Salkantay Trek - Day 2 - 4600 Meters Above Sea Level
We woke up at around 5am after a terrible nights sleep due to my stomach. Everything was damp and it was freezing inside the tent, let alone outside the tent. Finally had to man up and get into every single piece of clothing I had in order to get out the tent and go to breakfast, which despite the clothing, I was still cold. We had pancakes and forced about 3 cups of coffee down me to get me warm. We ended up leaving at about 6am and headed for the first checkpoint which was a steady climb up to 3800 m.a.s.l. This was hard enough. The path was all uneven gravelly rocks and the altitude really made it a choir to walk at my usual pace. Once at the checkpoint the sun was coming out so I stripped some of my clothes off and continued on. The next checkpoint was a fairly harsh incline to the base of the valley. It actually zig zagged up the mountain and was so hard to walk. By the end of it I was actually just taking pigeon steps to reach the top. Once at the top we had a breather and continued to the lake at the base of the valley. The next checkpoint was at the highest point we would reach, 4600 m.a.s.l, the valley right next to Salantay Mountain. We left last and by this time there already seemed to be a rivalry in place with Frenchy as she was quite a good walker. The climb was similar to the zig zag earlier but better due to the fact it was shorter and would be the last one of the day. Frenchy´s head start was too much and she just pipped us to the top. The top was pretty incredible thou. So close to Salantay Mountain and the weather was so clear. After chilling at the top for half an hour and making a Inca wish thing out of stones we descended down. Downhill Frenchy was no match for team Inglaterra, our long legs and agile rock jumping made the competition quiver in fear and she slowly fell back. We stopped a large opening to wait for the group by which time my blisters were on FIRE. I took my boots off to assess the damage and it was not good. The blisters had popped and the skin was hanging off. I had to change into flippies for the rest of the day. We continued down the path about an hour or so to the lunch spot. We obviously went speeding off. Due to the gravelly path and me in flip flops I had to walk along the grass. This presented a problem when I found myself about 20 meters from the path surrounded by bog. Walking through it to get back to the path my flippies came off. I was now walking through thick horse s***ty bog bare foot with bloody blisters… HELLO INFECTION! Lunch was pretty lame and we continued down and down after lunch towards the jungle. Back in my flip flops I stubbed my toe HARD on a rock and I started to bleed. By this time I kinda accepted that my feet would have to be amplitated by the end of the trek and carried on. We reached camp after a fairly easy 3 hour walk with it getting slightly jungley towards the end. We set up camp and had tea and the dinner with the group. As it was a bit warmer this night everyone stayed at the table after dinner and enjoyed a few beers before going to bed at a fairly decent time.