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Peru - Day 5 (July 10, 2023)

Inca Trail Day 1

Description

First day on the Inca Trail - about 7 hours hiking.
Fantastic lunch at a beautiful spot.
Beautiful mountain views.

Lodging

Camping at Wayllabamba 3,100m/10,170ft

Details

Our first day on the Inca Trail! We met our guide, Percy after breakfast and took a van ride to Pisacucho where we organized our packs and met our porters (VIPs) for the first time. We went through passport/Inca Trail permit control and started our trek.

We felt quite excited to be on the Inca Trail (Camino Inca) at last! We walked for a few hours and had our first views of the beautiful "Veronica" peak. This 19,000 ft mountain either gets its name from a French alpinist or from Hiram Bingham's wife, depending on which story you believe.

Percy showed us the cochinillas on the cacti. These little bugs are very important to the Peruvian economy because when crushed they exude a bright red colored liquid. This color is used in makeup (also in Campari and other drinks/foods I learned later). And even more fantastic, when that liquid is mixed with another substance like salt or acid, the result is the liquid changes to another very bright hue. The cochinillas are combed off the cacti and used for this purpose!!

Along the way we also sampled passion fruit and visited the first of many "local toilets" offered by people along the IT for a small fee -- usually 1 sol.

We enjoyed our first Ian Taylor lunch at a large grassy area with beautiful mountain views. Wow! The best guacamole of my life (and I have eaten a lot of guacamole). That set the tone for all our Ian Taylor meals - fantastic! We continued to our campsite at Wayllabamba. This was very comfortable, on a grassy area. Our compadre Carl said he didn't even need a pad, but I used mine! We were getting to know Justin and Carl, both great people that we enjoyed spending time with.

We highly recommend Ian Taylor Trekking to guide your Inca Trail trip. The guides are outstanding and the support staff are excellent. The food is delicious. The bookend hotels are very comfortable. Plus Ian Taylor contributes to the local economy with good works and pays the staff very fairly. All in all it's a great company.

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Posted by rewagner 23:46 Archived in Peru

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