Day 63: Tuesday, 27th February: Ollantaytambo, Start of the Lares Trek (Peru)

Day 10 of G Adventures Inca Heartland Tour

Day 1 of the Lares Trek

27.02.2018 07:00 S 13°31’23” W 71°58’58”, partly cloudy, 17 °C max.

Hotel Casa Mama de Valle, Ollantaytambo, max. 19°, cloudy, wind max. 14 kph west.

We get up in our cold Hotel Casa Mama de Valle in Ollantaytambo. Night was cold, breakfast is basic and ok. The bags are packed in daypack, muli duffle bag, and bag for after the hike.

We are picked up by our guide for the Lares Trek, Rudi, with a minibus and go to main plaza in Ollantaytambo. There we change into a bus and wait. Another G Adventures group joins us. The boys are all huge and wide, three girls. Average age is half of our group.

We start the drive Ollantaytambo to Lares (3 to 3.5 hrs). Rudi introduces himself, assistant guide Popeye and the driver with a lot of breathing and emotion in the microphone and explain basics about the Lares Trek.

We stop by in the small village Lares at the local market to buy some fruits or pencils for local kids, check if we all have plastic ponchos for the rain. Rudi shows local energy drinks, fruits and food.

We continue with the bus through beautiful valleys up to abra de lares (4.461 masl) to the starting point on a gravel road somewhere above the Aquas termales Lares and get out of the bus there.

27.02.2018 12:06 S 13°06.6492′ W 72°03.2587 3.345 masl

The mules to carry our duffle bags are already waiting. It starts to rain heavily. We put on our plastic ponchos and start to walk up.

We hike approx. 4 km to chancachaca and get lunch there. Lunch is soup, main and desert. The size of dishes makes the big Australien, US and English boys suffer. They take all left overs from the girls in a second. Rudi is on 110 % energy.

27.02.2018 15:16 S 13°07.8702′ W 72°04.8646′ 3682 masl

The group is funny. The boys make fun out of each other. We all work methodic on our PMA (positive mental attidude).

As soon as we pass a village the kids run out and group. Rudi is introducing them one by one and we give them presents – fruits, we bought some pencils, the guys have plastic balls, … .

After lunch we continue trekking to Cuncani, a remote village with a community operated campsite.

27.02.2018 17:56 S 13°09.8488′ W 72°04.7082′ 3893 masl

About a hour after us 70 years old valerie from our inca heartland tour arrives. Popeye, the 2nd guide, lifted her up. She doesnot look good. Own overconfidence. We hope she doesnot become a medical emergency on the next, harder day.

There is water toilets and a stone built shelter. Water is, of course, cold river water only. It is super cold and gets dark quickly. Some have headache of the altidude, the US and Ozzi boys still wear shorts and order beer from the villagers who came to sell goods.

CEO (chief experience officer) rudi takes up speed. He picks out his playing cards and explains a game called shithead. Soon nearly all are playing and freezing.

Rudy wants a group name. Somehow it doesnot get waiting for valerie but soaky condors instead.

Rudi does the famous “Oh lala senioritas”, which will be quoted by the boys (beside his laughter and other noises like “hola chicas”) approximately 23.000 thousend times.

End of first hiking day. It is cold up there … we hiked about 8.7 kms only, some about 500 meters altidude up.

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