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  • Day102

    Salkantay Trek, Peru - Day 2

    July 24, 2016 in Peru ⋅ ☀️ 20 °C

    At about 5.30am, the porters woke us up with a cup of hot coca tea. My tent buddy also struggled to get a good night’s rest and we were both groggy and tired. Once we got out of our tent and saw the glacier peaks and cloud forest, we were re-invigorated. By this time, we had grown to expect nothing less than amazing from our meals. The chef did not disappoint with breakfast.

    Today was all about the downhill climb. Slowly but surely, the Salkantay glacier peaks disappeared behind us and we were enveloped in lush, green cloud forest. There were birds and flowers to see. After what seemed like an eternity of trekking, we came across a very small local village. A tarp was laid out on the grass at the end of the village where we could relax before lunch. We would have had the option to enjoy a thermal bath but it was destroyed in a landslide back in March this year.

    We were given the option of hiking after lunch for another 6 hours to get to our campsite, or hiking for 3 hours and taking the bus to the campsite. We chose the latter as parts of the trek were also damaged by the landslide and we would have had to trek along the bus road anyway. And who were we kidding – our feet were really sore from already hiking more than 20km in less than 2 days.

    By now, we were trekking in a different micro-climate: it was warm and rather humid in some areas. The ground was sometimes moist which suited me just fine as I had already slipped on loose dry soil earlier in the day. We passed by cows lying in the sun and wondered how on earth they got there. The only way was on the walking path we were on and it seemed too narrow and steep in some parts.

    We crossed some bridges that were questionable at best. From afar, they looked like they were made of hay. Up close, they didn’t look any better. Just don’t look down, I told myself. To get to the bus pick-up point, we had to cross a final bridge to get to the road on the other side of the valley. We survived that but were met with an intense uphill climb for the next 15 minutes. It was hard going and pretty hairy.

    We were early. The bus wasn’t there yet. There was only a ute parked on the roadside. The guide started talking to the driver whom he must have recognised. Afterwards, he told us to get in the ute as they could not find a bus on a Sunday. Let’s see, there were 8 of us plus the guide and the driver, which makes 10 people in total. It was a dual cab ute which technically could fit 5, maybe 6 people. But when in Peru, you pile everyone else in the tray! I was one of the 5 in the tray for the hour-long bumpy journey but it was all giggles. It reminded me of being back in Indonesia where sitting in the back of a ute was an adventure for us kids.

    We spent the night at a local coffee farm. There were other campers that had also set up their tents. The best part of this campsite was that there was hot shower! We stayed up for a little bit playing cards so our food could digest better this time. The night was cool but unlike the previous night. This time it was very pleasant to sleep in and we all slept like babies through the night.
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