The Perilous Road to Choquequirao
Trip Start Sep 16, 2002
19Trip End May 31, 2004
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We arrived in Cachora, the closest village to the ruins. From here we would walk the 28km through spectacular mountains and clouds. We decided not to do it with a tour operator as they were so expensive, charging us $150 each
The next morning we awoke into a world of white wispy cloud rising like steam off the bulging greeness of the surrounding mountains. And what better way to start the day than to discover the mule had decided to sneak back to the village during breakfast! Was there something it knew that we didnīt? Not a good sign. And so David raced off after it and within 20 minutes the dejected animal was back with us .... and we were on our merry way. To keep our spirits high we sang uplifting songs such as "Help" and "Weīre on a road to nowhere". Descending through the chilly mountain air on a path which at times would suddenly fall away on one side, offering stunning views of plummeting drops you might want to fall down should you decide to take a few steps off the trail
As we crossed the bridge you could not help but admire the mighty crashing waves of the Apurimac river ..."The Great Speaker". The ascent started slowly moving over the hot winding path. And as we began rising above the river so did the temperature. Six hours walking up a hill is a long time, and with an over zealous sun it was not far from unbearable. Just before we left the river other hikers were commenting on how this was the "toughest hike i have done". Poor Anjil - this was his first! Anyway why was he complaining, it was character building. It was difficult to appreciate any vistas during this period of duress. All you could think of was making it to the next tree before you were frazzled. And every time we made it to what we thought was the summit ...... another summit appeared. Eventually we made it to the top and in the distance we caught our first glimpse of Choquequirao. We would have to wait until the following day to see it in all its glimpse.
It was a relief to wake up alive the next day
The next morning we noticed the mule had blood on its neck. Vampire bats had been out during the night. Probably why he was so determined to sneak home on the first day. And then the rain started. In the distance rumblings could be heard ... the rock falls had begun ... it was time to leave. Luckily the return journey was pretty uneventful. Any dangers seemed to be a comfortable distance away. Although the mule which was now carrying Anjil would occasionally walk on the edge to give him stunning but dangerous views of the river below. And so we made it back to Cachora without a scratch. An arduous but fantastic journey to a seldom visited Inca site