We just finished the student led aspect of the course through a trek called Lares. We separated the group into teams of four to prepare meals. A rotation was made between breakfast lunch and dinner, and after we found all the food we needed in Cuzco, we set off on the trek.
We started by camping next to Hot springs, where we cooked our first dinner, and were able to enjoy the pools. The next morning, we took down the tents and had our first hike which was only 4 hours, but we were able to stop and learn all about the cultivation of different types of potatoes in the area. Luckily that night we were able to set up our tents right before it rained. We had dinner that night, but several members of the group weren’t feeling well, so they had to return to Cuzco to see a doctor in the morning. The second day of hiking, we were hiking a pretty high pass, which started in the rain, but we didn’t really understand what that meant until it started hailing… then snowing, and some of us were a little underprepared.
The third day we hiked a higher and colder pass, but we were much better prepared, and we had a lot of fun going through the snow. A couple of snowballs and a couple of falls later, we made it to the next site, where it was still raining, which put a kink in a great day. However, when tents were up, and food was cooked, everyone was in better spirits, and we were able to recognize the view. The last day was about 4 hours downhill, where we met up with the group again before heading to Machu Picchu… which we did eventually make it to.
Overall, the entire leadership experience portion of the trip was a little atypical because the group had to split, but it allowed for more opportunities to persevere. It wasn’t an easy trek, and there were some rough patches, it was overall a success as it allowed us to see how we lead and interact with other leaders. It was a lot of fun, and a great experience to help everyone grow.