A Travellerspoint blog

Inca Trail day 2

sunny 17 °C

Well today was the test for patience and stamina.
After 2 hours we turned right and headed up the relentless climb to dead womans pass (sick of stairs).
You have to admire the Incas for building the trails on the side of mountains.

Today was a mixture of hot sunny weather to the cold forest where sunlight rarely makes an appearance, but there was one thing for sure, you knew you were going up !!!. We had a few groups in front of us all day, which was good for break times allowing you to enjoy without competing for space, however when it came to the after lunch stretch the groups ahead did not do us any favours.

Being last for the day we had the missfortune to see them celebrate their summit of dead womans pass when we were a few hundred metres below with a few hours to go and really tired and absolutely sick to death of stairs.
We had our moment of glory a few hours later.

What a sight to look back on where we had come from and a massive sense of achievement. Bloody cold so on came the warm gear and absorbe the scenery.We made it !!!

We made it !!!

Another 2 hours ahead to reach camp. After all the up there was the down, down, down ...... hard on knees and steep !!!.
Camp 2 was quite busy with many other groups already set up. Our porters welcomed us with warm water to wash the sweat away. It was great to fall into the tent - exhausted !!!!
Really cold and mosquitos big enough to need air traffic controllers.

Again, great tucker and off to bed early.
Some of us were feeling the effects of alititude (headeaches, tummy pains, nausia etc) I was not the best going to bed, tomorrow morning would be a test as we had a 300 metre near verticle climb for the 2nd pass. Just the thing you need after a massive day.

Uncle Rod tending to Davids blisters at Lunch time (Rod is a Kokoda Track veteran, he had all the good kit for trekking)

Uncle Rod treating Davids blisters

Uncle Rod treating Davids blisters

Kids on the trail at rest stops
Kids

Kids

Posted by gregeicke 20:11 Archived in Peru Tagged backpacking Comments (0)

We start the Trail

3 °C

The start.

Start of Inca trail

Start of Inca trail

Zak wanted us to warm up and start at KM 77 in lieu of KM 82 where the control is. Nothing like a few kays to warm the blood up. We could see the land slides from February when it wiped out the rail line to Machu Picchu. Would have been a spectacular sight to see the millions of tonnes of rock slide down a mountain. Zak walks for a living, so to him this little warm up was like walking to the letter box to check the mail.

Checked into control with passport, everybody passed (Phewwwww!!!) They control the trail extremely well. Max 500 people per day allowed on the trail.

We weaved our way along the valley floor following the umbarumba river for a few hours. Many spots along the way to rest at a house where the porters pulled up for a break and drank corn beer. As the sun dispeared behind the mountains the temp dropped dramatically too !!!.
Night 1 was beside a fast flowing stream (noisy to sleep). Our tents and gear were ready for us, and were welcomed with a bowl of warm water for a wash. Tea/ coffee and Milo for some + some crackers (SAO's known as Cream Crackers).

Meals served in meal tent with all the mod conns (Table chairs etc) we wanted for nothing and the porters carried all of this on their backs !!!!!
A good feed and that was it for all of us ............ knackered !!!! in bed at 8.30.
Early rise tomorrow as we have a big one to climb Dead Womans Pass (4200 meters above sea level) our climb was approx 1500 metres from camp. Doesnt sound much, but when you are already at altitude, it's a challenge.

Up at 5.00 AM for breaky, on the trail by 7.00 AM

Posted by gregeicke 20:03 Archived in Peru Tagged backpacking Comments (0)

Ollyantatambo Inca Ruins

sunny 8 °C

This is where the Spaniards killed the last Inca, like most Inca sites this one was not finished.

Most of the good Inca stone work was destroyed by the Spanish, however the sun dials (that dont look anythiong like a sundial) remain. Sundials carved from bed rock show the summer and winter solstice with incredible accuracy.

These sundials were approx 10 metres x 5 metres, all carved from one stone. I'll bet they had a few trips to bunnings for more tools !!!
Many stones lay ready for placement, perfectly carved to suit their new environment. (see pictures)

A real treat was a visit to an original Inca house 500 + years old. The original occupants remains (skulls) sit pride of place along with dried baby Llama. This home also bred Guinea Pigs for the local resturants. Guinea pig meat is quite tasty, just need to dodge the small bones.

Lisa my bride

Lisa my bride

Lisa wondering if she can have a new granite bench top in the kitchen

Lisa wondering if she can have a new granite bench top in the kitchen

Posted by gregeicke 19:54 Archived in Peru Tagged backpacking Comments (0)

Cusco to Ollyantaytambo

sunny 6 °C

Cool Sunny day.
We all pile into group bus for a road trip to Ollyantaytambo, on route we drop into Chinchero to see local family do their song and dance showing us how to take Alpacca wool from Aplacca to garment or blanket
Have to say that was a lesson in natural product use and patience. 58 days to make a small blanket which sells for $150 Soles ($60 AUD). Works out to $1.00 AUD per day. No patterns are followed, all info is held in the old traditional hard drive (Brain).

Chincero is 3600 metres up, so jsut another gentle reminder not to walk fast. Steady as she goes is the deal.
A short trip from Chincero we dropped into a Salt production area. The Incas have been using a salty spring since 800 years before Christ. Had to work out how water is salty at 3600 metres in the middle of the Andes mountains. Evaporation lakes litter the mountain side, families run their own lakes (ponds) and tender the salt for sale in large batch lots. Hard`yakka for salt.

We walked thru the salt ponds down to the Sacred Valley for lunch. Later in the afternoon we met up in Ollyantaytambo for some free time and purchase the last fee things we needed for the trail. Even the mossies are in form in the cold months, something we thought would not be required when we left Australia.

Met up later with guide Zak for our brief and to collect our kit for the trail. Bag limit was 10KG including sleeping bag, down jacket and all personal gear for porters to carry. This leaves about 3 - 4 KG's for personal gear. Not much but we were under weight. All packed and ready to rumble the next morning at Kilometre 77.

Off to resturant for some Alpacca (a little dry) but tasty. A few reds and local beers made sure of a good nights sleep (lord knows how the next 3 nights would be so I made sure I got a good one in before we hit the trail).

Tomorrow is a tour of Ollyantaytambo and the ruins.

Posted by gregeicke 19:31 Archived in Peru Tagged backpacking Comments (0)

Lima to cusco

altitude

sunny 18 °C
View Peru on gregeicke's travel map.

hi all,
well after the best laid plans to get up early and be ready for Joel our guide in Lima, Lisa woke at 6.56 am allowing 4 minutes to pack, up, dress and make it to hotel lobby. we did it in 12 minutes, not bad considering.

Another crazy ride on Lima┬┤s roads .... seriously every driver including police consider the road rules as a sugesstion!!!!!! . When you are in a bus you get a little more respect, but still they give it a go to cut you off. Not many straight cars in lima. A panel beaters paradise if they could afford insurance.

The flight over the Andes provided some spectacular views of snow capped mountains. Cusco is a stark contrast to lima, it is has cobble stone streets,ancient buildings (not inca built).
We caught up with 3 others on our trek today and had lunch together.

Lisa and I ventured out to the square for a quick look.
5.00 pm and starting to get cold (today was the first sunshine we had since landing in peru)

Greg is feeling the affects of altitude, sleepy and slight headache. I feel puffed after walking at normal pace for only 20 seconds....... wow what is the trail going to be like?

Tonite we meet with the rest of the crew for a briefing. Tomorrow is a short day in cusco with a local tour.

This is where the north face gear will come in handy !

Heads

Heads

More locals

More locals

Greg and Lisa

Posted by gregeicke 15:55 Archived in Peru Tagged foot Comments (0)

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