The trek back down
Dec 21, 2005
|I was allowed a bit of a sleep in today before heading down to the terraces below our campsite. A boggy track led down to literally hundreds of terraces. One man has the job of clearing them all, he has a job for life.
A rather different but impressive building roughly translated as the water house and a ceremonial rock completed the sights for this agricultural sector of Choquequirau. I spent a good hour walking around the maze of terraces, overwhelmed by the sheer number laid out before me. The amount of construction these guys put in is quite astounding as was the irrigation system they devised to feed all the terraces. Quite brilliant.
After this final exploration of the vast site of Choquequirau, (which when fully excavated is expected to be some 10x larger than MP) the dreaded walk back down to the river and the campsite at Chicisca began.
Today's walk nearly destroyed my ankles from the sheer steepness of track we had to follow down. The 111 zig-zag path was a killer not least because half way down a roaring sun reared its ugly head and nearly cooked me alive. I got down to the river relatively quickly but at that point could not face the hour's climb back up the other side of the valley to the much needed campsite. After a lunch under the only shade available the nightmare of a climb began. Yesterday was a long drawn out affair while this was a short but incredibly strenuous trek back up a little over a third of the valley side. When I arrived at the camp I could have died, I was absolutely exhausted and the only thing to do was head for the so called shower and cool off.
Talk about a hard trek. This thing is a monster.
Some other comments now. Said my farewells to Choquequirau from the seemingly distant track. What a fantastic place. I am so glad I got to see it before the masses arrive although that is still a while off.
A single female on a tour has been having even more problems with her guide and cook, who to be quite honest from what I have seen are absolutely useless. She might as well have done the trek herself for the help they have been. They can't put up the tent properly, food is non existant, there is little in the way of conversation and my guide has helped her out more than her own. She has had words.
And finally came across some fellow trekkers who were only just starting out from our campsite for the night at 1pm fully laden with 60 litre backpacks, wearing jeans hoping to make it to Choquequirau today. They deserve a medal if they do. It was hard enough doing the walk with my daypack let alone a huge rucksack and trying to climb in jeans especially when the sun was as fierce as it was is just lunacy. I asked why they hadn't hired a donkey. The reply was it was too expensive! And I thought I was the tight one.
Day 307 complete