Lares Trek day 1

Trip Start Aug 01, 2008
Trip End Aug 16, 2008

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Monday, August 4, 2008

Hi Everyone,

     I have no internet access for the last 3 days during my hike now I just arrived a Ollantaytambo and found this cute internet cafe. Let me update you about my hike....

     August 4 morning I woke up around 6 am had a quick breakfast before I head out for my 4 days Lares Hike. Most people who came to Machu Picchu do the Inca Trail but since it was so popular, all the spots were take 6 months in advance. So I am doing an alternate hike. In addition to myself, my guide also picked up two other girls who are also on the same trek. This is good because now I have companion !!!  The girls are called Selena and Wendy and they are from England and New Zeland. After the guide and drive stuff our luggages into the back of the trunk, we are off the the village of Lares where our hike starts. Lares is famous for the locals for its mineral hot baths. The ride took us throughout the mountainous regions with frequent turns and bumps. It took about 2 and half hours to get there. After entering the bath area, we had some free time to relax and enjoy the bath. I didnīt go in due to the fact that it was crowded and the water was quite brown. Our porter/cook prepared us lunch from scratch using the ingredients they brought and camp stove !!!! Ahh  a lesson learned for my camping trip on Labor day.

    After lunch, the guide Edgar took us hiking up the trail to our night camping site of Wakawasi while the porter used the horses to carry our luggages and bags up hill. Thank goodness !!! Lares has the altitide of 10500 feet and our campsite Wakawasi has 12460 feet. That is HIGH !!!  Good thing is I am already quite acclimatized at Cusco for two days plus I took my Acetazolamide pills to help out. The up hill trek was quite strenous full of dirt/rocks/pebbles and some grassy area. Thanks to Zack, David and Julieīs training on our usual Sunday hikes, I am doing this quite well. The other two girls were huffing and puffing along the way.  We ended up walking 3 hours ascend aboutt 2000 feet more until we arrived at the campsite.

    By the time we arrived, the porter/cook already set up our tent and had dinner ready. We had some typical Peruvian dishes include Tea, pop corn, vegetable noodle soup and lomo saltado ( almost like Chinese stir fry except the beef was substituded for Alpaca meat). The sunset happened around 6 pm and as soon as it happens, it was PITCH BLACK. You canīt see nothing, so we are force to go to bed at 6 pm.  Camping out in high altitude is completely different than camping near sea level due to huge difference in temperature. The night I believe the tempertures was in the 10īs F. Super cold. I practically went to be in my jacket, 2 sweaters, 2 pants, and 2 pairs of socks but I still nearly froze. I was very cloudy initially but overnight the clouds lifted and I can see millions of stars in the sky, something I can never see at home due to pollution. It was a rough night  that I woke up every few hours from the people chatting and dog barking. Going to the bathroom was a different problem because the nearest  outhouse was at least 200 meters away and in the dark I can easily trip over the rought terrain. So I just went near the campsite. As for brushing teeth, I just used my bottle water. Shower, forget it.
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