So the big day finally arrived, and we set off for our 3 day Inca Trail hike to Machu Picchu.  Now, I had done a LOT of reading online, and I thought I was ready.  Most of the bloggers out there stated that if you were in reasonably good health and shape, this hike would be no problem at all.  Those people, are liars.  You can read all about my preparations here and here.

So here is our crew on day 1, bright eyed and bushy tailed, ready to rock!  If only we knew what was coming (and that, my friends, is called foreshadowing!)

And the first day was stunning.  Amazing weather, beautiful scenery, and not too challenging overall.  We also had the chance to see quite a few archaeological sites, some tiny, and some large.

If my memory serves me correctly, this site is called Wayllabamba, which was discovered by Hiram Bingham on his way back from “discovering” Machu Picchu.

After a short 5 hours of hiking we reached our first campsite, nestled on a set of small terraces with a stunning view of the valley.  I was pretty much ready to die, knowing full well this was supposed to have been the “easy” day.   What made my life a lot tougher was the washroom situation.  I was not expecting the Four Seasons, but I was also not expecting a squat toilet, and myself and the 1 other woman with me to have to share it with 22 men.  Just imagine!  It was completely disgusting.  And the bottoms of your pants get sooooo filthy, and you can’t shower.  So yeah.  Recipe for yukkyness.  And on my way to use the washroom before bed, I saw a tarantuala.  So that was freaky.

But waking up to a view like this?  Priceless.