PERUse It All (2)
posted more than a month ago
After the brief two-night stay in Cuzco, we were ready to start the main dish of our stay in Peru – the Inca Trail hike to Machu Picchu. We managed to store all our stuff that wasn’t necessary for the hike at the hostel that we would not be staying at again after the hike. That was kind of a miracle. Thank god it was done though. I wouldn’t want to hike all the way up the mountains carrying things like my laptop, not even if they had Wifi up there.
We met up with the other hikers who would be spending 4 days and 3 nights with us in the car that picked us up to the starting point of the trail about 2 hours away. There was a couple in their thirties from Europe, a family of five with parents in their fifties and three 20-to-30 year-old sons from the states, three teenage girls from Australia and a guy from Taiwan. A very impressive mix indeed. What diversity in nationality and age.
The starting point of the hike was by a raging muddy river at the bottom of a gorge. The river was like a dividing line between civilization and the mysterious ancient world. Once we crossed that, our long-awaited adventure to the past began.
All of us in the group were excited to see what the infamous Inca Trail had to offer, as well as to hear about the interesting stories of everybody in the group. It took us by surprise though, that the first historical remains-looking construction appeared within the first 15 minutes of the walk. It was a group of curvy brick walls with no tops arranged in a semi-orderly fashion on the other side of the gorge. We stopped to take pictures, but the guide showed no intention to tell us anything about it, as if it was not anything worth mentioning at all. I guessed it was just very common for archeological remains to casually lie around like this? Apart from that, there were also locals using the track with their donkeys.
The hike was very easy. The trail was fairly well maintained. The gradient was gentle. The scenery was pleasant. The one thing that made the hike a little uncomfortable, though, was the annoying drizzle that pretty much never stopped. It was the awkward intensity of rain that was too little for us to bother whipping out our rain jackets, but heavy enough to cause discomfort continuously. After some serious internal struggle, I decided to put on the raincoat that I had bought a few days ago in Cuzco just for this hike. Wearing an extra layer of clothing wasn’t that bad per se, but it effectively reduced everyone’s desire to keep the little ice-breaking conversations going because the hoods of the rain jackets completely covered our ears, making paying attention super difficult.
We finished our first day of hike at around 5pm. Even though it was not a strenuous hike, it was still nice to sit down in the tent and relax. It rained harder, but the shelter our tent provided created a little world that was completely unaffected by the outside storm. This sense of security was very assuring. I felt like I was a 5-year-old kid hiding under my blanket, enjoying the warm feeling of privacy. Soon after, I fell fast asleep in my sleeping bag, getting recharged for more walking on the next day.
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