Hell on a Mountain.

Trip Start Jul 31, 2012
Trip End Aug 31, 2012

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Flag of Peru  ,
Thursday, August 9, 2012

Day 2 of the trek was the hardest day we had to hike 9kms which isn't so bad, but we had to climb about 1200 metres to the top of the mountain to a total height of 4200 metres above sea level and then descend another 600 metres to the camp site.  The hike up was a total of 5 hours of climbing up old Inca stairs, which are not the easiest things to climb, wish the had made tunnels would of made the trek a lot easier.  

We started from the camp site and started to ascend immediately and we had our first experience with Coca leaves, which is meant to combat altitude sickness. You basically grab a bunch of leaves wrap them around a bit of charcoal and chew until your mouth goes numb. Coca leaves is what the use to make cocaine, so there are meant to give you more energy to climb up, not sure if it actually worked or not, but it tasted like shit!  The porters chew these leaves all day which is probably why they run with 25kg on there backs while everyone is struggling.

As we got higher we entered the Cloud Forest, which is where the last bit of vegetation grows at that altitude and is was very beautiful we even saw a deer up there, we managed to have a good look at everything as we where falling behind from the rest of the group, i think it would be fair to say we were the least fittest out of our group.

At the end of the cloud forest we stopped for brunch of popcorn and sandwiches before the final ascent to 4200 metres and for me this was very difficult, not so much the walking but the breathing, we would take 5 steps and your heart feels like it is going to burst out of your chest, but eventually we made it to the top and a quick celebration, we then had to descend.

The descent was 2 hours down small Inca stairs dropping 600 metres in altitude, the descent was easier as we could finally catch our breath we made it to camp about 3 had lunch, a snooze and then dinner, and then settled down for the night which was a very cold night at this higher altitude and got ready for the longest day and a 4.30 start.
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