Monday, December 29, 2008

Inka Trail Trek Day 2: Up Up Up

Day one found here.

Day two on the Incan trail dawned with beautiful sunshine and an excitement in the air. Leaving the camp, the trail immediately heads straight up for nearly 4000 feet of climbing to the top of the Warmiwanusca Pass (Dead Women's Pass) at 13,700 ft. We ate our delicious warm breakfast and quickly packed up our bags to head out.
The day was sunny and beautiful, much like all of our amazing weather on this trip. Our guide Frank told us to hike at our own pace and that he would catch up to us at the top of the pass. He said we were his fastest hikers to date. The typical climb takes about 5 hours to make up to the top of the pass, but we quickly ate up the distance. On this part of the hike, we past most porter groups who labored under heavy loads as the trail goes straight up in a long unending series of stone laden stairs.



There was still some settlements as well as farming high on the mountain side at nearly 11,000 feet.


Heading up the pass (towards the hump in the middle).


We finally made it to the top in around 3 hours and stopped long enough to give the traditional coca leaf offering to the mountain. From here, we needed to drop another 1200 feet to our camp ground. It was decidedly more chilly at the top of the pass.



As we started down, the rock stairs got very steep and very wet as waterfalls cascaded over the trail. This slowed our group considerably, but not the porters. Train after train of sprinting porters blew by us down the steep wet trail in their little leather sandals as they raced to camp. It was one of the most astounding feats of balance and agility I have ever seen. There were flying so the only thing you could do was just get out of their way.





When we finally rolled into our campsite at 12,500 feet we were all a little tired form the day. Hot tea was waiting for us and our campsite was perched on the side of a mountain with rushing waterfalls directly above us. It was beautiful.



After an amazing lunch followed by dinner a few hours later, we played some more cards and just relaxed. Some interesting Norwegians set up a slack line over a rushing stream and proceeded to impress the entire camp with their abilities. Our cook fixed us this interesting Peruvian drink which was supposed to make us sleep well (after drinking it, warmth took over the whole body) and we all slept early and deep.


1 comment:

DEANNA STOPPLER said...

I LOVE the first photo.