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An unforgettable hike:

Crossing the mountains between Quishuarani and Cancha Cancha

My volunteering time ended with an unforgettable trip in the Sacred Valley. Two last important dates had been written down in our calender: first a weaver meeting on Wednesday in Amaru and second a weaver meeting on Saturday in Cancha Cancha. So Stuart had the great idea to combine these meetings with a beautiful hike through the Sacred Valley. The challenge was the crossing of a 4421 m high pass between the two huge mountains "Nevado Sirihuani" and "Nevado Azulorko."

Amaru impressed me by its well organized structure and richness of beautiful textiles. We left this community with a couple of scarves, bags, and hairbands more in our backpacks.

The hike began very relaxed in Lares where we (Leah, Stuart, and me) got by bus and where we spend the first night at the popular hot springs. The following sunny morning we started our trip with a short taxi drive to Collana. After five minutes drive the leftside front wheel of our car got stuck in a big hole in the middle of the road. We could have been lucky that quickly 5 strong Peruvians were found who carried the car back to the road. From Collana we went to Quishuarani, passed a wonderful blue-coloured lake and crossed the seven waterfalls.

Behind that we reached a little valley which seemed to be perfect to set up our tent for the next night. Leah and I learned how to filter and clean the water of the lake, we founded a little, dry kitchen next to a huge rock and we ended the first day by eating pasta, drinking a cup of hot, sugary tea and watching the clear sky with perhaps a million of its sparkling stars. The next morning (after a "cold-feet“ night) began with a nutritious breakfast of oats, milk, peanutbutter and hot chocolate. Stuart and Leah didn’t want to miss to eat another toasted bread with salty sardines and cheese (crazy Canadians...!;)).

Loaded up with enough new energy we crossed the pass while it was snowing. As the snow turned into heavy rain and dense mist covered the whole surrounding we decided to stay the next few hours in our tent sitting – waiting – wishing. After a couple of hours we listened silently and couldn`t hear anymore rain dropping on our tent. We groveled out of the tent and were totally impressed of our new surrounding. The sun had begun to shine, the clouds moved slowly and we were able to have an unforgettable view to the big, snow covered mountains right next to our tent. Incredible! I liked it a lot.

The next and last day was my favorite day of the whole trip because we've seen a lot of different landscape by exploring a little river flowing down from the huge mountains, walking up and down to different lagoons and we could observe some Peruvian families that guarded their alpaca flocks through the green fields. That morning the weather always switched between heavy clouds, totally clear sky and warm sun. It was interesting to see this fast changings in the mountains.

Before lunch we arrived just in time in Cancha Cancha to meet Sarah and Elisabeth for the weaver meeting. Unfortunately, it didn't take place because of a misunderstanding of dates and time. Some hot potatoes and a warm cup of tea later, we made the last beautiful step of our hike down to Huaran all together and finally sleepy went by bus back to Cusco.

Thanks my cozy red blood buddies for the wonderful trip!!! ;)

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