Location: Lares Trek

Author: Gabe Location: Lares Trek As we entered our first full day of hiking, there were mixed feelings that ranged from nervousness to excitement. We started off the day with warm coca tea to sooth us through the bitter cold morning followed by a satisfying breakfast before we set out on our adventure. On our way, as we were exiting our campsite, we stopped by one of the local mountain based homes to see what life was for them. After getting to experience that we started our long trek up a HUGE hill that we had to make our way up before reaching the peak where we were greeted by a beautiful crystal clear spring. After spending some time relaxing an sitting down from exhaustion accompanied with the extreme rise in altitude we continued on our way through valleys, massive open spaces, down steep rocks an up them as well, until we reached a very nice place to stop for a break where we discovered a breathtaking waterfall that we were able to walk to the edge of an look down at it’s massive power. At this point, however, most of us were starting to get pretty tired and we expected that we must be very near to our campsite, although this was not the case. We kept walking on a pretty level surface until we began our next climb up a very steep hill and then on through the what seemed to be endless rolling hills. Luckily for us all this work that was beginning to wear on us we were comforted by the amazing scenery that was around us which included rivers, sharp and towering snow-covered mountains, vast fields, and groups of alpaca. Eventually after doing what was for some of us one of the hardest hikes we had ever encountered we reached our already prepared campsite that was accompanied with tea and a big meal to satisfy our hunger. Although some of us were not feeling so great do to the altitude and temperature. But after getting a bit more comfortable we got to stop and enjoy where we were and explore around the campsite a little bit. As the day began to come to a close, we got to watch the clouds roll in BELOW us and eventually up into our campsite while also watching the sunset behind the awe-inspiring mountain tops. Unfortunately some of us were a little upset at the idea that supposedly the next day would be even more intense and elevation gaining we were relieved with the information that we had not only completed the days hiking itinerary but had also finished the majority of the next day’s as well. And with that we all went to our tents and got to bed early in preparation for the day ahead of us.