Day one of the trek was beautiful and grueling. Since we had already gone to Pisac Cliser decided to do Day 1 & 2 of the trek in one day! The hike up to lunch was uphill along a path beside the river which was obviously well used. It was beautiful terrain and landscape. The trees were amazing. Lots of short grasses. We started at about 3000 m. and the climb for this part was just steady and uphill.
We made it to 3900 m for lunch which was good, but I was not very hungry. The stop was at a small village community called Canchacancha. You can check out what it looked like at the lunch spot by clicking on this Canchacancha 360 photo. The next section after lunch was up to 4700 m then down to 4000 m. It was stunning scenery with two glacier lakes.
I ended up riding the pony twice towards the top. I didn’t really like riding the horse because it made you that much taller on the side of a cliff Mountain. I didn’t like that. The second time I rode was nearly to the top which I would have been fine going up but I think they guys wanted us moving faster, so I rode. When I got dropped off the Horseman went back for Josie. It was very windy so I followed the horse tracks while he went back because there was no place to stop that was out of the wind. It was a bit daunting because the clouds had come in so it was very foggy and I could only see about 15 feet. But I kept going because I couldn’t stop as I had on a t-shirt and my hard shell and that was it! So, I just kept on walking and following horse prints and Donkey prints. It was very stark and rocky at the top and probably would have been beautiful if the clouds had not covered up the mountain.
So I kept going and going and going because it was raining windy foggy and I knew if I stopped I would get cold. After about 20 minutes or 30 minutes Cliser caught up with me but the others were still about 15 minutes behind me. So I kept going and he went back then about 15 minutes later they caught up with me again. And this time they had my bag so I managed to put my fleece and the poncho on. Poncho let me put my hands under it to warm them back up but I can tell you that wool does keep you warm when it’s wet or warmish.
We descended down the mountain and got a great view of the lake at the bottom where they do some trout fishing. The lake was are stopping point for the night. By the time we got to the lake. Camp had already been set up and dinner was started. So Josie and I got warm and dry and our tent in our sleeping bags and then had an awesome dinner.
It was clear when we woke up the next morning but during our awesome breakfast, it started to rain. Every meal on this trip trek was two or three courses and fantastic. So we packed up got ourselves ready covered up and started the trek down which started with a visit to one of the Farms.
We were invited into one of the houses of a cousin of our Horsemen. It was one room house with bed and table on one side and a fireplace and storage on the other side. Mom and the oldest daughter were home the 13-year-old son and the eight-year-old daughter wear at school. They have to travel 2 hours to get to school one hour down the hill and one hour by bus. The oldest daughter had just graduated from high school and was looking to start university next year. They brought out some of the items that they make by knitting or hand weaving. She even had one on the loom still. it was a hand Loom that she can stake into the ground and take with her when she’s out with the animals. She also had some amazing super tight knitting that she had done. They talked about the house and one of the things was that underneath the fireplace and the storage area were six guinea pigs. They used to have 20 guinea pigs but the daughter just had a birthday!
The mother seemed very proud that the daughter was going to go to school and they were supporting her in Cusco. She wants to study to be a secretary or an accountant.
After we left the house we trekked downhill for about an hour mostly on pretty easy trail. About 10 minutes before the end we were actually on the road. We were able to sit around for a little while and dry off some more before the truck came. Then we had an hour drive down the mountain to the Lares hot water thermal pools. It was nice to warm up in the thermal pools after being wet all morning.
Then it took us about 2 hours to get back around to Ollantaytambo. We had dinner at a great restaurant and then caught the train to Aguas Calientes. This is the jumping-off point for Machu Picchu.