One day ends, another begins…

One lesser-known bit of trivia about the Inca Trail — some current-day communities on it still rely on the trail for transportation of cargo.  How to do this while keeping the trail in its largely-historical state?  Why, by burro, naturally:

Laden

For what it’s worth, the “day 1” leg of the trail (Piscacucho to Wayllabamba) is the only one on which hoofed animals are allowed. On our day 1, we saw a number of burro trains headed uphill with cargo; we saw one coming back, it wasn’t carrying anything down.

Burros

The gents with the bright green duffel bags are porters — carrying most of the gear for folks on the trek.  So, they’re carrying the cooking gear, the food, our sleeping bags, and our accommodations:

Home, Sweet Tent

The green tent was my home at night on the trail; the tent on the right was our group’s bathroom (a.k.a. “The Magic Tent”).  The porters passed us on the trail each day and had our tents set up and a bowl of hot water outside (for a quick cleanup after a dusty day) waiting for us when we made it into camp.  Amazing men, those porters — we just couldn’t tip them enough at the end of the trail!

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