Mollepata – (2677m) - Soraypampa (3900m) – 12km + Lake Humantay (1h hiking up to 4200m)


The first meters up are really hard. I think I am never going to make it all the way even if we don't carry our stuff anymore as the mules do. Luckily, our guide stops us a quarter hour later and gives us all coca leaves to chew on like chewing tobaccco and makes us breathe a floral water. These two products are supposed to help our bodies bear with the altitude and the lack of oxygene. Sure enough, ten minutes later, I feel way better and we can enjoy the landscape while chewing on our leaves mash.

The end of the day is cold and under the rain. However, Thomas is not discouraged and well warmed up by this first day of relatively easy hike so he leaves with a few other courageous people to make a tour at the lake Humantay, located above the campstie and covered, when they leave, by a thick fog that came down from the snowy mountain tops that surround us. Lucky for him, the fog clears in time and allows him to admire the lagoon.

The meal altogether allows us to get to know our hiking group and the support team, a cook, a mule guy and the mules and our guide. The hikers are a group of 4 German people of which a couple on a world tour joined up by their friends for the Peruvian part, another German couple travelling through Peru, a Quebecois who will be joined by his wife and sister on the last day for the Machu Picchu visit, a canadian guyon a world tour joined by his sister for the Peru part as well. All have very different profiles and most are receptive to nature and the environment and all have strong opinions about the current moder society which offer numerous interesting conversation opportunities which will happen all along this hike.

Soraypampa – hiking up 4630m to the Salkanthay pass (6271m for the summit itself) – Chaullay (2800m) – 22km


The second day is the hardest, we have to hike up all day and the altitude effects are more and more present. Reaching the highest point of the day, a pass, we stop every five meters to catch our breath on the side of the path which is full of hikers taking a break. The wind is scathing and the bcold biting in the pass, everyone hurries around for the picture and quick, we go back down towards the rocky planes, better protected from the wind and where the temperature rapidly rises. We are pretty happy to arrive at the campground and take the chance to organise a little game, called « Petits papiers » which is a kind of self-made « Time's up » introduced by Thomas. Even with the different cultural references and the fact that we don't know each other well within each team, we have a really nice time laughing together.

Chaullay – Lucmabamba – by car till Hydroelectrica – Aguas Calientes (15km on foot)

 Having slept very little due to local heavy drinkers partying in the night, we start the day pretty tired. Howevern my muscles don't suffer so much as they did during the Colca trek. It is probably due to the walking sticks lent by Okidoki, the agency that organizes our trek. These walking sticks are a real revelation for me as nor my thighs nor my calves have muscle pains even though the height difference and the distances are bigger. The landscapre changes radically and we soon are crossing a jungle while following a river, the view is wonderful and the sun nicely heats us up.

Visit of the Machu Picchu return by train until Ollantaytambo then by bus to Cusco


After the long walk the day before until Aguas Calientes, an easy but long one, we are truly happy to have chosen the bus to go up to the Machu Picchu. We will go down on foot but without the walking sticks it is a really nice way up that puts our tired legs at ease. The discovery of this world's wonder is amazing. We owe its present conservation to the Incas fleeing the site. The leading class of the Quechua people, the Incas, made up of nobles and scholars, were exterminated when the conquistadors arrived so they fled this city before they arrived and prevented its discovery and thus its pillage.

The city is surrounded by numerous terraces creating special micro-climates which enabled the Incas to experiment acclimatation of various edible crops. By dehydrating a lot of their food, they were able to keep a stock and thus a stable food source. Follow Mister Lama guiding us through his domain !

Le retour à Ollantaytambo en train est un rêve. Pour ceux qui prennent le bus, il faut revenir de 10km à pied en arrière. On est ravis de s'installer sur des sièges et regarder le paysage naturel défilé devant nous. C'est un véritable luxe dont on profite pleinement du début à la fin de ce court voyage en train.