.
Ah the possibilities! We can make it happen!

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MARMAERT 10/10/2013 12:34AM

    wonderful photos! now I may need to visit Peru, and I never even wanted to go there!

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EDDYMEESE 10/9/2013 11:12PM

    How unbelievably, oh-my-gosh-I'm-so-jealous, amazing!!!!!! This blog made my heart BURST because that is definitely going on my bucket list!

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SUGAR0814 10/9/2013 10:05PM

    Great pictures of your adventure. Thank you for sharing. emoticon

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CINDYSDAY 10/9/2013 9:57PM

    Thank you for sharing with us!

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WATERMELLEN 10/9/2013 9:45PM

    NOT too many pictures, enjoyed each one of them (including the donkey!!) This was an amazing adventure!!

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PATTYR81 10/9/2013 9:11PM


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LETHA_ 10/9/2013 8:08PM

    Outstanding photos. You are giving me a Traveling Jones. Thanks for sharing.

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HOLLYS_NEW_LIFE 10/9/2013 7:11PM

    Those are great pics, thanks SOO much for sharing. It looks like you're having a great time too = )

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ADIOSALL 10/9/2013 6:49PM

    Thanks for posting your journey! Just lovely!

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KRITTEN1 10/9/2013 6:37PM

    emoticon thanks for sharing the pictures!

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BOOKAPHILE 10/9/2013 6:36PM

    Ah! THIS is what I've been waiting for! I'm glad the weather was better for you than for the group whose video you recommended we see a while back. Lovely!

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MYTHMYTH 10/9/2013 6:28PM

    Wish I could have gone along! Thanks for sharing - great photos and commentary!

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CHOCOHOLIC2276 10/9/2013 5:31PM

    That is absolutely gorgeous! Thank you for sharing your trip with us. emoticon

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