I could summarise every single minute of this trek because it totally blew us away but I think it would be nicer to show some highlights actually. I could write about the trek for hours because it exceeded both our expectations and I think we crossed over some mental barriers on this historic trek. I think there was a little nervousness about how we would go climbing in altitude for hours on end every day but to our credit, and in true Aussie spirit, we just powered on through and didn’t think about it and JUST DID IT!
I bought new hiking shoes and tried hard to wear them in before the trip but they were really giving me a bad Achilles pain and it was getting worse every day so I had to make the decision to either be more sure footed but have an Achilles pain OR more comfy but unstable in the running shoes – I went with the running sneakers and unstable hehehe. It turned out ok actually. I mean my feet have never been so sore in my life and it felt like I was walking bare foot and the rocks felt like they were piercing my skin at times BUT I made it and I think I made the right choice. I am glad I purchased some thick alpaca socks as they were my saviour – so warm and comfortable and helped my feet not move around so much in my runners.
Karina was a real soldier and we just powered on through the whole trip (4 days/ 3 nights) – some days walking 25km’s in one day to heights of 4650mtrs and back down again. I am so glad we hired walking sticks. Without them my balance and stability would be all over the place. I have never used them before but if I go trekking like this again I am definitely getting some. Sometimes the track was so bad you had to use all of your arm strength to lift yourself up using the sticks. Karina and I were lucky in that essentially we had a private tour although we didn’t request one – it just turned out that way so had our own chef, tour guide, and horseman. Lenin, our guide, knew everything about the trek, animals, food along the way in the trees and was a really great guy – we were lucky to score him to be honest. He was a mountain goat too – he could descend down those hills and be gone around the corner before you knew it. I brought my iphone with me to check altitude along the way (I have a pretty accurate app on it) and we tested him a lot – He was within 50meters every time I asked him – amazing.
At one stage of the trek – the 2nd day – it was supposed to be 9 hours and Karina and I said lets do heads down bums up and kill it – that we did and completed the day in 6 hours. Lenin said no one has done it that quickly before – we just said to him that he says that to everyone hehehe. I have been doing some reading and apparently Peruvians have raised/bread guinea pigs for consumption for many years and it’s a Peruvian delicacy. They just raise them to run around the home and just take one when a visitor comes or when wanting to cook one up. The opportunity arose when we stopped at a campsite in this farmers lodge on the trek. I asked Lenin if we could buy a couple off her and Lenin said no probs. Lenin and I bargained with a local farmer to buy two of her guinea pigs and I asked our chef Amancio (aka ‘amazing’ as he calls himself) cooked them up for us. I asked Amancio to join us and we all ate together which was great – I bought a few beers and it was a good meal. It was actually really nice – a bit gamey but nice. Warning – if you’re a vego – there is a picture of that down below – Sorry Hayley and Sez – just skip past them.
–Summing up – it was totally surreal experience and a lifetime full of great memories that we will never forget I know that for sure
Insert random story that was the joke oft he Trek –
The skunk – At points along the trip our guide Lenin could smell certain animals in the area or their nests etc and at one point he asked me if I smelled a certain smell – he said there was a skunk in the area – I then said I do smell it and I like that animal earthy smells to which Karina bent over with laughter and couldn’t walk anymore because she just let a ‘silent but deadly’ one rip – Yeah – a skunk alright…..
Ok – enough about the enjoyment and struggle – onto the photos….
We hiked through many rivers on crossed many rickety bridges
Camped in small villages
Had one of the best tour guides who was a local, cared about what he taught, considerate and easy going, very knowledgeable of all the plants, animals and history of everywhere we went
Had the best Chef (Amancio) who cooked up 3 course meals for every meal and they were all tasty and plentiful
Climbed to heights of 4650ish meters (Salkantay Mountain)
Ate wild strawberries
Lenin our guide and I bargained with a local farmer to buy two of her guinea pigs and the chef cooked them up for us (Peruvian delicacy)
Walked over all sorts or terrain and switchbacks
Lenin our tuir guide taught us all the local wildlife and plants – made tattoos with plants and learned a lot about south American nature – snake, dogs, bugs, pigs, fish
Went ziplining in the middle of the forrest – so many meters up high and 1km long – totally wild
– First zipline in Peru
– 6 ziplines
– Longest is 400mtrs
– Highest 150mtrs
It all ended at Machu Picchu with another small climb and even more views that were better than a postcard
The Andes were breathtaking and I know we won’t forget them in a hurry – having a great guide followed by a talented and private entourage made it even that more special and it will be hard to top this that’s for sure. Truely amazing and unforgettable.
All photos above (AND MORE) in slideshow below
Check out my zipline vid
All photos above AND MORE