We leave at 8:30am.
The weather is great. The route is superb, with stunning views. We are alone, except the herds of lamas and sheep and their shepherds. The last part of the uphill, to the pass, is quite steep. Jules goes on the “emergency” mule for the very last part of this pass, the Huchayccasa pass, which culminates at 4,450m. We reach it at 11am. It’s the highest pass of the trek. From there, we have stunning views: a chain of emerald blue lakes fills the hillside below us and in the distance rise the snow clad Urubamba mountains.
We see chinchillas, geese and of course many llamas, alpagas and sheep.
We arrive at 1pm at the end of today’s part; we’ve walked 9 km in 4h30. The minibus is waiting for us.
We drive 30′ to our campsite (near the village of Huacahuasi), where we have lunch.
We then go to the Lares hot springs by minibus. During the short (30’) drive, we watch a DVD with ABBA song; kids make fun at the video clips of the time. There are 6 pools, each with a different temperature. We spend most of our time in the biggest pool, at 36°C. We also like the 40°C one but the 44°C is too warm. It’s very relaxing. The weather got cloudy after lunch and it suddenly starts hailing! It’s quite fun to be in a warm pool and receive hails on the head. But our stuff (that we kept near the pool) gets wet. We put our clothes back quickly and return to the campsite. We can’t really warm up since the temperature is very low.
Like yesterday, we are visited by local women selling the hand woven textiles for which the area is famous.
It’s unfortunately too cold for stargazing but we can clearly see the milky way and the constellations that sparkle in the clear Andean sky.