Peru Adventuring – One More Pass And Lots More Ruins On The Inca Trail

Welcome to Day 16, Part 1, on Peter’s Peru Adventure.  Day 15 can be found here and all previous entries can be found here. To get updates sent to you via email, subscribe here.

IMG_9186 Today’s entry, I’m afraid, has more than a few holes.  As in everything from lunch on lacks proper notes.  The rain was coming down more and I was feeling a bit out of it for some reason, so please forgive this shorter entry.  I’ll try not to make up too much to have it sound exciting (“And then thirty pumas leaped from the hillside and all we had to defend ourselves was Devin’s bright orange poncho and a pack of trailmix.”).

The day starts early again, but with hot tea and washing water brought to our tent, it’s yet another easy start to the day.  It seems Tiffany was listening intently to the conversation Jeff and I were having the night before about blogs, photography and other geeky stuff as she rattled off much of our conversation.  I guess the tent walls aren’t that thick.IMG_9189

Upon sticking my head out of the tent for the first time, I catch a glimpse down the valley in which we sit and a strong inhale of the some of the cleanest air I’ve ever had the pleasure of tasting.  My daughter and I have this thing we do, especially when we travel; we stop and ‘taste the wind’ and today’s wind  tastes fresh of the rain the night before with a musty overnote from the scrub brush all around.

IMG_9208 The walls steepen just 200 yards from our camp to make near vertical walls of the mountains beside us.  I can see the cascading falls above our camp more clearly now as they wash over the darkened stone before ducking back into the protection of the scrub brush and trees all around.   The Pacamayo, or Hidden River, brings a distant rumble while remaining out of site until it reaches the valley below ours, the valley of the Urubamba River. 

 IMG_9220-1 Within 15 minutes though, the scene is gone. Clouds have rushed in from above and below to obscure everything, bringing with them a chill that cuts through my light coat as I head back to my tent for a warmer layer.  Silly me, getting out of the tent without fully layering up.  The weather is ‘nice’ enough that the dinning tent is removed so we can enjoy breakfast outdoors.  It’s a treat as the dinning tent can get a bit dark if there isn’t ample sunlight.  It also affords us a view up the hillside we must climb.  Rene is an experienced guide and unless asked, doesn’t point out the steep steps that will get our legs and heart working in about half an hour.

_MG_6127 Good guides never let on to just how much elevation you will gain on any given day (2620’/800m today) while you’re sitting around enjoying breakfast.  And realistically it doesn’t matter.  We’ll be covering it no matter what as turning back would take just as long at this point.  And the climb up to Runkurakay Pass this morning won’t be as hard as yesterday’s climb to Warmiwañuska so there’s no sense in worrying about it.  And yet, as we pick up our sack lunches for the day, groans can be heard as someone is brave enough to broach the subject of elevation with Rene.  _MG_6121 And yet, he still stays as vague as he can, starting thing in time instead of feet or meters.  Great guides give you reasonable, achievable short goals and he tells us it’s only an hour to the first ruins on the hill.

At this point in my notes I thought it was important enough to write the following, “Hivaminga,         Egg-Cliff, bait for defense”  I haven’t a clue what all those mean or why I left the large space after a word that can’t be found in any language.  IMG_9197 I really took crappy notes this day, I’m sorry.  Anand, if you’re reading, please throw in some of the names you remembered so easily!

Look for Part 2 of Day 16 coming next week!

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