Day 1, Inka Trail



Day 1, Inka Trail, Perú (5/9/2012)

In early May of 2012 we spent two weeks in the incredibly beautiful country of Perú. One of the highlights was our four-day hike along 25 miles of the Inka Trail to Machu Picchu, the most famous trek in all of South America. The hike, and especially Day 2, was some of the toughest hiking we have ever done. At elevations as high as 14,000 feet, we climbed and descended thousands of feet every day, the majority of the time on the original Inka stones and steps with heights anywhere from a few inches to nearly a foot. The scenery was breathtaking. Our trek was through Wayki Trek, with Franklin as our guide. There were two other hikers with our party, the wonderful Becky and Colin from the UK. We also had two cooks and three porters to lug the tents, food and cooking items. We hauled our clothes and toiletries.

You can see the elevation profile here. For a KMZ file of the trail, click here and if you have Google Earth installed, it should open automatically (zoom in as needed).

Day 1: After a 2.5 hour drive from Cusco to the trailhead at Piscacucho we were anxious to get started after sorting our gear in some señora's backyard. After checking in with our passports, and crossing over the Urubamba River, we began climbing immediately. The path on Day 1 was mostly sand with a smattering of steps, and paralleled the river (and railway across the river) for the first half. After veering away from the river we reached the archeological site of Patallacta far below. Next came lunch at Tarayoc, followed by more hiking before reaching our overnight campsite in Huayllabamba.

Total distance hiked today was nearly 8 miles in about 6 hours.

Continue to Day 2

(Click on the thumbnail to bring up a bigger image in a pop-up window)


Sorting our stuff


Laura and a lamb

We're anxious to go!


Franklin and the corn beer "sign"

Road to the trail head

Photo-snapping at sign

We're at the trail head!

 

Descending to the checkpoint

Burro off the path

Regulations

Prickly pear cactus
 


What scenery!

Footbridge over Urubamba River

It swayed!

Urubamba River
 



Perú Rail across river

Porter climbing towards me

View west
 


Laura and some porters

Breath-taking ...

... views

Laura and Becky
 


Horse

Franklin and Colin

Spanish Moss above Franklin and Col

Cactus
 



Perú Rail below


First snack and beverage stop
 


Cemetery

Franklin being goofy


Horse
 


Veronica mountain

Ruins across river

View west

View east
 


Another rest stop


Col, Laura and Franklin

Some steps
 


Col climbing steps

Hikers behind us

Inka Trail in the valley

Two horses passing
 



Cows relaxing off trail


Patallacta below
 



Patallacta

Colin

Franklin above Patallacta
 


Col poking around

Descending

See the trail far ahead?

Becky descending
 


Laura


Franklin and Laura

Our lunch spot
 



Elevation profile


Tight squeeze with horse
 


Veronica Mountain looms over us


Huayllabamba

Bottled water, cat not included
 


Our campsite

Resting after Day 1

Veronica resting

View from inside tent
 

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