Saturday, 16 October 2010
At an elevation of 3600m (11,811 feet or thereabouts) the camp site where we slept on day 2 was the highest place we would sleep and also the coldest, nevertheless my trusty 3 season REI sleeping bag didn't let me down and I woke up refreshed at 5am to the cup of coca tea proffered by one of the porters; dressed inside my sleeping bag - it was too cold to be exposing naked limbs to the elements - packed up my stuff and trotted down to the dining tent for a 5.30am breakfast of pancakes and hot chocolate. Mmmmm pancakes!!!
The mist rolling in over the tents at the neighboring camp.
The first 2 hours of the day's walk were all up hill, but we were assured by Efraim that it would be a relatively easy day. Emphasis on the word relatively!! Still, the view of the mist rolling over the mountains was stunning!!
Looking back to the campsite we'd just left. The two red tents you can see about halfway up on the left are our Gap Adventures tents. The campsites are much larger than you realize when you are in them, since being staggered on the hillside like that means you're only ever aware of your own group and maybe the group next door.
Oh great....steps. Haven't had enough of those yet!! Not!!
Really bloody steep steps.
And more steps!!
The steps led to the Runkurakay Inca ruin. I counted the steps up to the ruin in an effort to try and take my mind off the pain in my legs and behind, although I was pleased to note that I didn't find that morning's uphill hike anywhere near as difficult as I'd been expecting, especially with a full belly of pancakes and hot chocolate, although a lot of other people, who didn't have the benefit of a 3 season sleeping bag - bought or hired - were suffering as a result of a sleepless night owing to the colder overnight temperatures. Approximately 450 steps later we arrived at the ruin.
Beyond the fact that Runkurakay was used by the Incas as a watchtower and resting place. I can't really say I listened too hard to what Efraim was saying about the ruin, because I was too busy fighting off the mosquitos that were dive bombing me. There were so many I had to wrap my scarf around my face and put up the hood of my windbreaker, so I was more than happy to leave, even though that meant...yes, you guess it, more steps. Ugh!!
The view of Runkurakay ruin from above
The view from the top.
And now down!!