Published: June 7th 2012June 1st 2012
Last day before the Big Birthday (thank you for all the wishes). It has been a chilled out day, went for a leisurely walk up a small incline to ensure my legs will handle the trekking tomorrow and it went well. Not too many stops were needed other than to admire the scenery...views down to Cusco!
First thing this morning I stumbled across what appeared to be a practise run of some form of ceremonial sequence in the grounds just round the corner from my hotel. The majority of participants were school children....what a great way to spend a morning away from the class room!
In addition there were several public displays around the main squares with traditional Peruvian dancing and music, where the participants were in the local costumes....very colourful.
Later in the afternoon there was a hint of some dark clouds and few spits of rain, but nothing came of it....the sun was desperate to come out again!
Unfortunately there was a change of plan regarding my trek....the start has been delayed until Sunday 3rd, which meant I had another day to spend in Cusco.
GCC steps - 22,960
So I decided to spend most of the day on the top of a hill where another statue is placed and it was well worth the steep climb up. The views were fantastic and it was quiet. Only 6 other people ventured up while I was there and about 10 dogs. Lots of butterflies and sunshine. I took the opportunity to try and even out my tan, which has resulted in me burning the top half of my face, neck and shoulders....who would have thought I was using factor 50 sunscreen....obviously the sun is much more powerful at this high altitude!
On my way to the statue I booked my next bus trip to Arequipa, I head off on Thursday 7th June....once I get there I will decide how long I plan to stay.
I also managed to get someone to take a photo of me in front of another statue.
I finally met my assistant tour guide @ 7.10pm, he seemed pleasant and very apologetic for his late arrival and mix up with the trek start date. The itenary sounds good, I head off at 5.20am and will meet up with my
other 14 fellow trekkers at 7.30am....then 2 nights of camping at 3500m on the 3rd and 3750m on the 4th and then 1 night in a hotel on the 5th before heading to Machu Picchu, then I arrive back at my originating hotel in Cusco on the 6th June.
GCC steps - 14,263
3rd June- trek day 1
I finally got to join and met my 14 fellow trekkers....they were aged 18 - 36 from England (3), Italy (2), Australia (2) & USA (1 San Diego, 2 Miami & 4 New Jersey)....and they were an amazing bunch....even though they had been bonding for the previous 36 hours as a group they made me feel like one of the group from the outset! What a brilliant start to the adventure.
Since I have taken lots of photos I have decided to include the blogs for days 2 - 4 under separate headings.
The first day involved a visit to an Inca site prior to starting the actual trek at 10.30am. It was a gradual upwards journey which lasted aprox 4.5hrs. It was certainly hard going at times...I am not the quickest when it comes
lama or alpaca?
Manage to see one up close while walking on the outskirts of Cusco
to inclines...however I was able to keep up with the group, which due to their age & extreme fitness levels I was well pleased with (I think our main tour guide Migel was also very relieved - he had the horses on hand just in case!).
I have to admit that the scenery was pretty amazing and getting to know my fellow trekkers proved very enjoyable. The food was a major highlight of the camping experience....it is amazing how the cooks and porters can cook a 2 course lunch and then a 3 course dinner (both meals had different types of potatoes, a stable of Peruvian cusine!) while moving all our luggage and tents from location to location....a very slick operation!
We ended up playing some fun games (that did not involve alcohol!) after dinner which was a great way to finish our first night together as a complete group of 15.
GCC steps - 22,616
There are more photos below