“You must go on adventures to find out where you truly belong”. – Sue Fitzmaurice.
Distance covered: 12Km with a starting elevation of 11.5K’, and highest elevation of ~14K’ , campsite located at ~12.5K’
Waking up to a terrible sore throat right before my adventure started, wasn’t exactly how I pictured to start my 5-day hike. Being an active hiker myself, never imagined altitude to hit me so bad. Braving through it all, even if it meant telling myself a million times that I could do it all when altitude sickness took a toll on my body, first day was sure AF challenging in many ways. I just knew one thing I couldn’t give up, not today, not in the next five days, no matter the boundaries I had to push. It’s amazing how much your mind can control your body. When you finally make it to these stunning views of snow clad mountains, turquoise lakes, serene trails, you just know it was all worth it. One of the highlights of the first day was definitely breathtaking views of Humantay lake, and of course the amazing glass-topped sky camps to stay the bone chilling cold night in.
Distance covered: ~24 Km with a highest elevation of ~15,200′
Sore throat turning into a full blown cold and flu and getting outta bed was a real struggle from the coldest night (~25F with no heat). You know you have a mammoth of a task ahead of you, majestic yet so beautiful, scary and yet a single sight of it to soothes your soul, my heart debated between trying to man the ef up and go for it (being the hardest day of the trek reaching the highest elevation and even colder peak) and being mindful and taking it lightly since I had to survive the next few days after day 2. The pictures don’t do justice to showcase the glee in my eyes reaching Salkantay pass and then descending straight for 6 hours to get to campsite was ecstatic although no fun to my knees. FWIW, this was warmer(~35F) than the first night of the trek. Taking shelter for the night in those Andean huts, I realized I belonged right there right then in the midst of mountains. Peaceful in every direction possible.
Day 3&4 /5
Distance covered: ~42 Km (highlights: Steep ascents, Long descents, walking In the Amazon rain forest, alongside train tracks and not to forget – jelly knees) ‘One step at a time’ had become the motto over the last 2 days. Thanks to @mtnmindset . Amidst all the chaos, surprises and muscle aches, the terrain had changed gradually from snow clad mountains to Amazon rain forest. The days were definitely breath of fresh air(although relatively longer days) walking through the Amazons, spotting flora and fauna. Didn’t realize when strangers turned into buddies turned into each other’s support system. Rocky trails, thick bushes, train tracks, walked it all. Gratitude and warmth my heart felt, happiness and excitement I couldn’t control within for the next day! I was a happy baby going to bed just thinking, in no time I’d be seeing the treasure I trekked all this far for! .
The day that completed hiking ~80km through the Peruvian mountains, standing there soaked up in silence, overwhelmed, speechless all at once to witness this magical view thinking it’s finally worth every single sore muscle. Honestly the only sweet pain I’ll ever want to endure. Memories that stay closest to my heart for the longest of times!