On day 3 we were reaching our limits, our body ached and we desperately needed a shower. The baby wipes were not quite doing the job! When we finally crossed a little river, we toop a dip, in spite of the temperature outside (perhaps around 15C) and the freezing water. Nonetheless, it was good to refresh after two days of sweaty hiking without a proper bath.
The morning walk before lunch took 6 hours. After that, two more hours of trekking and we got to La Playa, a small village with a large river. This time, we were camping at a soccer field on a school yard – and we felt so relieved, just due to the fact that there was a tiny community there. It was like we were part of the society again. Plus, we could buy beers! I went to sleep early, but our group got wasted that night – apparently someone had opium and a bunch of folks had some. Thanks God I didn’t, but sometimes I regret as never more I had the opportunity of trying such a legendary drug. Because, like, who does opium really? Unless it was heroin, and on that scenario… I’d always choose OUT.
The thing about day 3 was: we thought there were two more days to go, but really, that was the end of the real hike. Day 4 had some surprising transportations…
I couldn’t quite believe that the worst had passed, but we woke up to a truck picking us up. I still don’t quite understand why we didn’t walk, but this pau-de-arara – which is a flat bed truck carrying people standing on its trunk – was quite a relief. Talking about drugs, I was amazed to see this Brazilian guy, who was part of the trekking group, standing on the ride, trying to balance himself at the same time he rolled a joint with one hand. Potheads are so skillful!
Locals running after the truck, desperate for food or a ride, marked the end of the ride and things got a little tense. They wanted to pillage our stuff, perhaps steal the truck. I couldn’t understand much, but it was edgy even for a Brazilian like me.
We got dropped off at a bridge, crossed it, walked about 30 minutes, and got to our next transportation mode: a cable car. Well, more like a zip-line in a tiny cart that fit me, Vanessa and one of the dutch girls. It was hilarious! Then we had the option of walking or taking a bus, and I would have walked but Vanessa wasn’t feeling well so we decided to stick together on the bus (we could all use that excuse to avoid more walking!). When I saw that it was another pau-de-arara truck, but a real crowded one, I wish I had walked. Nobody could move!
After 40 minutes squeezed in that sardine can, we had lunch.
The forth transportation of the day was a train that took us to Aguas Calientes, the town at the bottom of Machu Picchu. There we were set at a lodge, and at night we went out for a pizza – I guess we couldn’t do anymore of that delicious but same-same food from our great chef!
And sleep early – tomorrow we wake up at 4AM for, finally, Machu Picchu!
2 thoughts on “Salkantay Trail – Days 3 & 4”
I remember riding in that basket over the Urubamba River. Great fun!
Oh Michael, thanks for reminding me the name of the river!! I will make more detailed notes for future travel records 🙂
Although I really wish I had a video of it. I had almost forgotten we did it!