A short bus journey from Cusco through Calca and Pisac gave us the chance to observe the magnificent views of the surrounding landscapes including the highest pass that we reached Hualcapunku at 4400 meters. From this point you could also see the beautiful snow capped mountain of Ausangate 6370 meters the highest in Cusco. An excellent lunch all set up by the porters was followed by a long walk to Lares. On arrival at Lares the Porters carrying most of our bags and all the camping equipment had raced past our group got to the camp site set everything up and begun cooking. Watching the porters achieve this is an amazing site and shows you how hard they work for not a lot of money. Lares was our highest campsite and the temperature very quickly dropped to well below freezing. With the temperature as it was we all quickly tried to keep warm in our tents and looked forward to the morning. After an in different nights sleep we were woken up by the porters with a cup of tea in an effort to warm us up. We then went to visit a traditional home an excellent opportunity to observe their local customs and to be able to see how different our lifestyles are to there way of living.
This was the hardest days walk as we were going up hill for most of the day with the added problem of being at altitude this made for a very challenging day. However, the stunning scenery made up for it with great views of the Cordillera Vilconota and a number of lakes. By the end of the day I was exhausted but was made to feel very unfit by our 10 year old horseman, Ilisades that had followed us all day with a horse and he had not been out of breath all day. The temperature was a little warmer at this campsite but we were all very relieved to be inside our warm tents but again Ilisades slept outside with just one blanket over him.
Woken up early again by the porters our last chance to say a massive thank you to them as they would no longer be walking with us. After this we had a half days walk along thankfully flat land to Ollantaytambo before taking the train to Aguas Calientes where we would enjoy staying in a Hostel. There was also an amazing Hot Spring that was very useful for our aching muscles. That night we enjoyed a few drinks in preparation for our visit to Machupicchu with our group that was about 15 in total.
A short bus ride took us form Aguas Calientes to Machupicchu arriving at 0600 where we had hoped to watch the sunrise, however, unfortunately there was a lot of cloud cover and we could not see a lot. This cloud cover quickly disappeared to leave the most mesmorising sight I have ever seen and one that words or pictures can not give a full appreciation for. After a tour around the site I decided to climb Huayna Picchu which is the biggest mountain in the background of Machupicchu. This was worthwhile for amazing views of the site but it was a very hard climb and just as hard coming back down. Rather than walk all the way back we took the train form Aguas Calientes to Cusco.
As you will see from the pictures it was an unforgettable experience and well worth the hike. The last couple of days have been spent resting and enjoying the great town of Cusco.
Hope you are all well.