A Few “Post Trek” Thoughts

It struck me that here was a bunch of people doing something for charity. Something that was potentially (and really was) “tough and miserable” to quote the words of Kelso, one of the team leaders. Not only the toughness and miserableness of exhaustion and altitude sickness but in addition I’m sure there were quite a few (like us) combining it all with something we hate the idea of, i.e. camping.

Not just “normal” camping in a civilised campsite, but in a very basic and usually very cold site. No showers; toilets are either a long queue for a chemical jobby (excuse the bad pun) or a hole in the ground. You don’t know whether to be happy about the fantastically beautiful starry sky or dread the cold night ahead that it means. You wake up at 3.a.m. needing the toilet at -7? and wonder if it’s best to get up then, put all your clothes on, navigate to the toilet and hopefully get back to sleep, or worry whether you can hold it in and go back to sleep until the 5.30.a.m. wake up for breakfast.

The good thing about this trek was the food. The local porters and cooks did an amazing job. A nourishing breakfast of coca tea, quinoa porridge and pancakes was ready by 6.00. We set off, they then packed up camp and set off  carrying all the tents, sleeping bags, food, water and toilets) and overtook us in time to set up and cook lunch. We ate a hearty Andean meal; they then packed up and set off with all the stuff, overtook us and set up the evening meal.

All that in sandals and no Goretex.

1 thought on “A Few “Post Trek” Thoughts”

  1. Congratulations. And you’ve certainly earned it, considering the altitude and rocky grade. I can see why that would make for one tough trek. I was just talking with someone who drove out to Colorado (about 7000 feet above sea level) and although he’d been warned, he was amazed at how the altitude affected him to the point of leaving him dizzy at times.

    Great photos. I really like the composition. That stone wall as Sacsaywaman is spectacular. The shots of Michu Picchu are equally inspiring. The steep grade of some of the terraces is unbelievable, not to mention the incredible time and effort it must have taken to build it.

    That’s one of the things lacking in North America, the juxtaposition, and continuity, of history spanning hundreds if not thousands of years. In the early 70’s when I was on a rugby tour of Wales, I still remember the impact a simple stone bridge over a creek had on me with the date of construction inscribed on a stone-1520 A.D. The opening shot of Peru with the modern signs in the foreground and the ages old inscription in the backing hills is especially striking.

    The pictures also illustrate how we can take so much for granted. I remember a documentary on “grocery stores” that compared those of various Caribbean islands and ending in Miami Florida. The latter came at the end of the film, and it seemed the equivalent of walking through the gates of heaven, the contrast in the quality of display and the quantity of goods all presented in a massive, well lit, glistening super store with music surrounding all, seemed surreal compared to some of the stores from the Islands.

    Thanks for an interesting report, the great photos, and a mission accomplished. By the way, I hope the picture of you playing the wooden flute was to the tune of “Walking With Mr. Lee” !

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