Thursday 30 August 2012

And so we begin

Early start as we are getting minibuses to the sacred valley where we start our trek.  It is very hard to explain how the reduced oxygen affects everyone and even the simple tasks are very difficult.  The Sacred Valley is up even higher then the 3500metres of Cusco, approximately 4 times the height of Goatfell, and it is not long before we have a bus load of  headaches and dizziness.  An ideal way to stat a long day!

We have a brief warm up then head off up the hills.  Maximum height today was 4200m.  The terrain was very rough and very desolate in places. Bizarrely there would be random woman or even children sitting in the middle of some very rough landscape spinning there llama or sheepskin wool.

The Peruvians are a very friendless and colourful race.  They are always eager to come up and have a nosey, to say hello or to sell you here wares.  The woman and children usually wear traditional handmade clothing very vibrant in primary colours (if thy were clean).

The walk took us through some stunning scenery and we ended up in the small holding of a local farmer for lunch.   There were in excess of 20 children running around, birth control is unknown over here and the nights are cold.  The children were very friendly and excited and were eager to see what they could coerce out of us.  Aileen opened a packet of dried fruits and was promptly 'mugged' by them all. We were discouraged from giving them sweets as brushing teeth and basic dental hygiene is very poor.  We had stopped off at a local market before the trek and stocked up on pens, paper and small toys.  Graham gifted some pens and paper to some of the kids.  There were few men around as we walked as they were grafting away high in the hills.

After lunch we continued heading to our first campsite on the football pitch of a local community.  The 'community' consisted of a few houses, a football pitch and a small painted building which was the school.  

Dinner was soup and fish and banana sweet then in tents for a 9.30 curfew.

Overnight temperature was zero degrees.

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