Thursday, July 14, 2011

Lares Valley Trekking - Day 2 - Cuncani

Alex was definitely sick with the "dad bug." Had a great breakfast of scrambled eggs, sausage, bacon, mushrooms, beans. Oops almost forgot about the yogurt...about the only thing that Persie and Dylan will eat...

We got going on the trail at about 8 and it headed up quickly. In the first 10 minutes we were way above town. The scenery was spectacular and the weather matched the beauty. However, once we started climbing even higher, the clouds seemed to roll in a bit (it seems that the weather is dependent on the jacket that mom is wearing...if she puts on a warm jacket, the sun comes out, and vice versa). We continue to be amazed with locations of some of the houses here...they are perched on cliffs, but when you get close they clearly have some fields and places for animals to roam. Alpaca and dogs were abundant today in the high areas. Alex hung in there even though he was feeling rotten. After a while, we went over a lip and saw a large lake. Alan then pointed out where the pass was and it was a loong way up.

Eventually, we made it to the lake and took a rest. At this point, Alex decided to ride a horse, and it made a big difference! Of course, Persie started to lobby to ride one as well ("it isn't faaaiiir!"). Since we were starting some real uphill, we decided it was ok. The climbing here was difficult, but we just kept going and after a while, we took another break and looked back at the was way below us! We made the final push and the true Dylan finally showed up. He powered ahead of mom and dad and Alan to get to the pass well ahead of us. Alex also got off of his horse and climbed the last bit of the pass. We took a good break, took lots of pictures and finally moved on (side note: the climb took us from 3500 m to 4500 m, a total of 3281 ft of altitude gain! Our final height was 14764 ft!).

The views on the other side of the pass were also excellent...quite a few lakes and waaaay below us, a village. We started down and realized that it was quite muddy for the first part. Jose noted that some other companies got the opposite direction to avoid the road problems that made us get up early but with the mud and the later steepness we we glad we did it this way. We kind of meandered our way down through fields and steep areas with Alan leading and Jose pointing out all sorts of different birds. Unfortunately, after feeling better for a while, Alex started to go down hill again in terms of his stomach. He did a great job hanging in there and always chose the shorter, steeper option when asked. We finally made it to town at about about 1 pm. We lost another 1000m in altitude over this second part of our hike...woah!

The views here were spectacular...definitely my favorite village so far. There was a beautiful waterfall right into town (there was also a really neat one on the way into town) and a nice river running through as well. The sun was out and we had a lovely lunch in this spot. After eating we headed out in the van to our next camping spot, which was about an hour away. We were going to camp on a soccer field in the village of Cucani.

We played some cards (Dylan's amazing joker streak continued), took a quick nap and then played more cards while waiting for dinner. Alex, the chef, made some great meatballs with cheesy potatoes, which was yummy and even had some cake for dessert! Alex, our son, had a very sore throat, so didn't eat much, but hung in as best as he could. He went to sleep right after dinner, as did Persie and Dylan. Mom and dad had a little tea and then knocked off for the night as well. Big hiking day's to everyone feeling well.


  1. My heart and soul have been deeply impacted. I feel as if I have come to a juncture in my very long journey..

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