My beautiful Santa Cruz Trek through the Andes

Trip Start Jun 27, 2008
Trip End Ongoing

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Friday, November 21, 2008

HUARAZ: I just got back from the most spectacular 4 day hike through the Andes and I am so tired and worse than that... I am SMELLY!!! We camped every night in the mountains- so that meant no showers... and the long hikes meant sweaty and stinky bodies!!!

One person in our group took a quick rinse in one of the ice cold rivers, I couldn't believe it because the water was sooooo cold. I opted to stay nice and dry but stinky, as did the others in our group! I still think I made the right choice, although the person sitting next to me on the return bus ride may not have agreed.

Every morning we had to start trekking by 8am which meant that we had to get up by 7am... which doesn't seem like it should be a problem- but when we were camping above 4000 meters that means it is mighty cold once the sun goes down in the evening- and trying to get out of a warm and toasty sleeping bag when it is icy cold outside is TOUGH!!! I had never felt more like a snug, bug in a rug in all of my life. The worst thing was putting on FREEZING clothes... I would hop around like a crazy person until my body temperature warmed up what I was wearing. I "wised" up the second night and placed my clothes for the following morning inside my sleeping bag to keep warm... it helped... a tiny bit!

The trail we followed was Pre-Incan! It was a lot of fun for me to think about all of the people that must have walked along that same road years and years ago. We walked between 5-8 hours per day and that meant I had a lot of time to ponder what life was like for those pre-Incan people... as well as what life is like right now for the handful of farmers that we passed along the trail. There are NO proper roads leading to these rural areas, which means that donkeys are the most common mode of assisted transportation... meaning that the donkeys were pack animals, carrying anything that was needed- but I never saw anyone riding one... everyone walked- even the elderly people. I had to wonder what happens when someone gets sick, perhaps sprains an ankle or breaks a leg???

This trek was one of the most spectacular things that I have done on this trip... the views were out of this world and there were so many moments that I couldn't believe the beauty that surrounded me. I sit here writing this blog and am still taken aback at the sheer splendor of this big wide world. Mother Earth is miraculous and this world takes my breath away.
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