“So, what about a name for our new family?”, asked Jimmy John, our guide, before we started our Salkantay trek.
Because there were eight girls “sexy llamas” were suggested almost immediately. Why a puma? Oh, there was one man. So… sexy llamas, a puma, two guides, two cooks and a horseman with his horses, set off on a five-day trek from Mollepata to Machu Picchu.
I was a bit scared before the trek:
– what if it’s cold? (it was, but only on the first night- a down jacket and a down sleeping bag were enough to keep me warm)
– what if I don’t have enough water when I walk up a mountain? (never happened)
– how will I survive without a shower? (I survived without any problems)
– will life without a toilet be possible? (Surprisingly, there were toilets at camps)
– is getting up early on holidays possible? (it was, especially if you’re woken up with a cup of steaming coca tea)
– what if I stop and cannot move up (it didn’t happen).
So I was worried about many things, but I missed the most obvious problem that was likely to happen: altitude sicknees. On the very first day, breathing heavily, I reached 4000m. Then it was supposed to be a piece of cake: three-hour walk on a flat path. At first I didn’t pay much attention to my headache, blaming the lack of snow and physical exhaustion. When I felt nausea half an hour later I knew what it was. I have no idea how to describe what I felt, because I’d never felt so bad before. If I were to put together my worst migraine, and the worst hangover I’ve ever experienced, still it wouldnt be enough to describe it.
I finally crawled into a tent, and then crawled out again, because my stomach didn’t want to take in the tea that was supposed to help me. I didn’t know you can throw up so much and it was a painful lesson. Standing there, in the middle of the camp, under amazingly starry sky, I was wondering how the hell it happened that I joined this trek.
Finally, I went back to my tent, and this is how one of the most horrible travelling days ever finished.
We were woken up at five with a cup of steaming coca tea, I realised I felt well again, and the world became wonderful again.
I was at over 4000 meters before, but I never had any problems, so I didn’t expect them that time and it didn’t even occur to me to take soroche pills (altitude sickness pills) before the trek. You never know.
More about the whole trek HERE.