Sunday, 25 January 2015

The Calca Trek

            It took 7 of us plus the guide 2and a half hours by bus and taxi to get here.
We were at about 3200m, which is higher than anywhere in Europe, and the altitude hit me immediately. So much so that I thought I could not do it at all. I was the newest arrival
and so not acclimatised to steady climbing. They had all taken off so I just kept going.

On the way
They did wait for me and were understanding of my predicament. It is not a tourist trek which made it much more desirable. Along the way I discovered that Frida was doing a thesis on the impact of volunteering on the children and volunteers in the projects. She is studying anthropology. Oscar is volunteering as a Spanish interpreter with a medical background. He and I had a long discussion about the best ways to tackle the serious domestic violence issue here.

How beautiful is this!
We had to cross a few roads and go through a village before the final ascent. 
This is where we came from.
It took us from 11.30 to 2.30pm to get to here.
She had been weaving, sitting on the ground with her 2 other children and 2 dogs. This boy was about 4 and she hoisted him on her back and picked up her belongings and went.
This was how far I had come and this was as far as I went. I knew my limits.
Natalie, who lives in my house, and I did not brave the next very steep 50m. We had got to 3700m and spent a rest time talking about love and life as you do when the air is rarified. It was a stunningly beautiful day. The walk down to the village was amazingly quick. We had all decided to get a taxi from there. 
The mother
Her cute girls
Into the village at the end of the day. Ian seen here has been to 82 countries and is an Aussie.

I think they are having a drink after work!!
My Special Friend
When we entered the village the first time this little girl had greeted us gleefully and did the same when we came back. The next thing she is next to me. I obviously intrigued her as she kept touching me and giggling and shying away. She accepted a cuddle and finally I got this photograph. So gorgeous!!
We all piled into a taxi - Did I say you can get a taxi from anywhere here!!! This taxi had a couple of other local passengers. Don't ask me where we all fitted! And into Calca for a well earned drink. With some negotiating we then got a mini van back to Cusco.

                                      A view from the bus. A splendid day. 
I was enormously pleased with how well I had handled the trek physically even if I did not make it to the top. Next time!

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