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South America 2016: Day 05 (Peru 05): Nov 26

Sleep was okay… Started cold then got fairly warm inside the sleeping bag with sweatpants and hoodie. Haha. Woke up a couple of times but I overall, not bad. 

Woken up with coca tea at 4:40, we had 30 minutes to get up, pack our stuff, and start breakfast. Trek to start at 6… Which I think got delayed to around 6:30. Estimated 4 hours to the top! All uphill, steep. Ughhhh. Pretty tough, I hate steps.

I was one of the slowest in our group but made it to the middle point in 1:30hrs where we could buy drinks, use the banõs, take in the view, etc. After half an hour break, at continue up up up to dead woman’s pass. Named by the rock formations, the highest summit of our trek. Another estimated 1:30-2:30hrs.

Hooooooly. I was resting every couple of minutes, out of breathe and thirsty. Steps. Evil. About halfway up, we could see the profile of dead woman’s pass, face pronounced by the nose, the boob and nipple, clasped hands and legs lifted slightly up. Got there right at 10. Yay! We did it! Welcomed with claps. Panting. The summit had a lot of space and a small trek marker that we took a group picture at. Pictures, pictures, my walking sticks got taken by someone else, so I was given another pair… Oh well. 

Next, 2hrs downhill. Which sounds kind of nice, but yikes my knees… I feel so old. The clouds came in and we were walking into a cloud of rain and wind, down steps. Fairly steep steps, seemed steeper than the ones we were walking up. Nothing much to see on the way down, so we headed straight for our lunch spot in between the two passes. 

Lunch, so good, hoping to have a siesta, but it rained. Again. Got our water refills, and after a couple minutes of down, up up up for 2 more hours. Ugh. We could see the trail from our camp, so many many steps. 

Several times, we asked why we were doing this to ourselves. Should’ve just taken the train, haha. About halfway up, we end up some ruins, not too big, but an amazing, amazing view. Pictures do not justify. The fog moved in and out quickly as well. While I was taking pictures, José and Ronaldo explained that it was a watch tower and possibly a religious building. They also showed us how the created ropes and bridges from long grass, very cool. 

Aaaaand keep on going up. Some amazing views. We saw that the ruins we just left had a circular structure and we were able to see dead woman’s pass, it was so damn far. Unbelievable how far we trekked. Breathtaking views with treks that leave you breathless.

Apparently someone saw a monkey on the opposite mountain side, but we couldn’t spot it afterwards. Continuing up! Not too far to this summit, but it got cold fast. 

Down. Hour or so until the next archeological site. Down is so much easier, I’m so grateful that there’s a down. Arriving at the ruins…. 106 steps up, alongside a mountain face. Damnit. 

Temple with a kitchen. Sacrifices. Human volunteers. Hallucinogenics. Highest volcano in Argentina found 3 mummies of children. It was an honor for them… Back down. 

About 30 minutes to the campsite! Mostly Inca flat with some steps down but we eventually reach the site with maybe one rest. Yay! Very cool campsite. So foggy that we can only see the tents and stuff… Little did we know that just beyond was a beautiful landscape of mountains once the fog cleared. Amazing. The stars came out too! Cold. So cold. Jose told us that an older couple actually couldn’t finish and four workers had to go and get them. They take turns piggy backing them back to camp. Luckily they were only half an hour away at the ruins… They talked about the first day being the Inca test. If you are too slow or too tired during the moderate day, how would you ever finish the second? They’ve sent people back before for the safety of everyone, or have sent them hours ahead so that people finish all around the same time… We all actually had a decent pace 😛

Stars. Sleep. Wake up at 5:30, finish the day at 1:30! 

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