Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Inca Trail (Day 2)..

Travel Diaries : Oct 5th

Wayllabamba to Pacamayo

Today is the toughest day on the trail. So we leave early. We were advised to hire the services of a porter if we hadn't already. I slept well last night.  The tent was roomy and comfortable.
Breakfast was delicious, especially the pancakes with some fruit layered into them (think it was Mango)
Pretty soon the team was off. The climb was steep.

 The Day's trek begins... Climbing our way up ..

After a good two hours or so we stopped for Brunch. I was famished. Today's climb was mostly uphill.
The little tips given by our guide, like walking zig zag greatly helped. Pacing was of paramount importance. So we did not give ourselves long breaks. Just a couple of minutes to catch our breath and nothing more. We kept climbing higher after lunch. Our destination 'Dead Woman's Pass'  is at 4200 m, the highest we get to on this trail.  We kept pushing ourselves. The last leg was incredibly steep and seemed to go on forever. And after what seemed like an inordinately long period of time we finally reached the top.
 Reaching Dead Woman's Pass
The entrance to the pass was full of trekkers calling our to others nearly there, cheering and clapping as everyone crossed the line.  It was almost festive up there. Who would not want to be celebrate getting to the top, for the toughest part of the trek was supposedly over.  The scorching sun along the way seemed to get stronger as we reached the top. The weather was confusing. It was really hot. But cold winds made sitting in the shade hard. Luckily it did not rain.

 At the Pass.. We were there :)
Once the entire team got here we were told about the history of the pass. The pass apparently gets its name from the way the mountains look - like that of a dead woman lying on her back.
Since we have climbed close to 1000 m today in a span of 7 hours, we were told to watch our for altitude sickness. Rehydration was of paramount importance. A few people in our group were already beginning to feel a little sick.
The entire team
Pictures were taken and it was soon time to head down.
Climbing down is just as hard, maybe even harder..  Knees hurt... Slowly we made progress. It was amazing to see porters run past us with really heavy bags slung over their shoulders. Some of them were just wearing flip flops. Its unimaginable the kind of pace they manage to maintain..
We were told to keep left to avoid accidents.
Climbing down form the pass..
We kept walking.. And we finally reached Paqaymayu (3500 m ,11480 ft).  Lunch was served late.
We were so tired that we headed to our tents for a quick power nap
Sights along the way..

Another round of introductions , this time with the support staff -the cook and the porters. It was amazing listening to their stories. Some of them were as old as 46.   We managed to introduce ourselves with all the Spanish we could muster :)
Dinner followed. No campsite is complete without a session on Ghost stories. The legend of a girl lurking in the woods (who was supposedly murdered) and who drags men out of their tents was told in graphic detail by our guide :). It was a fun night. We were exhausted after the day's walk of 12 kms and wanted to get to bed. So we called it a day early.


1 comment:

  1. Wow!! Meena. You blogs makes the whole trekking seem so simple



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