Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Day 4: Martes – Hiking through the forest

It rained all Monday night and I slept fitfully and then we were woken up at 5:45 on Tuesday. It snowed in the higher up in the mountains which made our valley even more beautiful. After a small breakfast we packed up to begin the day’s hike.

Today was downhill 16 kilometers through the woods/forest. It was amazing scenery. In the valley where we were hiking we were dominated by mountains on either side with little waterfalls coming down from the glaciers. We heard them falling a few times. The waterfalls fed into the river we were walking by which is a tributary of the Amazon River.

The scenery was spectacular.

The only problem of the hike was that it was rocky, windy and downhill so we had to watch our footing. A lot of the trail was muddy or covered with water which made it harder to enjoy the beauty of the mountains. But Tom took pictures of some of the flora we saw along the way.

Along the way we passed a little village.

We also passed a house with a traditional roof. It doesn’t have a chimney, but the smoke can leave through the roof.

We then stopped at a little place called Wiñaypocco. There were chickens running around, including one at my feet as we ate fried chicken for lunch, among other things. It was a lot of hiking and we were beat.

We then continued the hike until we reached the small town of La Playa at 2,000 meters. But don’t let the name fool you, it’s not really a beach, it’s just a little village with a river passing through it. The town has one dirt road going through it. We started called La Playa the hoyo, or the hole. We wanted to camp out, but instead set up our tents in the front yard of a store. But we started playing cards and invited two of the girls that lived there to play spoons with us. They then taught us how to play a game called nervioso which was fun.

Along the hike Jesus was carrying a gunny sack with a live guinea pig inside. When we got to La Playa they killed, skinned and gutted it and cooked him up for dinner.

Jenny – who had a pet guinea pig – and Destiny – who hadn’t eat meat in a month or so – were not so keen on the idea of eating it.

But we all tried some. It was kind of like greasy dark chicken meat. I didn’t think it was worth the effort of eating it though, not a lot of meat for a lot of bones to pick through. Despite it being a delicacy of sorts in Peru, I didn’t think it was that great.

Our horsemen didn’t go with us the next day, so we took a last picture of all of us together.

Despite the fun playing cards and eating the guinea pig, we were glad to leave the next day. Here’s Bandito Tom’s opinion of La Playa:

Here is Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5, Day 6 Part 1, Part 2, Day 7, Day 8


Erin-ann said...

Glad you got these up. It's nice travel vicariously through other people when you don't have the means to do it yourself!

JennyW said...

Let me get this straight—he carried a live guinea pig for three days while hiking? Did you know about it to begin with? I mean, did you think it was some light-fearing pet out for some fresh air, or did you know it was going to be dinner on day three? Just wondering ...

Warren said...

Willy had asked us if we would try guinea pig if they served it, and we all said we would. I think they picked it up along the way at one of the random houses on the path the day we ate him. They seemed to know the people living on the way, they do this hike a lot.