Wednesday, February 28th, 2018
Day 11 of G-Adventures Inca Heartland tour; Day 2 of the Lares Trek
28.02.2018 05:30 S 13°09.8488′ W 72°04.7082′ 3893 masl, 13 °C max, wind 10 kmh S
“Hike from the foothills of Sicllaccasa Mountain 12.2km to its high pass at 4750m, providing scenic views of lagoons and the snow-capped Chicon Mountain. Celebrate after reaching the highest point by making an offering of coca leaves to the Andean gods.
Hike downhill another 2.2km to QuencaPata, for lunch and to take in the amazing view.
Continue hiking downhill another 2.6km to our second campsite, Suttoq Pacchaq Camp Site, near a stream. Sleep tonight at about 4,114m elevation.”
At 05:00 am Popeye wakes us up with hot water or coca tea. It is freezing cold outside. The tent is totally wet. We get up and get a very simple breakfast (toast with marmelade), anis tea with coca leaves again. We start to walk up early at 07:00 am, after breakfast and after Rudi introduced the crew (chefs, porters, horseman, …) and after we did a group foto.
At 06.00 hiking straight up in serpentines to Sicllaccasa mountain pass at 4.750 masl about 12.2 kms.
28.02.2018 07:00 am we start at S 13°11.5121′ W 72°05.6098′ at 3.870 masl
On the way up we meet more kids, llamas and baby alpacas.
It is quite hard, the reduced oxygen level with increasing altitude is feelable, we do more breaks. But we are getting higher and higher.
The mules easily overtake us easily:
We arrive at a lagoon, where Rudi explains us ancient ropemaking and we rest and eat a little bit.
Finally, at 11:50 am we reach the top, the Pumawanka-Pass. The wind is ice cold.
28.02.2018 11:50 S 13°11.5121′ and W 72°05.6098 on 4748 masl.
The heavy guys are fighting for oxygen. It is raining.
We do the whole hike up with plastic ponchos on, plastic ponchos off, … as it starts raining as suddenly and heavily as it stops and blue sky is Looking through the clouds. We start our descent again in the rain. Way down is very rocky and slippery.
It is rocky, rainy, muddy, slippery. We go down for lunch. Lunchplace is in a valley with holes in the ground where you see a suburban river. It is swampy. Franzi, who is doing the in Nikes is super wet and cold. The guys slip and fall in the swap.
28.02.2018 13:08 S 13°12.2963′ W 72°05.7640 on 4317 masl.
There is a lunch tent, a kitchen tent and a toilet tent already built up. It is better to use inka toilet behind a rock or hill. We wait with hot koka tea more than one hour for valerie and therefore for lunch. Good luck there is playing cards. Valerie arrives with the mules and the luggage. Popeye carries her backbag. She is fine and smiling.
Finally – food.
After lunch we continue our descent.
Finally we arrive to our last camping place: Suttoq Pacchaq Camp Site. We camp right under a rocky wall at a roaming river. “Feel free to go inside”, water has 0 degrees. Not a lot of People think about swimming.
There is a non working toilet, nothing else. We find the switch for the toilet switch. Toilet 24h ticket is 1 sole per head. The tents are already built up.
28.02.2018 16:00 S 13°14.0993′ W 72°06.5704′ 3.803 masl.
We wait for the mulis with the kitchen tent at bad weather. Finally they arrive. We wait until the tent is built up with an amazing view. We play shithead inbetween arrival and dinner.
The camp place is amazing. A lit bit covered with ship from Llamas or mulis, but not to smelly.
After dinner we play shithead again. This time we are smarter and put our sleeping stuff out before we go for dinner.
The tent is cleaner this time. I am glad to have rent the airmatress. The standard cover is a jike. The rented sleeping bag is warm, cleaned but very used. The zip to get in and out is everytime a hard fight. The rented sleeping bags in Torres del Paine were not so small, too.
The rented air matress:
The standard “mattress”:
Beneath the tent and between tent bottom and matress they put always the plastic covers they use as transport covers for the mulis. Very noisy plastic if you sleep on it.
The night is warmer. We hear the waterfall. It rains sometimes some hours.
The blue plastic covers are used for Transport, too. Some sometimes they are wet on the downside:
The duffel bag which is carried by the mulis (we didnot have to put sleeping bags or airmatress in, they were carried extra).
Rented sleeping bags:
The tent: everything must be inside. There is lots of free running dogs around and they like f.i. hiking shoes: