Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Salkantay Trek Day 3: Rivers and Popsicles and Jungle

Day 3 was much shorter and easier than day 2, which was great because I think we all needed a break. We left camp and headed down into the gorge that housed the angry river raging down from the glacier we had been right next to the day before. The hike took us through some small villages complete with adorable school children beginning the hour long walk to school, farm animals and crops like squash and corn.                                                                                              We crossed a bridge near the bottom of the canyon, and were instantly surrounded by jungle. After a quick stop to soak ourselves in Deet (You know, because me getting cancer in 10 years seemed better than the baby getting Zica, so yeah 98% Deet it was) we pushed on, up steep climbs and down steeper ones on a narrow strip of trail benched into the hillside.  

We crossed tons of bridges, some legit and sturdy looking, some sketchy logs over a river bridges. Once again I was wishing I had my mountain bike, and once again I really enjoyed the conversation with the others in our group (this time talking to Jen about their neighborhood and chickens).

 I can't get over how lush and green and vibrant the jungle was. It was really really cool to have come down off this huge glacier where the landscape was basically just rock and bam, next day you are in this lush jungle. 

After hiking for a few hours we came across a few passion fruit farms. The temperature was rising, and as the shade gave way to sun we got quite warm. Fortunately one of the farms sold popsicles! Lexi and I bought one of each passion fruit flavor as there were two varieties, one tart and intensely flavorful, the other more mild and sweet. It was like heaven eating such a cold treat in the shade, off our feet for a moment.

And then it was back to walking, crossing bridges and walking some more. Eventually we came to a town where we took another small break. We must have walked for 5 hours up to that point, and I was ready for lunch/a little tired and a lot hot. Lexi and I bought two red bananas for 1 sole and were shocked at how good they were. The flavor was pretty different from a regular banana in the US and they were dense and creamy, the perfect treat.                                                                                                                                     Sadly, post bananas and a quick coffee demonstration from our guides (where they roasted and ground coffee beans over a fire and then made Peruvian Starbucks for us) we had to keep walking. The walk to lunch was so long in fact that we snuck in a little taxi ride in a big bus to be able to make it to camp on time. It was kinda funny because the taxi let us out a good ten minutes from camp, because we were supposed to hike the whole time, and I guess if they saw us on the bus we would be in trouble. 

Fortunately lunch was at our camp for the night, meaning after lunch we had the afternoon free to go zip lining, to the hot springs, or to relax at camp. 
 I think lunch on day 3 was another of my favorite meals because there were two huge trays of guacamole most likely made with avocados from the trees all around the farm we were staying on. I ate so much guacamole I was sick all afternoon, and I was still burping it up at dinner time. The chefs also made animals out of veggies like the eggplant condor below. I thought that was hilarious.

Because we had skipped showering the previous night Lexi and I decided to go to the hot springs where there was relaxation plus a hot shower two for the price of one. I also didn't really feel like zip lining 5 months pregnant was a great idea, esp considering I was already pushing my luck in the doing too much category.
The hot springs was crazy impressive, with three HUGE pools decreasing in temperature as you moved downhill. I went in the cooler two, but opted to skip the super hot one for the baby's sake. After we found out the 'shower' was just to wash yourself in the runoff from the hotspring, which was a little gross and not private at all, but we did the best we could with what we had :)

On the bus ride back to camp we had another amazing conversation with our trekking companions on parenting and things everyone has observed with entitlement and children in nature. I love that our group was so open and shared so much about their own families. I've been pretty scared about parenting, and hearing so many opinions and observations has helped me continue to build a picture in my mind of who I want to be as a parent. I appreciate all the different viewpoints and thoughts SO much!

And then we had dinner (yet another meal where I wasn't hungry but ate anyway because energy) and went straight to sleep because we were all beat.
Lex and I at the hot spring.
Walking a crazy distance to the hot spring because there was construction on the road so we got dropped off really far away. 

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