Salkantay Trek

Trip Start Feb 02, 2010
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Trip End Oct 26, 2010


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Flag of Peru  , Sacred Valley,
Monday, May 24, 2010

We arrived in Peru (Cusco) on the 16th May on a direct bus from Puno which seemed to stop about every hour somewhere so not very direct. We were excited to hear that there was a loo on board however it was not very nice & you could only close the door from the outside which was not very handy. Spent a couple of days in Cusco with Mat & Cat doing our research on what trip we would like to do & what company to go with.

20th May - 24th May - Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu

20th May
Bus collected the 4 of us at 4:30am & we started the journey to Mollepata where we would meet our guide Walter & the rest of our group. Had breakfast in the village & sorted out what we were going to carry & what we were giving to the donkeys & horses. This was not cheating, it was included in the price. Started the day with a steep trek out of the village (2830 m) to our lunch point at Sayllapata where the cooks made a great meal of soup & pasta. Still a few hours left to our campsite of Soraypampa which sits at 3700m. We were all exhausted & pretty much ate dinner & retired for the night. At this height it was also freezing so we were all happy to be wrapped up in our sleeping bags. Trekked a total of 20 kilometers & were not looking forward to day 2 as this was meant to be harder again.

21st May
5:30 am rise & after a breakfast of bread & pancakes we started the climb to the pass of 4600 meters, our highest point in the trip. We all surprised ourselves or maybe it was the fact that we were expecting the worst that we did not find it as hard as the first day. I think listening to my MP3 player helped to get me there. At the pass we made an offering to the mountains with a stone & 3 coca leaves & made a wish. After this point we needed to descend to 3800 meters to Huayracmachay where lunch was waiting for us. We were exhausted by this point but Challway, our next campsite was still hours away. The scenery along with the temperature was changing as we were heading into jungle territory. Once we got to our sleep point some hours later the boys thought they had deserved a beer & as we were not at such high altitude (2650 m) Bern found it very manageable. While Bern drank beer I treated myself to a cold shower & washed my hair. After dinner as always we all retired to bed.

22nd May
Today was to be our easiest day & as the group was making great time we were due to reach our next campsite (Sahuayaco - 2064m) by lunch time. We trekked further into the jungle & found loads of amazing flowers, wildlife & passion fruit & avocado trees, just a little out of reach for picking. The heat had increased some what however we were looking forward to a warmer night. As planned we made our campsite by midday & this time we all tucked into a beer which came straight out of a deep freeze. Was very spoilt to have electricity & to top of the boys day the football (championship leagues final) was on TV at one of the little bars in the village. While the boys watched football the girls did some yoga which was attaching some unwanted attention from the locals. After the game the boys thought it would be a great idea to play the locals & surprisingly they only lost by 4 goals. We also had a hard decision to make as we had an option to take a bus part of the way tomorrow. Bernīs back was playing up & I was struggling to walk with a bad knee (right of pair of old farts) so we were going to see how we felt in the morning. We also had to say goodbye to our horse (the next part of the trek was too steep) which meant for us that we had to carry our own packs. Lucky we were pretty much wearing the smae clothes & our packs were very light compared with other treks.

23rd May
Not feeling to much better however as the rest of the group was walking the pressure was on. We had noticed the previous day the drivers of the mini buses having beers then driving poor passengers down windy roads so we thought it was safer to walk.  We made the right decision as it was our favorite trekking day (apart from Machu Picchu) & such a feeling of achievement even if I did complain part of the way. A mini bus took us to our starting point which was at the bottom of some Inca steps & we started the hard uphill slog to some amazing ruins with views of Machu Picchu. After this 3 hours uphill climb we relaxed at the ruins for a small time & then made the horrible 800 meters decent to the Rio Vilcanto & over the beautiful Oroya Bridge. We all made camp beside the river & enjoyed our pack ups. Poor Cat had a fall down the decline & twisted her ankle however as timing would have it we were not that far from the Hydro electric train which would take her back to Aguas Calientes, our finishing point for the day. After leaving them in a pub with cold beer we finished the remainder of our days trekking which was easy & beautiful, along the railway treks. Reminded me of the film, Stand By Me. Passed coffee plants, these amazing boulders in the river which did not look real & spent alot of the jumping from one sleeper to the next on the track. I think the most amazing site we saw that day was the town Aguas Calientes were we had been promised a comfortable bed & a hot shower. This promise surprisingly came true. Also included was a great slap up meal in one of the restaurants in town. While Bern went off for a night cap with Mat I returned back to the comfy bed as we needed to rise at 3:30 am the next morning for our Machu Picchu back of the trip. We were all keen to get there early as we wanted to make the trek up to Wayna Picchu which they restrict to 400 people per day. 
   
24th May - Final day
The whole group was excited about the trek up the Inca steps, with our head torches on we started the hour & a half climb to the gates. I had seen pictures before however I never really expected the place to be as amazingly special as it was. A place that I think everyone should visit. We started with a 2 hour guided tour of the sacred place of the Inca with our guide Walter. After the tour we had free time from 8 - 10 before our trek up Wayna Picchu so Bern & myself decided to have some breakfast & a sleep in the sun on some of the terraces at the site. Just when I thought the day was perfect we made the climb up Wayna Picchu & the views & another perspective of Machu Picchu was amazing. The climb down would not be allowed in any country that had even the smallest level of Heath & safety but we made it with Cat & myself finding it easier to slid down on our bottoms. We spent the rest of our time at the ruins at Recinto del Guardian (Guardhouse) for the classic postcard pic. At 3pm we were all exhausted & the boys made there way back down the Inca steps when Cat & myself decided to treat ourselves to a A/C bus. When the boys arrived back in Aguas Caliente we found a great restaurant with happy hour & got very merry on Pisco Sours. We were at the train station at 9pm not looking forward to our 1 train, 2 bus trip back to Cusco. The train & first bus was great however the 2nd bus was in dire need of some brake fluid. I left Bern to worry about our safety as I slept arriving in Cusco at 3am in the morning making our way to back our hostel & feel asleep. Poor Bernie wanted a shower before retiring however in Peruvian style there was of course no hot water in our 24 hour hot water place.


I hope you enjoyed the blog entry & our pics.
 
Keep smiling Chicos.

T & B
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Comments

rosebid
rosebid on

Hi !! Sorry haven't been in touch. Loving your stories and photos - where are you off to next? Have been meaning to email so apologies for not getting round to it just yet but perhaps this week?
xxx

Emma on

Hey guys, sounding amazing still!! Glad you still having a great time! Love the photos. Xxxx

Adele on

Oh my god how lucky you are, would love to do the Inca trail ! Keep enjoying yourselves.
Take care x

Geoff & San on

Fantastic photos. You are very lucky. Love from Hallbillies

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