Location: Patabamba, Peru
There are few things in life worse than having to wake up at the crack of dawn. We had an early start to the day (breakfast was at 6.30am) and headed to Patabamba, where we were greeted by Mario, our guide, and three local women as soon as we hopped off the bus. After gearing up on snacks and water, we were ready to begin our 4-hour-long hike. The initial incline of the climb was exhausting and grueling. For an hour and a half or so, we trudged up while the locals breezed past effortlessly. Finally, we reached the village where we were to stay in for the night. The good news was that we finished our hike in 3 hours instead of the predicted 4! We were welcomed with open arms (literally) and sprinkled with white flowers over our heads at the doorway. To top off this heartwarming surprise, we were presented each with a necklace of pink flowers strung together. Lunch comprised organically and locally grown produce such as vegetables and corn, and we thoroughly enjoyed our food. After our meal, our hosts arranged for us to try on the traditional Peruvian garments, which we continued to wear until we reached our campsite. The locals gave us an amazing display of how they do their traditional weaving, and then we had dinner with them and fell asleep under the stars.