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Lucille's Adventures in Peru Av. Fatima 820, #703, Trujillo, Peru --- www.perumission.org --- "Not all those who wander are lost." J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings

Lares Trek Day Two -- Are My Toes Supposed to be Touching My Shins

PERU | Friday, 11 January 2008 | Views [903]

After lunch, it was more uphill to our highest pass. . . approximately 4500 meters.  What a view!  It was a good climax to the second day of our hike.  We went all the way to the end of the trail after this.

After lunch, it was more uphill to our highest pass. . . approximately 4500 meters. What a view! It was a good climax to the second day of our hike. We went all the way to the end of the trail after this.

Day Two started out great.   Freddy and I had been discussing going all the way to the end of the trail rather than stopping at the planned camp site for night 2.  I said, let´s see how I feel after going over Ipsayqocha Pass, which is almost 4500 meters.  If I still felt good, then yes, let´s go to the end and on day 3 we´ll walk to Ollantaytambo rather than driving in the van as planned.  So, we discussed that over breakfast.  But let me back up.  I love how GAP wakes you up.  A porter calls, "Bueno Dias Carolyn" and greets me as I unzip my tent with a cup and a choice of teas.  I choose my tea and add sugar or cocoa leaves all from the comfort of my sleeping bag!  Then as I sit and wake up, he brings me a basin of hot water and a bar of soap and paper towels.  Now that is service!  After I get ready and drink my tea, and pack up, I go to the dining tent for breakfast.  Porridge. . . okay I eat a little, but then pancakes!  yummy!  We finish breakfast, make our formal introductions from the team.  I learn that Mario the cook is from Kiswarani.  The head porter and his son and other porter are all from Wakawasi.  They thank me for coming to thier town and villages and I thank them for tending to me and tell them that I am glad to be using local persons.  Then, Freddy and I set off.  We have 18 km to do today if we go to the end of the trail.  We leave Lares and it is all gradual uphill.  We climb and climb and eventually join the trail to Wakawasi like we had originally planned.  It is uphill, but gradual, so not bad.  Not huffing and puffing and dying, but you know you are hiking at altitude and are getting a good hike in.  The children from the villages keep coming up to us as we pass through so there are plenty of breaks.  We also took ur normal morning break for a snack.  GAP provides a snack each day also.  Day one was 2 bananas, oreos, and pineapple hard candies.  Day 2 was an apple, box of peach juice, cheese sandwhich, and a bag of peanuts and raisins.  We stopped by a beautiful field on the outskirts of a village for our snack.  It was a beautiful morning.  We saw some rivers, waterfalls, villages, people, not too hot.  Perfect actually.   Then as we neared lunch time, we were headed away from the villages and towards Ipsayqocha Pass.  You could see the pass where we´d be going.   At one point about 20 mintues or so before we stopped for lunch Freddy looked at me and said, "okay, we go up now."  I was like, are you kidding.  We had just been climbing all morning for 1000 meters!!  From Lares to where we were when he said that we had gained over several hours 1000 meters.  He laughed and said, "well, now it gets steep."  And then I saw what he meant.

Forget trying to do anything but put one foot in front of the other.  Literally it was so steep!  My toes were almost touching my shins.  I didn´t know I had that level of flexibility.  I don´t think I did before the Achilles accident or even during PT.  I kept thinking, Tricia would be so proud of me. . . look at this!  We took it slow and kept climbing, but I still had to stop once or twice to just catch my breath.  But I felt great other than that.  Last time on the Inca Trail at the highest point of 4200 meters, I was so sick.  Naseuous.  couldn´t eat.  miserable!  Like, shoot me now miserable.  This time, I was out of breath and working hard, but I still felt good.  If that makes any sense.  Anyway, we made it to the top and there was my entourage preparing lunch by a beautiful lagoon.  And they had set up the toliet tent.  I am telling you this was top notch hiking!

I got there and we took a picture of me by the lagoon.  It is funny because I am in short sleeves and then we sat and rested while we waited on lunch and it didn´t take long to get all my clothes on, fleece, coat, hat, gloves, you name it, I put it on.  We had checha, a corn drink, but it wasn´t alcoholic.  It was made from negro maize and looked like purple koolaid.  It was pretty tasty.  Freddy had a cheese sandwhich while we waited, but I held out for the real deal.  They feed you so much I knew to wait and just eat lunch.  While we were waiting I saw the porter grab some chicken and a green bucket and head to the lake.  I almost laughed outloud, but just got the picture.  I loved it!

Lunch was really good and I was starving, which was a good sign!  Altitude sickness takes away your appetite.  We had noodle soup wiht veggis.  The chicken was our main dish wiht mashed potatoes and maccaroni.  It was delicious as always.  After lunch we continued up the last 300 or 400 meters to Ispayqocha Pass.  It was similar to the hike up to the lunch spot.  We got to the top and took a few pictures.  This was the highest I had trekked or even been I think.  It was pretty and I felt great so we headed out to go to the end of the trail, Patakancha.

After the pass, it started raining on us and we had to gear up, rain pants, poncho, etc.  But it wasn´t too bad.  And it still didn´t deter the village children from visiting us!  We passed several beautiful lagoons and mountains.  Even with the rain, it was a beautiful day!  And it did quit before we got to Patakancha.  In Patakancha, we camped in someone´s backyard basically.  Freddy said they didn´t mind.  They worked for GAP also.  It was a beautiful spot by the river and some gorgeous Eucalyptus (spelling is probably wrong I know) trees.  We got in and I took some pictures.  Total trekking Day 2 was 8 hours and 12 minutes for 18 km.

While we were hiking, I asked Freddy if he did this often, go ahead to the end and then do more day 3 when he had small groups.  He said this was a first.  I think he figured out I am a fast hiker as long as it isn´t all uphill and he knew we could do it.  Mario made a similar comment that night at dinner.  He asked about my day and I was telling him good hiking, etc.  He "Si.  Muy Rapido." and smiled. 

Tea time on this second night was my favorite.  Crackers with butter and jam and then. . . fried wontons with cheese.  These are soooo good!  I probably ate half the basket!  Patakancha is at about 3600 meters (versus the 4200 of our original plan) and I am so glad to be lower becuase it is still cold!  We discuss it over tea time and what I have to sleep in.  Freddy says he will get me a blanket also for tonight.

Dinner was fabulous.  VEggie soup.  Pasta with a white mushroom sauce and red and yellow peppers, bread.  Then dessert was chocolate pudding that really was more like a thick chocolate sauce, but oh so good!  I got them to fill up my Nalgene with hot water and I headed to bed.  Here is how I slept.  Inside my tent i had a thin pad, then on top of that a real Thermarest.  Then my sleeping bag. I put my shirt and pants that I was going to wear tomorrow in the sleeping bag so they would be warm.  Then I got in the silk liner and got on top of my clothes.  I had on long johns, wool socks, and my fleece inside the liner.  Then I had my coat over my legs and also my nalgene was down by my feet in the liner working like a hot water bottle.  Then over all of this, I had on hat and gloves and put this warm wool blanket Freddy had given me on top of it all.  I was like a pig in a blanket all toasty warm!  Slept like a dream!  What a great day!  No altitude sickness.  Good hiking. Good food.  Good people.  Great views even with a little rain.  And still more to come for tomorrow!  I thanked the Good Lord for a wonderful day and fell fast asleep!

Tags: The Great Outdoors

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