My 50 million layers of clothing meant that I was at least pseudo warm during the night. I woke up (for real) just before 0700hrs feeling a little stiff but at least still able to feel my bits. I actually woke up 3 times during the night... the rain that hit around 0100hrs (swift yet sleepy "oh that's just bloody great" although it had thankfully stopped by the time I did get up), the rooster that started crowing at 0500hrs ("Shut the [insert choice expletive] up") and then the two dogs that decided to start humping ("Are they doing what I think they're doing?"). Oh yes I kid you not. Day 1 of the Lares Trek already filled with so much excitement!
After a nice hot cup of coca tea it was time for breakfast - a special porridge made from quinoa & apple which was really tasty. Not long after that it was time to start trekking at around 0930hrs once everything had been packed away. Of course I was wearing far too many layers and began a semi strip whilst hiking through the wilderness.
Forging ahead, 3 of us almost got stampeded on by a herd (or is it pack??) of llamas and mules coming the other way. Then of course there were the necessary bathroom breaks where you basically duck behind a rock or a bush and just hope some perverted llama isn't watching and laughing at how white your rear is.
We bumped into a bunch of young children who didn't even speak Spanish but the indigenous language of Quechua. Without the use of words a bond was created between two very different nationalities (the 3 of us being Canadian) through the giving of simple gifts.... a notebook & a pencil. They were ecstatic. My fellow traveller drew a monkey, the kids giggled and then one of them drew his house. This was the highlight of my trip up to press.
Lunch was by a beautiful lake at the foot of Ipsayqocha Pass (4450 metres) before it was time to tackle it. Nice! Nothing like lugging a full stomach along to boot. But, altitude sickness be damned! I was the first to the top. I was breathless - not in awe at the magnificent scenery but from the lack of oxygen! The scenery of course was magnificent. I took lots of photos.
At least it was then downhill for most part to our camp for the night at Chac'chapata which we reached at around 1630hrs. I settled into my sleeping bag wearing my many layers at around 2030hrs having looked up into the sky at billions of stars with not one iota of light pollution. The sound of the nearby river running was the last thing I remember before I fell asleep. Bliss.