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Salkantay - Day 2: The Ascent

Mollepata, Peru


Last night was interesting. It became frigidly cold, even with sleeping and a full set of clothing on. To catch any more than an hour or two of consecutive sleep without waking up shivering or uncofortable was an accomplishment. I think I ended up taking a series of 5 power naps throughout the night, which would have to be sufficient.

5am wake up - to coca tea served at our tent. Very nice. We braved the cold and wind and made our way to the breakfast tent. After a nice breakfast of eggs and toast we set off for the most difficult part of our trek - the ascent to Salkantay pass. For the next 3-4hrs the hike was basically all uphill, but the scenery was still gorgeous.

Our group consists of 8 people - a group of 4 Brits and a couple from Canada - everyone in their 20s. Our guide taught us how to chew Coca leaves to help with altitude sickness and give us energy. We were hiking through a rocky valley, and on our way up we passed a lake. Finally we reached Salkantay pass - at 4700m (over 15,000ft). This is as far up as we'd go. Our guide said noone had ever reached the summit of Salkantay - one Japanese man had tried years ago and died. The views were breathtaking and we took some group photos. Then we continued on - the next part of the treak would be all flat or downhill. We started descending through a rocky canyon between large mountains, and after a lunch, we continued down into the tropical cloud forest. The change in climate, from snowcap mountains, to rocky grassland, to lush tropical forest was amazing - and the transition occurred within only an hour or two.
We continued on until reaching our campsite for the night. We are at lower altitudes now here in the forest - so thankfully the temperatures are much milder. This should hopefully make for a better night of sleep. Also I've never seen such an amazing look at the stars in the night sky - literally thousands crystal clear. That's all for now. Goodnight.

Note about pictures: I´m still trying to find a fast internet connection that will let me upload pictures to the blog without taking forrrrrever. Hopefully I´ll find one by tomorrow. Until then, I´ll just be posting text...


permalink written by  bhkann on August 9, 2010 from Mollepata, Peru
from the travel blog: Peru 2010
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Previous: Trekking in the Andes - Salkantay: Day 1 Next: Salkantay - Day 3: Jungle walking

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