lares trek

We were very excited to hike the Lares trek as this was our first hike together in May 2012. Without knowing what to expect on our 4 day trek, our energy and fear began with a slow ascend early morning in a town called Huaran located in the Urubamba Valley east of Pisac.  Once we arrived to this town, in the sweltering heat, gasping for air, we were charged by three not so friendly hunting dogs. As my first instinct was stay calm, Sergio’s first instinct was to put his leg up as the first dog ran up to him with mouth wide open. Luckily he did not bite. As we calmly and quietly walked away, we noticed that the dogs began to follow us. One dog in particular stayed by my side the whole 8 hours ascending up the mountain. I could say she was my guardian and protector.   With our full gear on our backs, and dogs by our side, the fear of not making it to our first camp before dusk lingered on our minds. As we both had this fear, me especially (had a slight breakdown), we knew that we had to put our mental and physical energy into full force until we made it to Cancha Cancha.

We finally arrived to this small village nearly at sunset. Exhausted, freezing and hungry, we asked one of the locals if we could camp on their property (literally on their farm with dung everywhere). Luckily she agreed, but we knew the dogs were not in our favor. She basically told us that “our” dogs were not welcome.  How would we get rid of them?  Well, we had to gently throw rocks their way until they ran away.

Throughout the night we could hear many barks and cries. We woke up to the voice of the woman asking to speak to us. Unfortunately “our” dogs ate three of their chickens and apparently injured a baby llama. We apologized and explained that they were not our dogs, but she insisted  that we pay for the damage. We ended up shelling out 90 Soles.

As we left, somehow the dogs managed to catch up to us. At this point, we knew we would have more troubles ahead.  Luckily, we met up with a group that were also trekking. We asked the guides to help us stop the dogs from following us. Unfortunately, he recommended we tie them up. As a dog lover, there was no way I could do that! We walked with the group for several hours and after having lunch together, we quickly packed up our gear and left the dogs behind with the group.

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The next morning as we watched the sun rise over the snow capped mountains we continued up the Valley, crossing Pachacutec Lake and Pitusiray Mountain.  We also had a chance to see a beautiful waterfall.

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We camped our last night in a village called Huacahuasi. It was a long sprawled village nestled between mountains in a narrow valley.  The area was very swampy because the river passed between all the small houses. This was our last and longest day. We descended for almost 10 hours. Our legs were trembling and I thought the pain on my feet would never end.

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Caminata a Lares

Luego de estar unos días en las alturas de Pisaq nos enrumbamos hacia Calca, también el Valle Sagrado de los Incas, para realizar una de las caminatas más populares actualmente en Cusco.

La caminata en sí empieza en el pueblo de Huarán con rumbo a la comunidad Cancha Cancha a la cual llegamos luego de 7 horas solo con la fuerza necesaria para levantar nuestra carpa al costado de una casa. Ese día fue muy emotivo porque desde un inicio nos siguieron 3 perros de caza que nos provocaron un problema con la dueña de la casa que a la mañana siguiente nos dijo que “nuestros” perros se habian comido 3 gallinas. Para evitar más disputa, simplemente acepté pagarle el costo de la cena de los perros: S/90.

Hay que seguir subiendo para llegar al segundo campamento en Quishuarani para al día siguiente tomar un reparador baño en las aguas termales de Lares. De ahi ya todo es una constante bajada que nos conduce hasta la comunidad de Huacahuasi donde un poblador local nos permitió levantar nuestra carpa al lado de su casa y brindarnos un plato de comida consistente en papa y oca.

El último dia parece interminable ya que no hay cuándo llegar hasta Yanahura. A nosotros nos tomó cerca de 10 horas pero por suerte encontramos un hostal muy acogedor al lado de la carretera donde reparamos nuestras fuerzas hasta nuestra próxima caminata.