Morning in the Sacred Valley (DarAnne Dunning)
This morning we left Ollantaytambo via bus to the famous Km 82 where we started our journey on El Camino Inca - the Inca Trail. Day 1 is an easy day of the hike. It was described as the "flat" day. Although nothing in this area of Peru is exactly flat, by comparison to the other days, it was definitely about as flat as it gets. Day 1 is about 12 km or a little over 7 miles, and took us about 3 hours. We also passed by the ruins of Llactapata, discovered by Hiram Bingham after Machu Picchu, and spent the night at the Wayllabamba campsite. I was overwhelmed with the beauty of the area. Going in the rainy season definitely has its perks - everything is so stunning and verdantly green. That night the sky was clear, and I have never seen stars like that in my life. I grew up in rural Montana, and am used to being able to see vast expanses of stars without light pollution, but being at almost 10,000 ft, I was able to see thousands more stars in the strip of sky between the jagged mountain valley. It was mind-blowing.
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