We started hiking this morning before sunrise as usual. The cold Peruvian winter air in the mountains is a very real thing. Those early mornings before the sun rose consisted of coca tea and many layers of clothing.
Today marked our entrance into the jungle which provided us with hot temperatures, a lot of sunshine and a few drops of rain. The scenery was beautiful and I could feel the oxygen rushing into my lungs as we quickly became surrounded by the lush jungle. The scenery was much different to the previous day which consisted mostly of rocks, snow, ice and very little plant life. Today, however, the plants and trees were abundant. I felt much better.
Day 3 was our shortest day of trekking by far as we made it to basecamp before lunch. Our muscles were in full aching mode by now and the raw blisters scattered over my feet made me feel like Reese Witherspoon in Wild. We were truly pushing ourselves to our limits. Our group collectively agreed that you get to this point where it’s all in your head. It’s a complete mind game and it’s all about putting one foot in front of the other no matter how tired, sore, or hungry you get. It’s all about continuing to move forward. This day marked the half way point of our trek. The first thing we all did upon arrival to basecamp was take off our hiking boots, and sit in the grass, soaking up the luscious sunshine.
After lunch we were in for a treat. It was hot spring day! There was an option to head into the nearest town (by van, thank god) to visit the local hot springs. We were all over that! My boyfriend and I were so excited to have a chance to rest our muscles and treat our bodies to some well deserved down time. When we arrived there were only a handful of people there. After a quick cold shower, we headed for the pools. There were a couple warm pools and one hot one. We alternated back and forth and enjoyed the mountainous scenery. We stayed in those pools for a few hours and when we got out we definitely noticed a difference. It really helped my knees and gave them a little break.
On our way back from the hot springs, our van broke down and our guide was on the hunt for some Inca tequila for us to try that evening. After driving on the steep cliff sides, through a couple of streams and down the narrow roads we made it back to basecamp. We were always eager to unwind after a long day of hiking and the Inca tequila really helped. It was basically moonshine and we were told the best way to drink it was to add it to your hot tea with a bit of sugar. Sure enough, it was delicious. After dinner this evening we all socialized around the table and later on at a campfire. And then it was bedtime.