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Peru: My Fulfilled Dream IX.

Published: 5.1.2011
The third day of Salcantay trek was taken for relax day. This trip started in pleasant way. We passed along big number of omnipresent bromelias, high horse-tails, bamboo and other plants.

Along the path, we found even forest strawberries just as in our country. Anyway, the only negative appearance was a fact that terrible heat dominated. So, as soon as we reached a river with marvellous waterfall, we stripped naked and jumped into the water.

Later, we had a short relax stop on one green meadow, just close to local bar but we spent there several hours. When we finally decided to continue our trek, we went along Santa Teresa-river on one part, and a group of various plants, such as bananas, coffee, oranges, gourds, etc. on the other part. Our direction: La Playa village. So, we sung a song.“Vamos a la playa!“ from early morning. Finally, we came there. In the village, nobody asked us for anything, and nobody begged. We tried to find a place where it would be possible to camp. However, it was not too simple, so, Vojta went for investigation. He returned with good news: We were allowed to pass the night in a courtyard of small shop. The only condition was: we were recommended to eat something there. So, when we constructed our tents, we ordered boiled hen. Anyway, the preparation of the meal took rather long period - the cook was forced to catch this poor hen first and to kill the poultry afterthat.

     

However, some load and unpleasant music woke us early morning. We got up at seven o´clock and started to pack our belongings. Such action was very attractive for local people they gathered around us following our actions.

When we went out, a dilemma was in front of us. There was a choice: to turn a side to the left, in direction to Santa Teresa, or to go to the right, direction Llactapaty. The first one leads along unconcreted road, but motor vehicles were passing there. This was advantageous in the fact that the way was crossing Urubamba-river. The second route was narrow path, across a col and virgin forest, with a view to Machu Picchu. We chose the second variant, and we did not regretted at all.

The path mounted upstairs. The air humidity was rather intensive, so, I was surrpised that the march was passing quite good. We saw three black centipedes. The col, we came across, was afforested and the scenery looked like a real jungle. However, only local fauna missed, we did not see nor gigantic snakes, nor spiders or something like this, the centipedes were available only.

Behind a col, the first views to remote Machu Picchu were available. Finally, we found excellent place for camping. In this locality, we found stone ruins which look like a rest of any Inca construction. From our post, marvellous circle views towards Vilcabamba Mountain Range, including Machu Picchu, were available. In a point where the path continues, we found a plate informing us that a camping place would to be found, after ten minutes walk. Anyway, we built our tents here and went downstairs, in order to buy the water, which was missing, and we had a lack of that. However, only half-liter PET bottles were available there, for terrible expensive price, so, we gave it up.

In the morning, when I left the tent, I was absolutely fascinated. The view which was even marvellous yesterday evening, offered stupefied spectacle now. The combination of virgin forest mountains with clouds passing above, all such scenery flooded with many-coloured light of sunrise. A powerful white top looked down upon us from distant, identified later as my beloved Salcantay.

We packed our belongings and started our last section of this trek. From the beginning, we descended, and heat weather became rather inendurable. I felt very happy when we came finally down to the river and could take a bath, close to rather great and very nice waterfall. After such pleasant interval, we continued our trek.

Behind former electric power station, destroyed in 1998, we had to be registered for the entry into Machu Picchu area. After short march in unpleasant heat, we reached railway line, and had to walk along ahead several kilometres. It was a tediousness and grey, but we survived it and arrived successfully to Aquas Calientes, tourist resort, starting point to Machu Picchu.

We made our relax place on banks at the river. Pepa and Milan went to get necessary things – the tickets for a train (we obtained the tickets for a train which was leaving in two days - at Inca Rail, the cost USD 50 per a person and 32 kms distance), further, the tickets and entry tickets to Machu Picchu (the bus for Sols 7 per a person, one way, the entry ticket Sols 65 per students with valid ISIC identity card, double for the other), and a hostel (Los Caminantes - nothing special - for Sols 15 per a person and a day).

When everything was settled and the accommodation reserved, we went to restaurant, where we tasted lama alpaka for the first time. In general, this type of meal is available only, but lama extra is not available for the consumption.

Text/photo: Kristýna Bartůňková

Translation: ing. Jan Jonáš



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