Early Morning 

We were told to be in front of the cathedral at 4:30. Lexi had slept over at my house the night before so we could leave super early in the morning together. The taxi came five minutes early so we had to rush down stairs. We had both packed the night before so it wasn’t that big of a deal.

We gathered with the rest of the group in front of the cathedral but it was just Lombardis. Very cold in the morning and I was like oh snap. We waited at least thirty minutes out front of the cathedral in the dark. Eventually a lady came over to grab us but she was confused because we had all of our luggage with us, not only the things we were bringing on the hike. We walked over to the other plaza and saw a bus. We loaded our hiking bags on the bus and put our regular bags in one area. We all piled on the bus. After five minutes, they made the Pat and Mihael get out and move our bags to Loki hostel. They carried them all and apparently on the way back they made them run up stairs and that is a big struggle.

After we settled on the bus, we all eventually dozed off during the three (?) hour bus ride. Mihael woke me up to see this pretty view.

The rest of the way we listened to a podcast. It was a TEDRadio Hour which is normally one of my favorites but the episode was lackluster.

Everyone got off the bus at a small village. People could buy breakfast there but the main purpose was to pack our bags and lag the mule bag. Each person got 5 kilos for the mule to carry. So it was a process to pick the things we wanted where. Lexi and I shared a bag and we put clothing, sleeping bags, and anything unnecessary. Toilet paper and baby wipes are necessary. In Peru in general, bring it everywhere just in case. Pat bought a hiking stick with a duck on top.

We all went to get on the bus again only to discover everyone else had gotten on before us so bus was completely full. Somehow we picked up extra people from different groups in our bus so we had to stuff in. Eli sat on the ground of the bus and we made the short ride work.

We went up a lot of curvy roads until we stopped at the base of a trail. There were two groups; our group Pacha Mama and another group Sexy Llamas. Basically the entire trip we paralleled them but our trip was cheaper. Our group had 15 people. Two firefighters from California, two girls from Chile, a hippie kid, three Dutch old people, four Asian Canadian girls. It was interesting throughout the entire trip to hear everyone’s stories. Hippie kid and Chilian lady both quit there engineering jobs to explore the world. The firefighters both were on call during the airplane fire last year. One of them just got back from recovery after falling into a biting basement. The Dutch couple and brother had family travel to Peru a while ago and left them a treasure hunt. Their sons friends was by lake titicaca and took a taxi alone and they took all of his money. Many stories after hours of hiking even though I stayed mostly with Mihael and Lexi.

We started to walk up hill and not going to lie I was already pretty winded. We hiked for five hours and arrived at a pretty base camp surrounded by mountains.

We ran into the Alexes who were on a similar tour. They fed us lunch but it was not too appetizing. After lunch some people walked to a lake but we walked around the camp and then took a quick nap. We thought the first day was hard but little did we know.

Once it got dark we had tea time where we had coca tea and popcorn. An hour after tea was dinner which was also eh. We had chicken soup that had this nasty viscous broth. We were all pretty tired but little did we know. The cook introduced himself with a little pipe. He had two cook hands. We had two guides. I am not sure how many mules and porters we had for our group.

Eli’s things got wet from the mules? Something was spilled in Pat and Mihael’s tent so one of their sleeping pads was not usable so we squished one extra pad in our tent and made it an extra large. It was very cold so Pat and Mihael moved to Lexi and my tent. I was very warm in the middle. We all talked for a little bit in the night. Quality talks.

The tent was in a field with so many horses. It was a beautiful ranch.

All of the tents were under cover.

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