Location: Cachiccata Quarry, Peru

Today, we all woke up at 6:00 AM to say goodbye to half of our group, the 40-hour people, who left for their four-day hike! Good luck! They left at 7:00 AM. After a hard goodbye, we proceeded to eat our usual breakfast of pancakes, eggs, bread, French toast, oatmeal, fresh fruit, yogurt and a series of juices. Everyone from the 100-hour group prepared for our hike. Our guides (Ruben and Alberto) met us at the hotel and brought us our bagged lunches (sandwiches, dessert, water, oranges, pineapple juice, and breakfast bars). We all made sure to fill up on our water and headed out.

We took the bus to the beginning of the hiking trail but had to walk a bit because the teacher’s march was blocking the road (a protest of the public school teachers because of their low salaries). With only half the group present because of their illnesses, we began our 5-mile hike up the mountain. Our guides started walking, and at the beginning, everyone walked at a steady pace but soon some people began slowing down, and we took frequent breaks. We reached a small shack on a break, and a small black dog started following us, which we named Shadow. We continued up the mountain, and a man came from a nearby town with a horse to carry our bags to help lower to load. A few group members headed back to the hotel because the uphill hiking was too much for some of us. With only five of us left, we continued up the mountain. We reached the rock quarry, the spot where we decided to eat lunch. We enjoyed our food while looking at the fantastic view of the town we’ve been staying in. We spotted many places we’ve been including the hotel, multiple restaurants, and shopping areas. Some of our group members wanted to continue to the top of the mountain, but we took photos and decided we should just head back down to the hotel. We slowly hiked back down the mountain and by the time we made it back, it was around 4:45. We checked in with our sick group members and decided to reward ourselves with ice cream from the Choco Museo, the chocolate museum. We walked around in the cold, looking at different souvenirs for our families. We cleaned up for dinner and headed to a small restaurant on the main square. We all had Mexican food and listened to a performer in the restaurant. We went back to the hotel, and all had quality bonding time on the hotel roof. At 10:00, we all headed to bed after a tiring day of hiking and rested up for a long day of community service at a nearby school the next day with a community service group called My Small Help.