Peru is known for its mysterious and vibrant culture, we have been yearning to visit this country since freshman year in college. This spring break we finally got a chance. Upon our arrival in Lima, we didn’t stay long and left for Cuzco the next morning. The City of Cuzco, at 3,400m above sea level, was the heart of the once mighty Inca Empire. We were lured by the city’s unique beauty with a tint of colonial yellow at dusk.
Hiking is one of the most popular activities in Peru. So except for wandering around in the city Cuzco, we spent most of our times hiking in mountains and jungles. There are various hiking routes to get to Machu Picchu. Among those the Inca Trail is the most well-known one since there are a lot of Inca historical sites along the way. However, we chose the Salkantay trek because the sceneries along the trail are stunning as we hiking along the snow-covered mountain Salkantay.
This hiking trip is very challenging for us because we have to climb up to 4,600 meters on the second day and then climb all the way down. Since we have neither hiked in the mountains nor slept in a tent before, we were quite excited before took off. On the first day, we were exhausted after the 15km walking on the highland (we have never walked this much in our lives, not to mention at a 3500km altitude). We camped at an open landscape surrounded by high mountains. Nothing can be seen in the dark because no electricity was available, so we went to bed right after dinner. Out of our expectation, the second day was much tougher. Although we hired horses to climb uphill, the downhill was still too intense for us. The majority of the roads was extremely steep and rocky. Another problem is that huge rain shower started after lunch on our way to the next camp site. The road got worse, it became a mixture of rocks, mud and water, so it was very slippery and gross. The nonstop walking of more than 20km in such bad weather and the fact that as it was getting dark, in the mountains that we barely saw people really depressed us. There are no words can describe our mood when we made it to the camp site. We almost burst into tears and were so proud of ourselves.
Our legs hurt for days after the intensive hiking, but the views along the way definitely worth the price. You have no idea what you are capable of until you try, so it is always good to try something new. Make your life an adventure, because every task leads you to new discoveries and new experience. One thing that we learned from this trip is to never give up and something wonderful await you.