Wake up at 6:45am. I’m happy that all my pictures of Chile finally uploaded to OneDrive (it took more nearly 20 hours).
We eat a copious breakfast, with lots of fruits and also bread with avocado (the last day we usually finish all what we have left in the fridge…).
Our guide comes at 8:30am to pick us up for the Lares trek.
I eventually chose this Lares trek – the Inca Trail was anyway fully booked until November… – since it seems a great alternative option to “reach” the Machu Picchu in a few days rather than directly by train like most tourists. This Lares trek seems a more culturally oriented options, through picturesque Andean villages. It’s not a specific track as such, but a walk along any of a number of different routes through the dramatic Lares Valley. The route wanders through rural Andean farming villages, lush lagoons and river gorges. The mountain scenery is apparently breathtaking, and the highest mountain pass (4,450m) is certainly nothing to sneeze at.
The minibus is super nice with a table and even a tv with a DVD player).
On top of José, our guide, there’s a driver, a cook and an assistant cook. I think we won’t be starving during this 4-day trek.
We first stop at the office of Amazonas Explorer to drop the 4 suitcases that we leave in Cuzco (we’ll get them back in Cuzco next Monday).
We do a quick stop to buy sunscreen. Isabelle is so happy to find all the Eucerin products here in Peru.
We leave in direction of Pisac.
After a scenic drive (1h30) through the Sacred Valley, we stop in Calca. The cook buy some food (bread, avocado, coriander…) and we go in the very local market with José.
We arrive around 11:15am at the departure point of our trek, Totora, at 3,670m.
We start in a narrow canyon; we follow the river. It’s quite a steep climb. Later on, the valley widens and we see many llamas, alpacas and sheep. The sun is present; it’s beautiful.
We have lunch at 1pm after a 1h45 uphill walk, at 4,100m. The minibus preceded us and the guys already set the tents: one for the kitchen, one as a dining room and one for the toilet! The sun disappeared and we are happy to eat inside a tent. We first get a corn soup and then alpaca meat with avocado and semolina.
We leave, in the minibus, at 2:15pm.
After the pass (4,385m), we start walking again, at 2:40pm.
The weather is getting bad; we have a bit of rain. It’s immediately getting colder.
We walk to Maucau (?) – not sure any more about the name –, that we reach at 3:45pm. We see a few dwellings on the road and of course many herds of lama herds. In Maucau, we take the minibus, which is waiting for us.
Today we’ve walked 11km today (5.5km before lunch and 5.5km after).
We arrive in Quishuarani, a small and traditional community, at 4:30pm, at 3.800m. We spend the night here. The tents are set on the football field of the village.