One trekking pole in front of the other, we plod on our endless uphill climb, trying to get over a pass that we see looming in the distance, flanked on both sides by severe, snow-capped cliffs. Usually a happy, talkative group, the majority of us have become silent, focused on our vertical battle against gravity.
This is the prevailing memory from our first two days trekking. At the end of the second day, after we hiked over the mountain pass and descended into the village of Cuncani, we found Maggie and Randall there waiting for us. Playing hacky sack, frisbee, and soccer with a local boy brightened the group mood, and we all practiced our Spanish skills. On the third day of our trek we enjoyed walking dowhill in the sun, stopping at the thermal baths outside Lares for a swim or two, and an Uno game in preparation for Livana.
We ended our trek with a beautiful drive back to Urubamba, excited for our next adventure: homestays.