Thursday was a day off from work, so we decided to go for a day hike from Cusco to Lamay! I went with my neighbor Abimael and his friend. They said it may take 4-5 hours…. it turned out to be a 12 hour day! We started off great but an hour in we got caught in the rain. Minor stop and no big deal. I thought maybe we could stop and head home and have a big meal but we moved forward and up!
We passed over one mountain into another valley. They started to question where we were going.. No big deal. We kept going up and over. My heart pounded every time we had to go up! I never got sick from the altitude but going up in the mountains was not an easy task for me. Breath.. take another step… Breath.. Repeat several more times until my heart slowed down.
Being up in the Peruvian mountains is a magical thing. I understand why people from all over the world make this trek. Cusco is a place of finding yourself and for healing. Some people come here to feel the energy of the Incas and to see the amazing empire they built.
I came here by chance. And that’s how my life flows. Seven weeks of exploring a new place and a new culture.
I trust my trek guides. But when you see them point to one more mountain to climb and laugh because they are not sure, I start to wonder how much my legs can take. Let alone how much my heart can take at 11,000 ft to 12,000 ft of elevation. It’s beautiful but my legs were screaming at me!
Finally we got to the top to see where we were. We could see Calca and now knew to switch direction to Lamay! One or two more valleys to cross. One more time going up… I can do it.
Along the way we meet a group from Brazil on a guided tour. But sped by them because light was failing! We had enough time to walk through the ruins but darkness was upon us. We still had to decend down to Lamay which was an hour and a half decent. At this point we only had half a moon to guide us. We were moving fast and I could feel my ears pop as we kept hiking down at lightening pace! Slipping on rocks and dirt, testing equibrium. Along the way not sure which way to go we kept finding short cuts. A man with two horses passed us but with the short cuts, we soon passed him.
One wrong turn… One short cut lead us the wrong way.. The leader of our fast decent stopped suddenly! Looking down 30 feet in front of us was a straight drop down. Ummm.. let’s go the other way!
One more leg of the trip! Finding the fastest cab driver back to Cusco. Mission accomplished!
What could top this 12 hour adventure and one million calories burned?? One big pizza to share!
Go out and explore all accidental places.
“My father says that almost the whole world is asleep. Everybody you know. Everybody you see. Everybody you talk to. He says that only a few people are awake and they live in a state of constant total amazement.” -Joe Versus the Volcano