Peru – 01/26/12 (Day 5) – 08:00pm

Have I mentioned how great of a cook Valentin is? He is. He makes us awesome food, including tonight which was vegetable soup, yucca, steak, and salad, with a boiled/candied apple for dessert.

So to pick up where I left off, we took the bus for about 4 hours to a stop where we got a cab to Cachora. It was foggy the whole ride, so no real pictures to speak of, but occasionally I would get a great view of the beautiful mountain countryside.

The views on the ride to Cachora were incredible. Cachora is a small town at the base of several mountains which result in a very cloistered valley that looks like it’s been ripped from the pages of an Italian countryside tour book. Between the hairpin turns and the near cow/bull/horse/dog/pig/donkey collisions, I didn’t manage to get any shots that really show the beauty of the place.

The trail was very muddy to start and mostly consisted of local access roads. We quickly found ourselves up along the side of one of the mountains encircling the valley where Cachora (San Pedro de Cachora, btw) was.

It didn’t take long for me to fall even more in love with the area. In the distance we could see the mountain range which was on the opposite side of the regional border – the Apurimac River. One side was Apurimac (where we were) and the other was Cuzco.

Soon we were walking along a smaller path that followed the Apurimac. I could hear the roar of the river even from a thousand meters up! We took a short break in the pass, which I have a panoramic shot of, then, after I put on an extra knee brace Armando had (which turned out to potentially have caused MORE knee pain) we started down the LONG path down to the river. To give you an idea of how long, the distance start to finish that day was  21km. The distance to the pass was something like 7km. So the distance going downhill was somewhere around 14km.

Wow.

When we got to the camp it was pretty late/dark, so we just did dinner and that was that. I think I have a better account of that earlier.

BTW, we had fish and rice that night. Yum!

OK, well, I should try to hit the hay. It’s 8:23 and the plan is to be up and gone by 6 so that we can pass through Choke’quiraw (sp??) and have some time to enjoy it on the way out.

I’m excited for this part of the trip – it looks like we’ll be starting on one of the lower terraces (downhill – yuck!) but then climbing up and through the ruins on our way to the next trail, so I’ll still get to see the whole city, but I won’t have to come back to the campsite. Its a win/win!

Plus it ended up raining while we would have been up there if we had gone, so I really think that (as usual) things are working out for the best!

I am so so so fortunate.

I hope I learn to always appreciate that and to never take it for granted.

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