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Salkantay trek to Macchu Picchu

PERU | Thursday, 10 October 2013 | Views [492]

We left Cuzco at 5am to join the trek to Macchu Picchu.  Starting at Sayllapata (altitude 3300m), we climbed to Soraypampa (3700m) to set up camp.  I was so nervous I'd be the most unfit and not cope with the altitude, but luckily Damian and I were usually at the front (for the first day).  Damian was at the front for the whole trip, I can't say the same for me!  After a late lunch we then climbed to a glacier lake at 4200m.  This was quite steep, so I fell back to 4th place (total of 8).  The South Africans and Brazillians struggled with the altitude a bit more, but the French (aged 66 and 58) were not phased in the slightest.  The lake was stunning, with the mountain glacier feeding straight into it.  Very cold night!

Day 2 was to the peak of Paso, at 4600m, then a killer 3 hours downhill (total 10 hours walking!).  We passed the Salkantay Mountain, at 6271m which was brilliant.  We camped at 2800m, which was much warmer but there was only a very cold shower.

Day 3 was heading into the high jungle, but we only did 3 hours of walking, which was disappointing (it's amazing how quick you get used to it).  The guide changed the route so the afternoon could be at thermal baths.  Damian and I didn't bother, as there were loads of mosquitos and a bit grim, but the others went for it.  The French arrived back covered in bites (legs swollen and bleeding) and the Brazillians went to the local clinic, as Pedro had a reaction, passed out, then 'purged'!  The room they were put in also had chickens and a dog, so not the best hygiene standards. 

Day 4 was just us and the French, as the South Africans left early for Macchu Pichu and the Brazillians took a short cut via zip-wire.  This day was amazing, as we climbed back up hill one one for the original Inca Paths from Lucmabamba to Llacapata, then downhill to the Hidro Electrica.  Stunning Cloud Forest with loads of flowers and butterflies.  We washed in the waterfall at the bottom and went on to Aguas Calientes by the vista-dome train.  Brilliant night's sleep in the hotel and on to Macchu Picchu.

Day 5 was a bit annoying, as they messed up our train tickets home, so after waiting around and sending shirty emails we eventually got them at lunch and went on to Macchu Pichu.  Brilliant time to go in the late afternoon as most people had been there since 5am and were leaving.  It was pretty quiet from 1 - 4pm when we left so we climbed all over it and then headed back for the vista-dome train (unfortunately in the dark) back to Cusco.  The train ride back included a clown and fashion show with the very serious looking stewards dressed up for us.  They looked very embarassed at first, but once the wolf whistelling started (by the Austrailians) everyone had a great time.  The clothes were really nice and not that expensive, so gutted I couldn't buy anything (absolutely NO space in the rucksack).

We caught up with our sleep in Cusco for 2 days, then on to Bolivia.  Spoilt ourselves with English food at Cuzco's Cross Keys Pub (only English pub in Ecuador and Peru we have found - although we haven't been looking until now), fantastic Ploughmans lunch with Stilton and Brilliant Curry House in the evening!  Expensive, but the best food we have eaten in Peru!



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