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Jun. 17th, 2013 @ 08:06 pm Day 17 - Salkantay Trek (22km in)
Current Location: Soraypampa
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So the hike is going well.  I am definitely fast on the flatter sections and most of the walk today was on road: easy walking, but long.

The hard bits were the "short cuts", where we truncated zig-zags to save some distance at the cost of a steeper and rougher ascent.  I'm a bit concerned about my performance on these trails.

Tomorrow is the hardest day.  As our guide put it, there's just one short cut tomorrow: all the way to the top.  We're starting at 6am-ish.  The ascent: around 700m (2200 feet) over four kilometres and ten a long descent.  Tonight is the highest campsite of the trek.  In total we're walking for at least ten hours.

The group was a but stilted at breakfast.  I guess the 4am start may have had a little to do with it, but it's warmed up and we had a lot of laughter this evening.

The pickup was early and everyone seemed to have slept badly last night.  We've all turned in.

The stars were amazing.  The Milky Way, Southern Cross and Scorpio were staggeringly clear.

Lunch was large: quinoa soup, chicken and rice.

Dinner was a bit confused.  We were dragged into the tent "for tea" to find crackers, hot water and hot chocolate powder.  Then came huge plates of popcorn, like a dinner arranged by a five-year-old.

Eventually dinner was announced for half an hour.  We played Uno until it arrived.

The scenery has been great.  We've left eucalyptus tress behind as we've approached the snowy slopes of Salkantay et. al.

Someone at the other end has just said "Have you seen Brokeback Mountain?"

It's very cold.  "Esta frio para caralho, pendejo" got a laugh.  I kept the clothes off while hiking, but changed straight into the warm stuff when we stopped.

I foolishly washed my Spandex/Lycra/whatever-it-is (like I know the difference) garments.  My hands went numb in the cold water.  Otherwise I've been toasty in good clothing.

We had to bring the boots into the tent so dogs don't make off with them.  I should sleep.  Early start tomorrow.
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