El Choro Trail

Trip Start May 31, 2008
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Trip End Jun 01, 2009


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Saturday, July 19, 2008

The El Choro Trail

This trail which was part of the old Inca highway linking La Paz and Cusco is 72km long.  Starting an elevation of 4890m we descended down on the first day from an area in the shadow  of a couple of Bolivia´s highest mountains through to a couple of little communities which have a few alpaca  before we finally got into any vegetation.  On the first night we camped at 2900m along the edge of a little stream where our guides (Alexandro and Louis ) cooked us dinner before setting up our tents and went to bed.

On the second day we continued down though now the increasing heat and even denser vegetation.  The views and the Inca trail are absolutely break taking.  It is hard to believe how the Incas created these roads and trails so many years ago.  It was also very rewarding to meet the local people who live in this very challenging terrain.  The steep descents were actually quite hard on the knees and joints (especially when packing our gear).  So much so, that by the time we got to some uphills our muscles were very happy to have a break!  Our camp the second day was on the edge of a mountain with surreal views of the cloud forest and surrounding mountains.  The other Austrian couple trekking with us called it an oasis.  It was much warmer the second night, which was a nice surprise.  We saw lots of humming birds at that campsite, and had a wonderful dinner before going to bed at 8:00pm.  What can I say - hiking makes you tired!

We left at the crack of dawn the third day to beat the heat.  After an hour trekking uphill, and then an hour trekking downhill, and then another hour trekking flat (yes, my knees hated me at this point), we arrived at our final rest spot.  There was a Japanese garden there.  The mountains here are very different from the ones back home.  So much vegetation, lovely flowers, huge ferns.  It is very lush here since we are closer to the equator.  It was a final two hour descent down to the end of the trail.  It was an amazing three day journey, and at the end with left with an appreciation for the Incas, and the people who live in these villages along the trail today.  And last, but definitely not least, our guide and porter who were very inspiring.  Louis was carrying 25kg and said that it was easy walking compared to usual! 
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