Salkantay Trek!

Trip Start Jun 13, 2008
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Trip End Jun 12, 2009


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Sunday, June 22, 2008

So before i start to tell you about the trek, i have to say it was one of the most challenging yet rewarding things i have ever done! But im glad to have done it and would recommend it to anyone.
 
I would also like to thank Andy "Travel Guru" Rye for recommending and pushing me and zo into this trek...along with booking it for us!  It is through a company called Pachamama explorers who were excellent!  You can view their site here: www.pmexplorers.com
 
So the whole trek was leading to Machu Picchu the inca ruins, and it is an alternative to the classic inca trail....and a highly recommended alternative!  Even though it was challenging the main plus points of the trek is the variety of the scenery.... i will go from day 1.
 
Day 1 (18th June) - We were picked up from our hostel at the nasty time of 4:30 am, after a quick cab ride involving some road rage (our driver ended up driving his cab into the door of another while a guy was stood behind it!) we were sat on a local bus.  2.5 hours later and a very procarius and scary bus ride along some of the highest and narrow dirt roads i have seen we arrived at a small town called Mollepata, and our guide alfredo explained the history before starting our trek.
 
 
We trekked from 9:00 - 1:00 starting at  2,909 m  above sea level and ending at 3,400 m on the way witnesing some gorgeous green and yellow hillside views 
 
 
We stoppped at a gorgeous spot for lunch and met our cook for the five days Raul, A great cook with a great sense of  humour, only problem was communicating propely as i speak little to no spanish and Raul the same with english!  But nonetheless he was cool, and cooked some amazing dishes along the way.
 
 
After lunch we trekked from 2pm - 6pm ending up at our first campsite (4,000 m).  The first day of trekking was breathtaking, yellow mountains surrounding us, with our goal, the base of a glacier where we camped.  The last stretch proved very challenging but we were greated with our tent and sleeping bags already layed out along with some tea.
 
 
We ate steak, rice and potatoes, after some potatoe soup. And listened to some tunes with our team (Me, zo, the cook, the warangler, and the guide).  We then hit the sack for a very very cold night... 1 thermal t-shirt,2 standard t-shirts, a hoody, long johns and a sleeping bag.  Our cook also provided us with some boiling water for our water bottles he said to put at the bottom of our sleeping bags to keep our feet warm!  Zzzzz
 
Day 2 (19th June) - We were awoken at 5:00 am with acup of tea and a beautiful viewof the glacier.  After a great breakfast of fruit,yogurt, bannana bread and pancakes we headed up the mountain.  It was a very tough, steep, slow climb between two glaciers and up the chilly high pass at 4,800m.  We could definatly feel the altitude affecting us as it was tough to breath and every step became more difficult the higher we went.  The only cure provided by our guide was to suck on coca leaves...which apparently helps regulate the breathing and allows you to forget about the pain with a new burst of energy...  IT SEEMED TO WORK!  We were definatly gladto make it to the top and as i said before it was one of the most challenging things i have done...but well worth it.
 
 
As me and zo were the only two in our group (no one else booked...the other groups we seen were 5 - 25 people big.... they all thought we were super rich as we also had branded hats given to us as a present due to forgetting ours) our guide asked us if we wanted to go off trailto see a hidden lake...the lake of the salkantay mountain.  Wefelt pretty special as no one eklse that day got too see it and after some rough terrain...and maybe some scond thoughts about agreeing we arrived at the lake...it was stunning and wellwoth the extra trek to get there!
 
 
We then descended through a valley of equally stunning l˝andscape before having lunch.
 
 
We were treated to a burger, sweet potatoe and cous cous in an amazing lunch spot below the glacier in the bottom of the valley.... after a rest on some mats laid out by our guide we were getting readyto enjoy some warmer weather and head towards the jungle.
 
 
We walked for a further four hours towards the jungle and slept at a campsite surrounded by a gorgeous river, horses, pigs, chickens, mountains after a scrummy dinner.
 

 
Day 3 (20th June) -
 
Ate breakfast and headed into the jungle...first crossing over an indiana jones style bridge with slats missing and then past a farm with guinee pigs and chickens.  Here we started our descentninto deep peruvian jungle.
 


 
Along the way we crossed procarrious bridges, stopped at some stunning waterfalls, got bitten to hell and enjoyed the views.  We seen some bannana and coffee plantations along with some corn fields at super steep angles on the mountian.
 


At lunch we stopped in a small town and said goodbye to our wrangler. Hes the one on the right.
 


 
We then took a scary bus to our next campsite...and after settling in we headed to some hot springs to relax our aching muscles...Pure relaxation!  We headed back for a tasty dinner and enjoyed some beers and pisco sours with our cook Raul and our guide Alfredo.
 


 
We then drank and chatted into the night with fellow travellers and guides.
 
Day 4 (21st June) - Woke to a pankakes for breakfast whilst enjoing an amazing view of the mountains.
 


 
We then headed into town.  We made it to the old part of the town, this was destroyed in 1997 by a land slide.  A lot of lives were lost here, and when the landslide occured it also brought with it poisonous snakes and spiders which also took the lives of people who survived the original landslide.
 
Since then the town has been rebuilt in a new safer location which we wandered around... the town was only 8 years old and an interesting visit.  Next we jumped in a  taxi and headed for a town called Hydro Electrica.  After arriving at hydro electrica we hit the railroad and stopped for lunch.  As our cook prepared spaghitti with tomatoe sauce and stuffed avacado we watched parrots fly from tree to tree and enjoyed the warm weather.
 
We then said good bye to our cook Raul and walked along the railroad tracks for three hours stopping to see waterfalls and parrots on the way.
 


 
Our guide also took us off trail once again to see a stunning waterfall that over the years had smoothed the rocks surrounding it.  It was a little precarious to get to but well worth it.
 


 
We then hit the town of Machu Picchu.  A crazy town built around the railway, so trains literally run past the front doorsof the hotels and resteraunts around every hour or so.  We were surprised to find we had been booked into a hotel with our own double room and on-suite bathroom.  We went out for our last meal with our guide, followed by four 4 1 cokctails (mohito, daiquree, pisco sour, and margherita all for three pounds!)  then off to bed eargly awaiting the next day at the famous inca ruins of Machu Picchu!
Day 5 (22nd June) -
 
Up at 4:00 am and headed to the ruins.  Here we were shown the ruins by our guide alfredo, after a very informative tour we departed and me an zo were left to explore on our own.  We did just this nand found the place breathtaking...amongst the couds.  



  
You willfind betterpictures of the ruins on zoes blog (my battery ran out).  Anywayz...after the ruins we grabbed a train to Ollyuntumbo.  We arrived and picked up a taxi for a 2 hour drive back to cusco and our hostel.  The driver practised his english on us and we practised our spanish on him.
 
Overall an amazing trip and an excellent way to start our travells !!

p.s i know there are lotsof spelling mistakes and prob lots of grammatical error...but this needed to be done super speedy...... pleaselet me know if anything does not make sense as i have not had a chance to read any of it back.  plus i got a dodgy space bar!

P.p.S   some more of my fav pics...that can be found on our flickr page ( flickr.com/photos/discozo/collections/72157605779172881 )

Heading to the glacier day 1: SNV80095
Resting en route day 1: SNV80097
Almost at camp day 1: SNV80106
Me zo and the guide at the top: SNV80148
By salkantay lake: 80159
Heading towardsthe high pass day 2: 80136
Entering the jungle day 2: 80177
Entering the jungle day 3: 80186
Jungle time: 80218
Monkey at the campsite: 80237
Machu picchu tom llams 80270
Slideshow Report as Spam
Where I stayed
the continental

Comments

andyrye
andyrye on

cool!
ok... got the hang of your blog now... hadn't seen all the entries already up there. salcantay looks cool. I especially like the before and after shots, you look a bit older and a bit dirtier!!!
have fun xx

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