Standing outside the hostel at 4:00am, where we ended up waiting for 50 mins until we were picked up. 2 hours in bus we finally arrived at KM 82. Which is the jump off point for the Ica Trail. We only carry our personal stuff. Manawanui, Kiriana and I carried about 5 kilos each. We then hired an extra porter to carry our sleeping bags and a few other odds and ends. It was already raining when we started.
We were 15 trekkers, 2 guides, and 21 porters. That number would reduce along the way!!!
We had team American – Roberto and Todd – all the latest equipment that money could buy – GPS, water cleansers, wet weather gear…… we even think that they had equipment to breakdown there human waste.. we further suspect that the fiters were so good that they actually were drinking there filtered waste to minimise impact on the environment. They were carrying about 14 kilos each.
Brasilian team was headed up by Pedro -our own Keanu Reeves with a moustache. Carrying 14 kilos as well.
The UK team was Tom, Becs – humor and beauty (wont say which is which) and inventors of silly games . Jean, Hugh – Keen to show that this trek is easy.
Dutch team: Arion – proudly wearing the orange of his country.
Australia: Jo – loves beer and boys – what more could you ask for from a woman.
NZ: Mana, Kiriana and Tai – ready to lead from the front, or get carried up from the back.
Argentina: Alejandro: very sly sense of humor and gets very upset when his soup arrives late. Also my tent mate.
Our Guide was Eric and Edi: Eric was a great organisers, worrier and lecturer. He was our little father. Edi was only with us for a first day.
The first day was, 15km, leaving from 2600m and climbing to 3800m. We started walking long a river for roughly 7 km. Then came the first ascent to Wayllabamba. The ascents were very difficult with the attitude. We would take 7 hours to do the 15kms, while the porters would take 2hours. We had lunch at Wayllabamba. When we arrived to the lunchsite the lunch tent was set up and little bowls of water with soap and a towel so we could wash (what luxury). First lunch was a bean soup, then trout, then tea and coffee. We started drinking coca leaf tea.
Coca leaves are legal here in Peru and people drink it or chew it for energy. If you chew alot it makes your tongue numb.
After lunch was probably the hardest walk for us. Instead of doing 1200m ascent on day 2, we split it, so we did a 700m ascent to our camp at Llulluchapampa close to the first pass. It was at 3850m.
When we arrived our tents were set up and out little bowls of hot water were waitng ofr us to clean up before dinner. It was a hard day. Dinner was soup, and chicken. We were all in bed by 20:30.
We had 2 casualties today. A couple from UK had started with us, but unfortunately his wife had got a jungle virus and was unable to continue. So Edi and the couple returned the next morning.