Location: Ollantaytambo

Our group woke up today to a cup of coca tea and a particularly good breakfast, in preparation for the final day of the Lares Trek. Because we had to backtrack due to the rain, we packed our bags and drove to where we would have been if the route had not been altered. We stopped at the peaks and took some pictures of the views that we might have missed, and arrived at the archaeological site which would begin our trek.

We explored the ruins of an ancient rest-stop, Pumamarka (Puma town), where each room and wall was designed to give ancient travelers rest on the Incan trail, which used to stretch from Bolivia to Chile. As we explored each room, we learned more and more about the lifestyles of the Incan peoples.

After a quick lunch, we said goodbye to our amazing staff and left for the final leg of our trek. The path was beautiful, going through natural streams and groves of trees and shrubs enclosing our walk. At any point, looking toward the opposite side or down into the valley, we saw tiny houses, rivers, cities, and people, working with their animals or driving or whatever else they happened to be doing. We stopped to admire the valley, or a passing group of goats right beneath us. Once we reached Ollantaytambo, we literally walked to our hostel, rang the doorbell, and had officially completed our trek.

Soon after, the other group arrived, and we recalled stories of the past four days apart over a delicious dinner.

The entire trek was beautiful, but today’s portion felt especially bittersweet. We have had so many unique experiences in the mountains, and although it was sad to leave them behind, it was relieving to finally take a real shower, rest in our beds, and meet up with our friends in the Sacred Valley.