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Graham Williams & Louise Jones Travel Blog This is our journal logging our trip through Central and Latin America from July 2005 to the present date. We update it and add new pictures every two to three weeks. At the moment Will is travelling in South Africa, while Lou is living in Buenos Aires.For more background reading on our travels go to - http://journals.worldnomads.com/will/

The Lares Valley Trek.

PERU | Wednesday, 17 May 2006 | Views [4798]

Lakes and Mountains on our descent.

Lakes and Mountains on our descent.

We have just returned from a three day trek that starts in the Sacred Valley, and which is known as the Lares valley trek as it ends in the small town of Lares. As we don’t like doing tours we organized things ourselves and carried our own kit and food for the trip. We started at the small town of Urabamba and our route took us north up a valley called Quebrada Pachaschiuc. The weather at the moment is beautiful, sunny and warm although when the sun goes down, it’s very cold. For the first few hours we walked through cultivated areas before the landscape turned rocky and more mountain like.

On the first day we made camp early and got our dinner together around 5pm (1700) as sunset is around 6pm. As we are still very much in the tropics, night lasts a standard twelve hours, so once the light has gone there is nothing to do apart from get into your bag and try to sleep.

The next day we continued climbing up the valley, passing the very primitive village of Pacchaspata, the last habitation in the valley. The next few hours were hard climbing up through small forests and rough trails. By the afternoon we had reached the ‘bowl’ at the head of the valley. Ahead of us was the pass of Abra Pumannancajasa, 4800 meters high. Two hours of very hard climbing bought us to the top, very cold and windy but with spectacular views. As we now only had one hour of daylight we descended quickly and looked for a campsite, quite a job in such a rocky mountain landscape. We then passed an uncomfortable night as the clear skies make the nights very cold. As it was a full moon and there were no other lights, we were able to see a phenomenon few people do these days, bright moonlight. It is in fact so bright you could read a book by it, and it really is silvery.

Early in the morning we saw they only other trekkers on the trail, two older tourists with their guide. Our descent passed by a series of rocky lakes and we had wonderful views of the snow capped mountain of Nevado Sirihuani. It was obvious from the landscape and the Peruvian map we had that the glacier at the top of the mountain had once covered a much bigger area. This glacier retreat has been a feature of our trip in the Americas, as we have seen how far they have shrunk on mountains from Washington State in the US to the Andes. It really is happening.

The last few hours of our walk were through the lovely Cuncan valley. This is inhabited by Andean people who still wear their traditional dress and who live very basic lives, weaving cloth from their sheep and llamas and growing staples like beans. We arrived in the small town of Lares around mid afternoon and stayed there the night as there is only one minibus a day out. Very much small town Peru, in the one restaurant what they are cooking is what you are having, and everyone is very friendly. The next day took it took two hours driving to get back to the Sacred Valley, through yet more fantastic scenery.

Later this week we will do a two day trek close to Cucso.

Tags: Mountains

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