The path followed a river. The country side reminded David and me of Ireland. The homes were made of stone with thatched roofs and surrounded by stone walls. It was very quaint. Everywhere the children came and I continued to hand out colored pencils and stickers.
This picture is the only picture that we have of the summit. David and I didn’t think to have a picture taken of the both of us. We were too busy trying to stay warm and out of the driving sleet….and we paid good money for this adventure!!!!
The rest of the hike was downhill….good news and bad. It was a tad tough on the knees. Lunch was waiting for us by Ipsaykocha Lake, about an hour walk from the summit. Our support team had stayed behind to break-up camp and after an hour and a half of hiking, they passed us on the trail!!!
By the lake, they had set up the cook tent and the dining tent. Lunch was a wonderful corn soup, a vegetable omelet and rice. Very warm and filling.
We continued our hike through gorgeous scenery. The weather changed with the blink of an eye. First we were taking off our layers, then putting them back on. At one point, we were treated to a rainbow. Juan Carlos pointed out 2 caracaras (Andean falcons). The males are black and white. The females are brown and white. We saw two males hunting. Juan Carlos explained that the males always hunt in pairs. Beautiful birds….
Our goal for this day was the village of Patacancha (12,300 ft). As we approached the village, children appeared….the sticker and pencils were passed out. I finally ran out of pencils and we just handed out stickers. Due to stopping to visit with the children, we arrived at our campsite after dark….that was an adventure. One of our support people came to help us. He had a flashlight…as did Juan Carlos…thank goodness! We took a “short cut” that took us down over a very steep incline, which was tricky as it was extremely muddy due to the rainy weather. Finally, at the bottom, we had to cross a bridge….glad we did that in the dark. It was very narrow and lots of spring to it. Upon inspection the next morning, the first part of the bridge was stone and wood, the second half was twigs and mud…with a couple of large holes in it!!!
It was great to be at the campsite. We had hiked 10 miles, from 8 to 6 with a break for lunch. One of the great things about arriving at night, is that the sky was clear, the moon was almost full and we saw the “southern cross” constellation…a first for me.
Dinner was waiting. We had kayhua, which is a member of the squash family. This is a green veggie that is hollow and the cook filled it with a hard boiled egg and other veggies. Our drink was piteado. This was tea, juice of a limon, sugar and a shot of Pisco….a wine from Peru…very potent but welcomed after a day of cold and damp hiking.
More to come…….