Friday, October 22, 2010

The Inca Trail (Day 1)..

Travel Diaries - Oct 4th

Cusco to Wayllabamba

We hardly slept. The need to rise early always interferes with a good night's sleep and today was no exception.  It was too early for breakfast though we did grab some tea and toast...
And we waited. Our pickup time had been specified as 5:40, and we did begin to get worried as we began to approach 6:00. Dawn was breaking. It was a beautiful day outside, beautiful but cold.
Soon the bus pulled up , and our guide E hurried us inside...

The drive was beautiful. The scenery kept me awake as we passed the lovely villages of Chinchero, Urabamba and Ollantaytambo.  We soon reached what was called Kilometer 82 in the map.
Ollantaytambo is where we had breakfast with our team and our time there was made of the stuff of first introductions and first time conversations. It was our last chance to buy anything we wanted, that we might have missed. So we got hiking sticks, and water. We collected the sleeping bags we had hired . We mulled over hiring the services of a porter as the sleeping bags and mats did make our backpacks bulky and unwieldy. We were in luck... Luggage sorted we followed our guide

Vilcanota River..
A river has many names... Here she was called Vilcanota, more popularly known as Urubamba, and elsewhere as Wilcamayu. We were told she has her origins in the Andes. The river flows across the Sacred valley and wore the freshness of the morning. Our trek starts here.

The Entire Group :) 

Inca Ruins - Llactapata

We hadn't gone very far and we got to see our first Inca ruin :). The ruins of Llactapata was discovered by Hiram Bingham (who also discovered Machu Pichu) in 1912.
De-cyphering the two words - 'llacta' means town and  pata means "height" Archaeologists believe that it was built by someone of high rank , and that it must have definitely been connected to Machu Pichu considering the proximity to the site. Like Machu Pichu this site was covered by dense vegetation which had to be cleared.

Hiking up..

The Ruins 
We walked past the ruin and spent some me taking pictures. The sun was moving higher up into the sky.
We were told the settlement comprised of more than a hundred buildings. They were to house soldiers and workers. It is believed that it might have been an agricultural station the purpose of which was to supply maize (the staple grain) to the important site of Machu Pichu.
Our Lunch spot from a distance..
We walked on. Hunger gnawed on our insides, Breakfast seemed to have beena  long time ago :).
Thankfully lunch was soon declared.
Our Dining Tent
The first sight of the lunch tent was really something, a well laid table, with the silver...
What followed was even better, a starter, sumptuous soup, and a main course. Amazing that so much and in such elaborate detail was done to such perfection in sparse conditions such as these
Playing footie with the locals..

We trekked 12 kms in all. We finally reached our tent spot Wayllabamba. Exhausted, we were delighted to find our tents pitched, two per tent. So we dumped our bags and headed off to watch some football action. Some from the gang decided to join the locals.. S had loads of fun and I was  a little worried that he would wear himself out. Tomorrow was a big day. We had been repeatedly told that it would be the toughest day. We retired early , bracing ourselves for the challenge ahead. It would be a crime not to mention that Dinner was an affair to remember!



  1. lovely!!! trekking is so brilliant i love the physical weariness u get, which finally lets u rest ur mind, in gorgeous surroundings.

    anyway, i hope u will post a detailed FAQ for thos who aspire to do the inca trail at some point :)

  2. FAQ on the way :)

    and what you said is sooo true... you also feel very different in the wild.. somehow your instincts are sharper ..maybe something ancient survived deep within us?



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