This is where i learned never to assume things about mountain hiking and that going down hill is not necessarily better or easier than climbing uphill. A day which involved ten hours hiking, from the highest point of the trip at Abra Salkantay to the downhill jungles with hummingbirds. Delicious homemade food, team laughs and challenges and to top it all off i said goodbye to a toenail.
Day four : After the worlds coldest night camping i was thrilled to say goodbye to the Soyroqocha campsite, little did i know i was in for the toughest day of hiking. Our day started super early with a wake up call of coca leaf tea and a crisp stunning morning at the campsite (check out the photos above). The team seemed much more lively and we all sat down for a wonderful breakfast of sweet breads and homemade pancakes, along with deliciously strong Peruvian coffee. I was aware that we had a long and challenging day ahead so i ate as much as possible at breakfast, plus it was so tasty so i couldn’t stop.
The first leg of the day involved making our way to Abra Salknatay the highest point on The Salkantay trek sitting at 4630m, most people assume Machu Picchu is the highest point but it in fact sits at 2430m. This part of the journey was pretty rough for most of the team as we continuously walked higher and higher with increasing altitude. Again lucky me and my strange asthmatic lungs, i found myself to enjoy this section the most as i got to know our porter, asking him questions about the culture in Peru and the people. I think the team were shocked that i was full of chat and energy even with the altitude as they all seemed to struggle. None the less we all made it to Abra Salkantay welcomed by an unbelievable view of Humantay mountain and a mysterious cloud, i felt like i was in Lord of the rings. The sense of achievement even at this stage was just unbelievable, even with another three days of hiking to go.
The views were mind blowing on the way up to Abra Salkantay, even with the obstacles and challenges i still managed to stop as much as possible to take photographs. I took an unbelievable 2500 photographs over ten days. I went a little over board, but who cares i have them for life and a wonderful way to look back on my adventures.
You can see how happy and proud i am in the photographs above climbing to the highest point of 4630m, actually i shouldn’t have been cheering as the day was just beginning. Here is where i learned going downhill is just as difficult as going up hill, from sore glutes to painful blisters. After reaching Abra Salkantay we started making our way down hill, it was pretty challenging and found my legs and muscles getting tight and sore. Day four was pretty crazy in terms of scenery as it changed from a frosty landscape to wer forest jungle with a lot more life and flowers. After hours of making our way downhill and through the jungle we stopped for a well deserved break in a rustic mountain home (Check out the photo below)
All of the food made through out the trip was made from scratch, fresh, homemade and organic. The porters that traveled with us were sensational and the quality of food was just amazing. Each time a meal was served i was blown away at what they could make on the side of a mountain, and it was all delicious and so satisfying.
After ten long hours of walking we finally made our way to our second campsite, a gorgeous little home that kindly hosted trekkers and campers. All of the team were quick to get their hiking boots off and grab a hot shower, where as i treated myself to a local beer. Day four was by far the most challenging day and at times it seemed endless. I could hardly walk on my feet by the end of the day, and also discovered i lost a toe nail which wasn’t very pleasant. Another lesson learned, make sure to invest in a quality pair of hiking boots. This will be the most valuable piece of equipment you will have on a hike, don’t cheap out like i did.
Our campsite was situated just outside the village of Collpampa, a lovely place to rest after hours of walking. Stunning views, surrounded by mountains and finished off with a delicious team dinner and a night sleep. Might i add at a normal temperature, which was a delight.
Watch out for part four of my Peruvian travels, including more jungle hiking, butterflies, waterfalls, a visit to the natural hot springs at La Playa followed by an evening by a lovely bomb fire.
Thanks for reading, and i hope you are enjoying it as much as i am enjoying reliving this trip.
For more information on climbing Machu Picchu as part of the Trek4life campaign follow the link below. Dont forget i will be sharing a fundraising post with tips and ideas and also an essential packing list, including products i could have not lived without on this adventure.
or call the wonderful Kate here 01-2316609
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