Of course today would start with rain! We were woken with coca tea in our tents at 5am. I had hardly slept as it was so cold and I considered letting them go on without me! I dragged my sorry ass out my sleeping bag and ate the three course breakfast though.
Bundled up in rain gear and plenty of layers, we set off to head up 1,000m. The fog was thick, it was cold and the rain came down so it was harder to see the views….They almost seemed to cut off, but they were stunning.
I wasn’t as fast as the front group, but not as slow as the back group so for the most part I trekked alone with my music. On the entire trek, I saw no more than 8 other tourists and probably 5 locals. 2 of which kept telling me “Vamos Señorita, you can do it!”. I didn’t feel like I could at times!!! It was hard going….Probably the hardest thing to date to walk up to 4,800m above sea level. My muscles were crying from lack of oxygen and my coordination which is sketchy at the best of times had it’s moments.
There was one spot where I hadn’t seen anyone for almost 3 hours and the path seemed to disappear that I started to panic and imagine all of the horrific outcomes of getting lost of the Lares Trek. Luckily, a few minutes later a donkey appeared so I followed quickly laughing at my overdramatic moment. Before long I was reaching the highest point (4 hours of non stop hiking).
It was foggy, cold and snowing but now the downhill could start. I could feel a celebratory dance coming on! At that moment my phone began buzzing with messages – I had randomly picked up signal, just the little pick me up I needed to carry on.
I thought downhill would be a breeze, but the terrain was still challenging, especially with the rain and snow. By the time I reached the lunch spot I was ravenous and achy but the sun was starting to shine.
Another fabulous meal and we were ready to hit the last bit of the trek to our camp for the night. The ground was hard going as we were following the river and it was sodden but I made it ok. My boots not so much….The rubber soles are coming away and I have a lot of holes – they might be off to shoe heaven after this!
Camp for the night is in the middle of a Cally at 3,900m right next to a waterfall. You can’t imagine anything like it.
I am super proud for doing this trek and in quicker than standard time, I had serious doubts. I still have tomorrow to go but the worst is done and a hotel then Machu Picchu awaits!