We leave Huancayo at 6:00 a.m, our car climbs up and up until our arrival at Acopalca, a mountain town, about one hour later. During our drive we stop for some photos, but specially to learn about the different ecological floors - from Huancayo, in a valley at 3,240 m above sea level to the eastern glacier and snowy mountains of the Huaytapallana. Acopalca is 3,800 mts high and the starting point of our trek.The pass over Rondapampa, is 4,200 m and it is here that we get ready for our walk down and up and around to the glacial lakes.
We stop for lunch and camp at Yanauccha Lake with the impressive view of our sacred mountains. After lunch we climb to the ice point, where you will learn about our old Indian religion ... not a tourist show but a real feeling of inner peace. Back at our camp we will enjoy our warm drinks and sleep cozily under the shooting stars !!
We start at 7: 00 a.m, A breakfast with such a view is a luxury! After packing we climb up slowly to 4,500 m, 4,800 m, and to just over 5,000 mts. Our lungs are working hard but our eyes and souls are jumping and happy.
At the summit we have a good lunch and relax. During our journey we might see some famous rodents (vizcachas) of fine fur - sorry no hunting! After our long trek down we arrive at a group of huts of my good friends to enjoy their hospitality and way of living. They are llama shepherds who live in straw huts, aparently poor but richer than most as they don´t need more than they have and even have extra to share. Our night is spent in these huts, again surrounded by mountains, llamas and stars.
At about 8:00 am we join in the morning routine of our new friends, milking their cows, herding the llamas out into the countryside, making cheese - just everyday work, but for us a good chance to learn directly how a day starts in Andean life. After breakfast we pack and walk for a while up and down hills, covered with tussock grass, our legs are happy as it is almost all down hill! Next to a singing stream, we stop at some old shepherd caves for lunch. A little bit more walking will bring us to the point where we get our transportation ... back to Huancayo, a good sauna with soothing eucalyptus, and a well deserved dinner will be served at La Cabaña with our classic Calientito.