29 March 2015

Salkantay Day 3

 We awoke “late” at 6:30am. The day ahead of us was set to be shorter (hiking distance wise). After a night of pouring rain, the rain subsided  and we had a leisurely morning. The camp site we had stayed at, Playa, was beautiful, above a river, lush and green. 

Around 9am we headed off and began our hike. We went through town a bit then picked up part of the Inca Trail. We headed to a plantation. They grew coffee [three varieties], bananas, yucca, coca, corn and more there. We got to pick some coffee beans - the ripe ones are red, then we saw how they were shelled and roasted. We helped grind the beans and then we were served hot, fresh, dark coffee It was fabulous! Up until now we had only had instant.

We headed back on the trail. The landscape quickly changed to jungle. It was hot and humid! The sun was beating down, mosquitos were biting and we were all sweating as we headed uphill. We we hiking, and suddenly our guide Puma stopped us as he heard a noise. A few rocks came flying down the mountain over the path in front of us. We waited and then proceeded. As we started past this point, Puma began to yell “run”! We ran, just barely avoiding falling rock. Charlie and I were the last two, he said he saw a rock heading right towards his head. Scary!

This trip has truly been an adventure! 

Our day continued. It was long and arduous, but we made it to our campside and the view was worth every bit of the journey. The campsite was right on the edge of a cliff, with a panoramic view of the mountains. The four tents just fit and it provides a narrow walkway along the edge. Absolutely spectacular!

We at lunch then left our gear behind as we headed further up hill away from camp. This hike was muddy and slippery. I fell three times and nearly fell a fourth, but it lead us to a view of Machu Picchu. It was our first view of Machu Picchu, from a distance of about 15km, as the crow flies. We had a view of the historic site from a side that most see. Then we headed back to camp.

As night fell, the spectacular view of our campsite became scary, but good spirits and fireflies quickly lightening the mood. Our dinner was, of course, amazing and we learned to play the card game “Wizard”, which Sandra had brought from Germany. Another great day in the Andes. 

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