Is the rain a hindrance? On the contrary, a gift.
If you are going to undertake a trip during the rainy season, you don’t have to worry because the most incredible adventure is about to begin. You just have to say yes, the abundant and almost unpredictable wilderness awaits you, take the big step and leave your mark on the road.
The untamed Salkantay route brings to us a crazy and super adrenaline way to reach Machu Picchu. You don’t have to worry, because like many travelers from all over the world, in the end, we will arrive at our destination with great satisfaction.
My name is Tatie Berenice and this is a brief account of my experience on the wildest trek I’ve ever dared to undertake, Salkantay 5 days.
It is raining and it is nothing new since it is part of the season. The city of Cusco bids us farewell with rain and as we advance, we exchange words with the people I met yesterday at the briefing. Our valuable bridge is the English language.
Very early we enjoy a delicious breakfast in a local house in Mollepata, in the surroundings the fog rises and falls, covers everything and rises again. It should be noted that an intense sun would not give us so many beautiful moments of contemplation.
We begin the ascent and it is already necessary to wear a plastic poncho because a faint but persistent drizzle has decided to accompany us for the rest of the route.
The fog is the great curtain of this natural amphitheater. At times I turn to see the mountains, all of them dressed in a beautiful natural greenery, they seem to move away and come closer and only the dialogue with other companions takes away the idea of being hallucinating.
The contrasts of the fog that play with my perception and the increase in the flow of the small rivers that we cross are beautiful gifts of the rain. Once at the sky camps, I can change my clothes and enjoy a delicious lunch.
Later, we started the round trip to visit the magnificent snow-capped mountain and the Humantay lagoon. A light drizzle comes, but then goes away, apparently, it has also learned to give in and let us contemplate the most beautiful landscapes.
Upon reaching the lagoon at the top of the mountain, the weather rewards us again as the cloudy landscape gradually clears and we have the view of the amazing snow-capped peak. The descent is the joy of the day, as we are sure that a delicious dinner awaits us at the camp.
Dense fog has once again risen from the base of the mountain and as we descend it seems as if we are entering the kingdom of heaven. Is this what it feels like to die?
On the recommendation of a colleague, I have decided to take the service of the muleteers and go up on horseback to reach the pass. In the beginning, I resist, but in the course of the ascent I realize that it has been the best decision, a faint drizzle appears and I have the five senses predisposed and the only thing I can say for now is: how beautiful and magical are the mountains.
We arrive at the pass and my admiration for the travelers who continue to arrive on foot continues to grow, the light drizzle leaves us to give us a brief moment of sunshine, we appreciate the imposing Apu Salkantay and we greet them, there is much joy in our hearts.
I say goodbye to the muleteers and Roberto, my horse. The “lady” descent has for me little tricks that I will unveil, if yesterday I seemed to be in the kingdom of heaven, today in this long descent it seems that I am in the craziest surreal dream, because at times the fog covers everything and when leaving pre-Inca remains make their appearance, this is a brutal hallucination.
Lunchtime arrives and comforts us from head to toe because we start renewed again with the descent that offers us a glorious entrance to the jungle eyebrow. We arrive at our camp Andean Huts and our hosts offer us the possibility of a shower for a small fee.
Dinner as always is delicious, and today we are looking forward to another good night’s sleep.
Just like yesterday, our guide wakes us up early in the morning with the comforting coca tea. Today we have a lot of walking to do, but the trail is quieter and flatter. The sun has decided to accompany us for much of the way and at times, the suffocation that causes me a feeling of gratitude to know me lucky, yesterday in the absence of sun the route was less tiring.
We stop for a moment and rest at a local stall. Here we enjoy the gifts of the valley and can even order freshly prepared fruit juice. The beautiful, crystal-clear waterfalls, the noise of the birds, and the surroundings keep us present in the here and now.
Great is our relief to know that we arrived at the jungle domes camp, we have lunch and by unanimous decision we decide to pay extra to get to the hot springs of Cocalmayo. What if the investment is worth it? Of course it is, we are enjoying the most beautiful crystalline waters, surrounded by the incredible scenery that the valley gives us.
At this point, I find myself grateful for life, and great is my satisfaction since if I had decided not to undertake this route due to the storm, I would have missed a lot. The rain has been very obliging to us since it has returned just for dinner, at a time when we were already enjoying good shade and food.
We had rain last night and today as well, in spite of it, we decided to do the route because that’s what we came for. The plastic ponchos and walking sticks are very useful and on the ascent to the new mountain, the drizzle is dissipating to give way to the game of the fog with our senses.
Magical views are unveiled after the mist fades away and the sun welcomes us when we reach the summit. We have struggled to get here and it is worth it, the majestic Machu Picchu can be seen in the distance and our desire to visit it is increasing.
After lunch on the slopes of the mountain, we are ready to follow the route along the rails of the train to Aguas Calientes, here the magical gifts are the complicity in the glances of other travelers, they are also tired but still smile and give you energy.
Today it is raining late at night and together, as we enjoy our dinner, we contemplate the beautiful phenomenon of the rain, the flow of the river increases and its sound becomes melodious and omnipresent.
We get up early and again the fog seems to follow our steps. We arrive at the entrance of Machu Picchu and as we advance on the trail, the natural cloud veil moves away combing the mountains.
The magical reality of the perennial city opens up before our eyes. It is our good fortune perhaps or the good hand of nature because during our tour it is sunny and we can see everything to the fullest.
We know the whole complex and the photos are perfect because we have some that were taken with fog and others taken in the sun. Almost at the end of our tour, a light rainfall bids us farewell, we are happy to receive it because we are almost ready to board the bus.
All roads are made for you, you just have to decide on which one you put your heart.