Camp Loreta to Llactapata
- DATE: OCT. 11, 2017
- DISTANCE: 12 KM
- ELEVATION: 2200 M (Camp Loreta) – 2700 M (Llactapata)
We woke up to the sound of rain. It matched the mood of our team, Peru lost the game yesterday and everyone was feeling down. We had a quiet breakfast, before putting on our rain gear and starting our 3rd day on the Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu.
We passed small villages, including the bar where everyone watched the game the previous night. It was interesting to see the towns’ people going about their day. There trucks piled with kids ready to go to school, people sweeping and listening to the radio. We passed them quickly and soon we were back on an empty road at the edge of the mountain.
The sun came out, and we lathered on our sunscreen. We started a slow climb uphill. There were also bugs flying around. They seemed to be immune to our insect repellent. Manuel called them sexy mosquitoes. They left a little spot of blood after they bite, which I didn’t find sexy at all.
Lunch was at a coffee farm in the cloud forest. We got to pick coffee berries and watch the berry to bean process. There were also lots of sexy mosquitoes. Their bites were so itchy.
After lunch the uphill climb continued. We were getting higher in elevation. Pins and needles came back to my feet and hands. Our next stop marked by a small tin roof in the distance seemed so far. The sun burned down on us as we walked in and out of the cloud forest. Bright orange orchids hung from the side of the mountain, and large trees surrounded us. It was beautiful, if only there was a slight breeze to relieve us from the heat.
We made it to our rest stop, and for the first and only time we reached it before our porters. They came in and we were shocked to see the giant bags they had to carry. My husband tried to carry the packs, but he could only manage a few steps. These guys were definitely superhuman.
The mountain breeze cooled us down, and we hiked onwards. Finally we reached the Inca site Llactapata. From a distance we could see the ruins on Machu Picchu. It was carefully nestled on the flat ground between Machu Picchu and Wayna Picchu. The ruins on Llactapata had it’s own sun gate that faced directly towards it. We walked around the rock structures until it started to rain.
The campsite wasn’t far from the ruin, and when we arrived our tents were ready. All we had to do was roll out our sleeping bags and put our feet up. The team was busy getting dinner ready, Hernan one of the youngest porters ran back and forth with errands. We bothered Manuel, asking him to name each of the mountains that surrounded us.
Dinner was delicious. We chatted around the table, and gave applause to the strength of the Alpaca team. We couldn’t imagine how hard it must’ve been to carry all our gear up the mountain.
It was cold by the time we settled into our tents. I couldn’t complain it was our last night sleeping underneath the stars. There was only 1 more night left on our Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu.