Peru Day 7: Salkantay Trek – Suyroqocha to Collpapampa

Start: Suyroqocha 4,480m (14,698 ft)

Finish: Collpapampa 2,800m (9,186 ft)

Trek Time: ~8 hrs (including lunch)

“Buenos dias! Café or té?” Alex asked as he unzipped rain fly on our tent and handed us cups of coffee and coca tea before we even got out of our sleeping bags. After a freezing night, we woke to the sun shining bright and clear blue skies! Salkantay was out, with no clouds in sight. It was a beautiful day! After a pancake breakfast, we packed up the rest of our  gear and headed off to finish our ascent to the highest point of the trek – Salkantay Pass at 4,630m (15,190ft). Continue reading “Peru Day 7: Salkantay Trek – Suyroqocha to Collpapampa”

Peru Day 6: Salkantay Trek – Sayllapata to Suyroqocha

Start: Sayllapata 3,400m (11,154 ft)

Finish: Suyroqocha 4,480m (14,698 ft)

Trek Time: 8 hrs (including lunch)

We all woke with excitement when our alarm went off around 3:30a.m……Tish and I went downstairs to the lobby to get the last bit of work done before we lost internet for a week. Tonya joined us and we had a hearty breakfast and plenty of coffee and coca tea, then went back up to our room to put the final touches on packing. At 5, we met our guide, driver and the rest of the group in the lobby and we were headed to the trailhead! After a few hours in the car, we arrived at our starting spot. Alex, our guide, shared his coca leaves with us and taught us the proper way to get the juice out of them (which was similar to chewing tobacco). The coca leaves were supposed to help with altitude sickness and help keep us energized. We were all a little nervous to try it,  but rolled up the leaves and stuck them in our lips with gusto!

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Peru Day 5: Mercado Central de San Pedro y Sacsayhuaman

On our last day before the trek, we wanted to take it easy but still get in as much exploring as we could. We ventured to the huge local Sunday San Pedro Market where we spent hours getting lost in all they had to offer. Much of the market was indoors, but it continued on the streets around the indoor section for blocks. There were separate sections for fresh juices and food like soup, fruit and vegetables, dried fruit and nuts, raw meat and fish, herbal medicines, dried beans and potatoes, textiles, chocolate, bread, flowers….even a whole street dedicated to guinea pigs! We loved walking through the market and were jealous we didn’t have a market similar close to our homes.

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Peru Day 3: Goodbye Lima, Hello Cusco!

After spending two nights in Lima, we woke up ready for our flight to Cusco. While Tonya took a walk down to the beach, Tish and I took the opportunity to get some work done  while we still had a hotel with “reliable” internet. We walked across the street to the local espresso bar we fell in love with and got coffee and a few last empanadas before our taxi picked us up. The flight to Cusco was quick and painless, when we landed our local Kandoo Adventures contact was there to pick us up and take us to our hotel and recommended Marcelo Batata for dinner. After settling in a bit, and realizing Tonya and I were definitely feeling “weird” from the altitude, we walked down to the Plaza de Armas, the main square in Cusco, and then headed to dinner. The Plaza de Armas has two huge beautiful Spanish cathedrals (Cusco was the royal city of the Incan people, but when the Spaniards invaded they demolished all Incan temples and build Catholic churches in their place). Continue reading “Peru Day 3: Goodbye Lima, Hello Cusco!”

Peru Day 1: Lima Walking Tour

Tish and I landed in Lima at 6 a.m. and met Tonya (who had landed at midnight) in the airport. We took a taxi to our hotel where we attempted to recover from 24 hrs of no sleep. Lots of coffee and a little breakfast were consumed, we took a shower to get rejuvenated and then headed out to meet our tour guide for the Free Walking Tour.

A little tired, but so happy to be in Peru!

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Hiking Mt. Tam’s Eastern Peak: 10.1 miles, ~2,000 ft elevation gain

Last week, Tish and I finally made time to get out on the trail again and checked Mt. Tam’s highest point off our NorCal hike bucket list. We started at the Pantoll Ranger station and followed the Matt Davis Trail for just over 2 miles to the Hoo Koo e Koo Trail. The first 4ish miles were beautifully mellow trail over rolling hills through Redwood groves and Eucalyptus trees. We linked up to the Tamalpa Trail by way of Old Railroad Grade and Vic Haun Trails, at which point the trail gained about 1,000 feet of elevation over 1 mile. It was a steep climb, but offered amazing views the entire way up. We decided to follow a spur trail 400 ft to a vista, and despite the overgrown brush and obvious underused nature of the trail, we were rewarded with the best view on the entire hike!

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