We were woken early at 5.30am by a porter knocking on our tent asking what type of tea we wanted; normal, camomille or coca. Of course I went for Coca since today we were going to be at the highest altitude for the whole trek.
We were then given a bowl of warm water each so we could wash or bathe our feet.
After a nice breakfast we set off again leaving the porters to clear up and take down camp. Thanks guys!!
The walk today was the hardest although Heidi says she found it the easiest. The reason it was difficult was the steep ascent to Warmihuañusca (Dead Woman’s Pass), which is the highest point on the trek at 4200 metres. I found the last part hard and everyone had to take a short break to catch their breath every ten steps or so. The view from the top was magnificent and as you got to the top the Red Army of porters was there waiting for us with a round of applause as did anyone else who was up there regardless of the group they were with!
At the bottom of the mountain we had a great spot for lunch (already set-up by the porters of course) where we could dip our feet in the freezing river water and sunbathe in the Andean sun.
After lunch was also quite tough as mentally we thought we had done the hardest part so when we had another 3 hours to go weren’t so motivated. Even so we smashed it and managed to get to the campsite well ahead of schedule. “Go super hikers” was Casiano’s favourite cathphrase!
On the hike we passed our second Inca site of the trip: Runkurakay which was an old lookout point or temporary resting place for travellers.
On the way down from the summit towards our campsite we enountered our third Inca site and one of my favourites yet.
Sayacmarca or “Town in a Steep Place” was my favourite yet. We had the whole thing to ourselves and with the mist and cloud completely covering the sorrounding mountains and valleys it felt really mysterious.
The evening was once again very good fun with another nice meal and great banter between the different nationalities.
Unfortunately one member of our group Manju, was finding it difficult. She started the trip feeling unwell and she deteriorated after that. The assistant guide Roger stayed with her throughout and she arrived at camp a few hours after us having been given oxygen and carried by porters for the last part of the day’s hike. This continued for the rest of the trip and consequently she never gelled as part of the team.