Friday 12th September 2014:
Today we rose at from our little tent at 5:15am to continue our trek from our campsite in Soraypampa over the mountain to Chaullay. Today was to be the hardest day of the trek as we climbed from 3,900 metres to the highest point of 4,620 meters in addition to walking 21 kilometers.
We trekked up through the valley and onto the steep side of the mountain. Our legs burned as we zigzagged up the mighty face of the mountain and we stopped regularly to inhale the thin air into our lungs and breath in the panoramic views. The boiled water in our plastic bottles quickly turned icy cold as we ascended higher, and snow flakes danced briefly around our exposed faces.
As we reached the top clouds of mist and an icy breeze closed in around us. We talked about the Inca people and how they would have made these journeys without raincoats or hiking boots. I marvelled at their perseverance. Between gaps in the mist and clouds the view over the valley was incredible. The mountains looked fierce and thunderous, mighty and strong. The valley below gave way to the backdrop of gradually disappearing shapes of many more mountains spreading far into the distance. Beauty, rugged magnificence and the unforgiving forces of nature combined into those few breathtaking moments as we sat on the rocky peak.
We all took some time to build a small tower of rocks, as the Inca people did whilst they have thanks to the mountains and asked for favour. Elikem and I built our tower and have thanks to God together, thanking him for the brilliance of nature and for the privilege of being on this trip.
Today I am thankful for those moments of thankfulness today, grateful that we could have experienced the awesomeness of the Andes at the peak of the mountain. Elikem and I are also thankful to have the company of some really lovely new friends to enjoy this amazing experience with.