Tuesday 5 july Morning
Woken at 6 with a cup of hot coca mate tea and a basin of hot water. Packed sleeping bag and thermorest ready for the porters, and, breakfasted at 8.
Seemed like a fairly easy start. Beautiful. Mountains. Mountains. Rugged, bare and hard against the skyline.
We always tried to wait in the sun. Out of it could be quite cool.
(L to R: Gail, Jodie, Sam, Christina and Alyssa. Disnada’s R arm and a barely visible Ruth behind Jodie).
Hard. Hard. Up, up, up. Always with porters passing us from behind. Heading upwards in a constant line towards the top.
Many rests but inexorably up and up. Stone steps. Stones. Hard when the stairs got close and high..
But warm and pleasant. Bright sunshine.
(L to R: Alyssa, Christina, Disnada)
Giving way to porters provided a welcome breather, albeit brief! The track snaked on and ever further upwards.
Far down below us we could see llamas grazing in a paddock with a pennate system of drainage channels.
At times the landscape was incredible. Lunar? Poured lava, ancient and not always worn down much.
Gail getting a helping hand with her water bottle from Sam as we waited for the others.
(L to R: Jodie, Sam, Ruth)
A few spits and it briefly seemed as though it may rain so we all pulled our rain gear out. Well, after celebrating our arrival at the top! Yes, 4,215m above sea level. Oxygen is a bit low up there. This thankfully was our highest point in the walk.
At the top!
If you can’t imagine how steep it was, look down behind Sam on the cusp of the top of the stairs. The track is visible way back down behind her. Or at least, the people coming up are.
Behind Jodie another ‘walker’ using all their hands and feet is just visible.
Christina sensibly shifted around the corner out of the freezing wind at the marker.
And then all 9 of us were at the top and dressed in our warm gear. Our next task was to be heading down behind where we were standing to celebrate.
(L to R: Jodie, Val, Ruth, Alyssa, Christina, Gail, Alyssa, Jani, Sam.)
Downhill straight after and we had to remove all our warm and wet weather gear. Yes. Two hours down to our camp at Pacaymayo, arriving at 4.30 after the many hours uphill since our 8am start.
Great getting a prepared campsite where all you have to do is to unpack your gear, change, snack and then eat again at dinner time. A basin of warm water is brought as you change, as in the morning.
This trip is well run and we are getting what we paid for: good quality food so far (wasn’t as good later), great guide, and our gear carried.
Disnada, the unflappable!
Looking out from in the tent after a very good day. A cool night again.