Day: June 19, 2013

Machu Picchu – Trek Day 4


…still no Internet but the blogging continues undaunted. Today could not have been more perfect; clear blue skies, warm sunshine, no rain, wind or hail! After battling the elements yesterday today was more than we could have hoped for. We left Wayra Lodge after breakfast and trekked downhill above the Salkantay River to arrive at the Colpa Lodge at Colpapampa in the afternoon, having descended from 12,812 feet to 9,414 feet. A picnic break mid-morning was interesting surrounded by the cast of animal farm! Throughout the hike our trail was lined by numerous exotic flowers as you can see. At Colpa Lodge we were welcomed and greeted with a Pachamanca lunch, which is a special Peruvian barbecue of lamb, chicken, beef, guinea pig, potatoes and beans. Once again the genuine warmth and grace of the staff has made us all feel very privileged to be in this beautiful country. Siesta time in the afternoon followed by a therapeutic jacuzzi under the stars, Pepe’s history of the Incas, dinner and bed. The highlight tomorrow for Hilde will be a visit to a coffee plantation where we will roast, grind, filter and drink fresh coffee – can’t wait. Hope you’ll join us…

Machu Picchu -2 Trek Day 3


…well, we made it as you can see. How to describe our nine hour hike through rain, hail, snow and wind (sounds like a painting by Turner): unforgettable, challenging, painful (at times), breathtaking (literally), and undoubtedly the hardest physical experience of our lives. But we wouldn’t have missed it for world. When we reached the Salkantay Pass at 15,213 feet and formed a circle I think we all felt a real sense of personal achievement, I know I did. However I have to thank Carlos who stayed with me at the back of the pack and gave me some of his home made medicine to inhale to help my breathing; I couldn’t have done it without him. After our great group photo it was downhill all the way, and will be until Machu Picchu; hooray! The lunch tent appeared in the mist like a wonderful mirage and after lunch a further one and a half hours brought us to The Wayra Lodge, jacuzzi, dinner and bed. Not before we had celebrated Dennis’s 50th birthday, a day that he will never forget. I know you won’t be reading this for a day or two as we have no WiFi once again, but I’ll keep on posting although the countdown title will have to end as I clearly got the number of days wrong way back when I started. Now it will be the Trek Day number until we reach our destination. Thanks for all your positive thoughts and good wishes…

Machu Picchu -3 Trek Day 2


…After an early breakfast we set out in the rain on a two and a half hour hike to Humantay Lake situated at 14000 feet below Mount Humantay. In spite of the conditions, as the pictures show, it was worth the struggle, which it certainly was at times. We picnicked by the turquoise water of the lake before returning to the Lodge for lunch; I’ll vote for downhill any day! The afternoon was highlighted with jacuzzi time outside in the rain accompanied with a round of Pisco Sours, which we then had instruction on how to make before dinner. Just remember 3 1 1; three parts Pisco to one part each of fresh lime juice and cocktail syrup, plus half an egg white all blended together with ice…cheers! The staff here at the lodge have been wonderful and we shall miss them when we leave at 7am tomorrow morning for the most challenging day of the trek, hiking to the Salkantay Pass at 15,213 feet and descending to the Wayra Lodge at Wayraccmachay. More tomorrow – I hope!…

Machu Picchu -4 Trek Day 1


…and so after a seven o’clock start day one of our trek begins; Cusco to Soraypampa.  We have a great group as you can see from the photo taken at our first stop at Quillarumiyuq, meaning moon stone, en route to the beginning of the trail at Marcoccasa.  “We happy few” (a little Bard on the the Peak for Christopher) set off on a four hour hike excited, a little anxious but knowing we are in for the experience of a lifetime. Our senior guide is Pepe and his assistant Carlos. How lucky we are to have them lead us. The first hour was very challenging climbing it seemed at an angle of 70 degrees. Fortunately the remainder was very do-able with the trail lined by alpine flowers all the way. It was a welcome site arriving at the Salkantay Lodge situated at 12,690 feet with a feeling of relief and achievement. Refreshments awaited, and then a wonderful dinner of fresh trout, stargazing with Pepe; and so to bed. Wi Fi is very hit and miss so I don’t expect this will be posted for a day or two. Hopefully you will have faith and still be there…