For those of you who have been waiting patiently for the blog, I apologize for it being a few days late. We had no internet connection on the trail (obviously) and during our day in Aquas Calientes after the trail the internet was on and off. But…here we are again!!! Read on….
After spending a wonderful day in beautiful Ollantaytambo, the next morning we hit the Inca Trail at 9:15am starting our journey at Km 82. Having done this twice before, I can tell you that although Day 1 on the trail is no piece of cake, it is the easiest day of the 4.
As we began our walk, we watched our amazing porters (all 14 of them) load 50-60lbs each of “stuff” on their backs and head up the mountain ahead of us. We enjoyed the easy flat terrain with views of snow capped mountains, old Incan storehouses, and the beautiful Andes Mountains.
As the day passed, the girls had their first experience having to use nature as their bathroom! They all passed with flying colors and Beverly was more prepared than the rest, using her new “Go Girl” tool that helped her “pee like a man” standing up! LOL!
We made our first stop for lunch and as our amazing cook prepared us a 3 course meal of corn soup, fish, rice and veggies with bananas and tea for dessert, then we all took a siesta on the grass.
We then hit the road and arrived at our first camp site around 4:15pm to our tents already set up and popcorn, crackers and tea awaiting us. Our camp was interesting to say the least…we were literally in someone’s back yard…roosters crowing at 3am, dogs barking and kids running all around playing!
Day 2 of the trail is the hardest day, entailed of mostly up hill steps and inclines…not to mention that we do that for 10 hours and we hit an altitude at the summit of 13, 780 feet. We began our morning at 7:30 am still viewing the beautiful mountains and then about 3 hours into our hike our terrain turned into jungle. We all had our up and down moments but Edgar played his flute which echoed through the trail as we walked which kept us motivated and joyful. We supported each other as we battled sore backs, sour stomachs due to the altitude and aching knees. Our walking poles became our new best friends!!!
We met amazing people as we walked the trail…people from all corners of the globe including Australia, England and believe it or not a group from the East Coast of the USA!!! We finally made it to the summit and all cried tears of joy because of the amazing feat we just accomplished. The weather at the top was very chilly and after celebrating with chocolate from Carol C. who couldn’t join us, we began our decent down…down…down….
We arrived at camp to warm quinoa soup, veggies, a delicious eggplant dish and warm peaches and coca tea for dessert. Our chef, Libio, was amazing!!! He sat in a little tent with his chef’s hat on cooking just like in a 5 star restaurant…which is where he used to work before the trail! He was extremely good looking and I now have my very own “Inca Trail boyfriend!” LOL!
After dinner Edgar celebrated our “rebirth” in doing the trail with a despacho ceremony, which is an ancient Incan traditional ceremony where you put all of your intentions into a mesa and then either burn or place it in the ground (Pacha Mama) for your intentions to be fulfilled. He took our
despacho up the mountain the next day to offer it to our Mother Earth.
Laughing kept us warm in the below 32 degree weather and after dinner crawled (literally) into our sleeping bags, got warm and slept until our journey.
We all at this point had many challenges come up from being cold, to hurting, to wondering why we did this at all…but in the end, when we would look up and see each other as well as the beautiful scenes nature graced us with as we walked our journey to our new selves, everything always seemed to be OK.