Saturday, June 9, 2012

Peru - Ollantaytambo/Llactapata (Day 5)

Day 1

Pretty standard wake up of around 7:00. We had to drop off our race bags before having yet another buffet breakfast. Food as usual was fantastic and I of course at more than I should. This place did custom omelets. Delicious.

We drove for about an hour to visit Ollanta and Ollantaytambo, which is the best surviving example of an Inca town. Most of the buildings are on the original Inca walls and the layout and street plans are still the originals as laid out by the Incas.

We were invited in to a local's home. Of course they had a little shop set up in the courtyard, and then the inside of their house also doubled as a guinea pig breeding house. There must have been a hundred of them in there.

Josh bought the most awesome hat ever.
Baby duck!!
Guineas everywhere.
We then walked up to the actual ruins. Pretty cool!

Way up on the mountain is a granary

The 4 Americans "Tebowing" - well, three of us are, and Mr. Peru is doing... something

We hiked back down and then had lunch at a nice restaurant in town.

That's about when it started to get real!! One of the neat things about this whole adventure is the pure remoteness of the race. After lunch, we drove as far as we possibly could before there are no longer roads that can access the trail. The only way to Maccu Picchu from this point is the train... or on foot. The oldest participant (78 years old), had to drop out of the marathon after the altitude proved to be too much for him. He and his wife left us and we started the 6 mile hike to the place we would be camping for the night. Apparently, in the past people actually used to run this section too. So close to the marathon? No thanks! The walk there was really pretty.

This might be one of my favorite pictures

Wild turkey (and babies)
We actually DID have to cross this bridge.
We did NOT use this, however.

It pretty much started drizzling rain right when we got to camp. How cute is this set up? We set up camp at Llactapata, the "Town on the Hillside" at 8,400 feet.

The view around us was amazing. The true remoteness and the reality of the race really was starting to set in at this point.

The race director hired "porters" - which are people whose only job is to carry people's things up and down the trail to get our race bags to the top. They apparently brought up a toilet for us too.

Dinner was absolutely amazing. A chef/cook was brought up and we truly had a buffet which included stuffed chicken, three types of potatoes and desserts.

The rain continued, and we began to get pretty nervous. Having learned that a lot of the course was rocks/steps, I was worried about slick conditions. We also had to do our "gifting" ceremony from inside the dining tent. The gifting was items that we brought from the states to donate to the porters and their families as a thank you for their help (in addition to funds). We brought things like clothes, running shoes, hats, etc.

We sat around talking for a bit, but it was pretty obvious that people were getting nervous and anxious for the race. With a 4 am wake up, we were all in our tents early. I had bought my sleeping bag shortly before the trip and was pleasantly surprised that it was RIDICULOUSLY warm. I have always been cold while camping, so this was a pleasant surprise. Pretty sure we were lights out by 8:30 pm, although I didn't fall asleep right away.


  1. You are a brave soul!!! I'm not sure I could ever go on an adventure like this but I'm really enjoying reading about yours!

  2. It looks so beautiful and makes my heart ache to go back. I just need to wait until my little guy is old enough to hike around more. I'm on pins & needles to hear the rest.

  3. Okay your trip is getting prettier and prettier with each post!!

    I'm trying to imagine sleeping in a tent on the ground the night before a marathon. I'm not sure how well I'd do. Kudos to you!!

  4. I am loving reading these daily recaps. I can't believe you ran a marathon at that ridiculous altitude.

  5. loving the recaps! and the pictures. totally freaked out by the guinea pigs. :)


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