Multi-Trek to Aguas Calientes Part 1
Trip Start Jan 06, 2012
12Trip End Apr 01, 2012
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Where I stayed
At the top of the Andes the van finally stopped and away went the sun and on came the pouring rain. The guides hopped out and started unloading our bikes while we all threw on a few layers, including ponchos.
After meeting back up with Bryan I found out that the rain stopped about 30 minutes into their ride and the temperature got much warmer. I’m not sure how far away from this we were, but at least we did part of it. We ate some lunch and finished our drive in the van to our hostel. Early dinner and early bed time were both a must as we had two days of hiking in front of us before reaching Aguas Calientes.
When we woke up the next morning for breakfast, the weather had drastically improved
We ate our “cheese omelettes” (MAYBE a sprinkle of cheese in these things) and geared up for the hike. I would estimate that my bag weighed about 35 pounds. I had packed a few t-shirts, a hoodie, an alpaca beanie, a regular hat, board shorts, and some boxers and socks. I also had my camera, ipod, laptop (didn’t want to leave this at the hostel in Cuzco for a week), and some first aid/medicine type supplies. Combine that stuff with 2 bottles of water and it’s a decent amount of weight to carry.
We left the breakfast spot and walked for about 40 minutes along a flat road that used to be in the main part of town, which was destroyed in a flood and never rebuilt
As we emerged from the jungle the scenery was truly unreal. We were overlooking long stretches of valley, and winding river with rapids, with the peaks of the Andes as the back drop. To accompany this beautiful scenery, we were cursed with much more difficult terrain, and large drop offs down the mountain to help with Brittany’s fear of heights. There were very steep stairs carved out of the side of the mountain, “bridges” made of tree branches over tributaries to the river, large boulders, and even a metal basket hanging from a braided steel cable to cross the main river
When we finally got to our lunch spot I told our guide that we would be taking the bus/taxi to the hostel and meet with them for dinner once they were finished with the rest of the hike. A little background on this: When we booked the multi-trek the agent assured us that the terrain was very easy, there should be no issue with fear of heights, and if at any time we needed a bus or taxi and couldn’t continue, it could be arranged. Our tour guide told us that this was impossible as we were essentially in the middle of nowhere. The only way to get to the hostel was to continue with the hike, which was much EASIER after lunch. This was another lie, as after lunch the terrain was actually probably more difficult as you are already extremely tired and wobbly (possibly from carrying 50-65 pounds for the first half of the day). The trend of the group getting way ahead and no rest for us continued. At one point we would have lost our way if it weren’t for some other girls in the group being behind as well. They were a decent distance from us, but could see us turn in the wrong direction and began yelling at us.
When we finally finished our hike we were relieved and rewarded by hot springs. These are no ordinary hot springs like in Yellowstone. These were natural hot springs with pools built around them. Very fitting after the physical beating we took all day. After hot springs we took a van to our hostel. It quickly got dark as we approached the hostel and found out that the towns electricity had gone out. Our room was lit with a single candle. Fortunately Bryan and I had quite a few flashlights. We went to our group candlelight dinner and I gladly drank a few shots of Inca Tequilla, a beer, and some rum and pineapple juice concoction that we made before leaving the hostel! After that, SLEEP.