Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Lares Valley Trekking - Day 1 - Quisuarani

We left three bags at the hotel as we will be returning in a little less than a week and eventually found someone to let us out of the building at about 4:20. The issue was that we needed to get to the Lares road before 6, as it was going to close then until 5 pm. We had our crew...Gilmar (driver), Alex (cook), Alan (guide), and Jose (also a guide). We will also have an undetermined number of handlers for the mules that will be there in case we struggle. The ride was fine, outside of the fact that dad had to fight to not throw up the whole way. We had a breakfast of bread, cheese, and tea on the roadside at the trailhead and then got started at about 7 am for what was supposed to be a four to five hour hike.

Dad felt a little better as he hiked, but the real key was the views...they were spectacular! There were snow capped mountains surround the valley through which we hiked. Our pace was faster than the guides expected and we did the hike in about three hours. We had so much time left over that we even drove up to a 4200m (13,800 ft) pass and then hiked down from there to our lunch spot, which was all set up by Alex and Gilmar. This was a point of apprehension for the kids, but it turned out to be great...boiled veggies and chicken, plainly done. Dad rested in the car as his stomach was still bad and could here the happiness emanating from the tent. As a side note...the kids did a great job of hiking today...Persie did ride a horse for a while, but mostly because she wanted to as opposed to being tired. Also, the horse handler, Marcelino, was amazing...when we left lunch, he and his horse ran all the way back...we expect to see them again in the morning.

Dad started to feel a little better on the drive from lunch to our campsite in the small village of Quisuarani, even eating a few saltines. The ride was fun as we were going over some crazy roads in the mountains (see the video below).

The crew (with help from Alex and Persie) quickly set up our camp, and dad jumped in the tent for a nap. Mom and the kids played some May I and then headed in for nap as well. When we got up (with warm water outside our tents to wash hands!), dad was feeling a little better and even had a snack. Dylan bought a hat from some local women, and there was more card playing before dinner.

Dinner was local cusquenian trout...yum yum! Persie had an omelette which she also liked. Desert was raw eggs (actually canned peaches for everyone except mom). We were off to bed quickly after fact we were in our tents by 7:30. It was cold!

While dad was feeling better and slept like a log, Alex had a tough night. He had the shivers at dinner and then in bed as well. His stomach also felt bad so he slept poorly. We decided in the morning that he had come down with the same bug that dad had the day before....bummer. Dylan didn't sleep well either, but Persie did.

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