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Peru Part 2- The Trek.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012



And now on to the trek! We signed up for a 4 day, 3 night trek through the Lares Valley after reading many reviews saying the Inca Trail is very crowded. Plus, the Inca Trail was booked, so... Lares Trek it is! It is touted as the more scenic and more cultural of the treks involving Machu Picchu and it was gorgeous. Supposedly, this is an "Intermediate" trek, and being reasonably fit, I just added some incline on the treadmill and did some stairclimbing at the gym to prepare. "I'm ready!", I thought to myself. HA! 


We started out at a high altitude, probably 11,000 feet or so, but it wasn't that much higher than Cusco, so I felt okay. Okay, standing around that is! I was taking photos of the pretty rocks! (The rocks were pretty throughout the trek, but after the first day, rock photos became a low priority... )


A view from the lovely valley we started hiking up. Gorgeousness around every corner!


More pretty scenery! Even though it was super challenging and I felt like I would pass out sometimes, it was always pretty. Thanks Andes!



Here are the horses that carried our stuff. Literally all our stuff, tents, food, etc. The Peruvian guys with them had to go with the horses (and they weren't meandering along. These guys were fast!), then they arrived at each site and made us food, set up the tents, etc. It was amazing. And the food was so delicious! Perhaps it was the exertion of the trek or being delusional from the altitude, but dang. And there were courses! Soup to start, then the main dish, then tea, and more! Hooray! Soup was my favorite. And it was warm. Mmmm...


Hiking in the valley.


Michael trekking. See the poles!? We're trekking!


Here I am, trekking! This proves it. 


The view from the first pass on day one. How happy I was to make it to the top! And here is what I did when I got there: 




Another view of the Andes. Are you sick of this yet? I have more views to come! This is day one!



Funny little spongy grass. It was surprisingly spiky when sat upon. But, pretty! 



Ahh...



Llamas! They were everywhere! Adorable. One little llama with a bell followed us for awhile. I nearly died from the cuteness.



A brief rest, and we are looking... Tired? My levels of cleanliness and caring about how I looked went waaaay down as the trek progressed. Does this always happen in the wilderness? I'm going to say yes.


The mountain pass we were on our way to climb! After a day of climbing. Ah!


I am not so sure about this prospect.



We made it! 15,000 feet! Here is our little trekking family!


The view was totally worth it! Hiking is fun!


This was at the top, little altars to the Apus (meaning the mountain spirits in Quechua), where our guide Hilbert, poured out coca leaves and Coca Cola (synchronicity!) as an offering. Just like the ancient Peruvians did. Almost... 




And here is our second camp site, with a view of the Andes! We hiked through that pass up there! And this picture does not depict how cold it was. SO cold. COLD. Did I mention it was cold?!


But, we went to sleep and woke up to this, so....



The third day was a bit easier, and we got to hike downhill (downhill!). We finally arrived at our rendezvous point, where a bus picked us up to take us to the train station, that we then took to Aguas Caliente, which is the starting point for the trip to Machu Picchu (!). But we ended the day saying good-bye to our guides and then drinking nice cold beers. Cusquena is the beer of Peru, and though I am not a beer drinker, it was delicious!


We also tried Chicha (Peruvian corn beer) at a local bar. Let's just say it was... Interesting.


Next up, the train! 


Peru Rail. It was pretty fun. Plus, it brought us here....


Ooooh! Ahhhh! More on this place coming up next time! Hasta pronto!

1 comment :

  1. Looks like an amazing trip, Sarah! That hike had to be incredible... especially when you reached the very top.

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