Don Martin, the father, woke us up at 5 AM with a cup of coca tea and two bowls of warm water to wash ourselves. We put on all the clothes inside the sleeping bags, which also got wet during the night. When we went outside for breakfast we realized the outside of the tent was frozen!
The warm tea and the excellent breakfast (vegetable omelette and hot oat meal) helped warming up our bodies. We then started our long uphill walk along the valley. After a while the sun rose and we were glad that our clothes could dry. We put our jackets on our backpacks to dry up. The following 3 hours walk was scenic, watching the valley surrounded by mountains from different perspectives, passing by a beautiful lake and watching local people working in the fields (preparing them to plant potatoes) and llamas, sheeps etc. We then had a snack break with a view over another valley where Nidio and his father passed by with their mules almost running. Nidio’s brother didn’t join us anymore since he had to go to school.
Along the way local people offer wool products and some soft drinks. We’ve already been equipped so we couldn’t buy more goods but always left a small snack. We had our lunch break about one kilometer away from the pass, Nidio and his father had already built the cooking tent and started to prepare the meal. Thank god this day was not that cold and the sun and the clouds were fighting each other in the sky.
Asparagus soup, rice with vegetables and broccoli-cheese prepared on a lasagna layer together with some stewed vegetables was our fantastic meal. So tasty – What else do you need? The last uphill walk was the hardest as we had to reach about 4,900 mts above sea level. Once on top we got another amazing view over the Andes and a blue lake. The rest of our walk was downhill until we arrived to our next campsite. After 8 hours of intensive walking we were happy to have a short break before dinner. Temperatures dropped drastically after sunset, so our tea time and dinner were done very fast. Lucia got headache so she went back to the tent.
Nidio and Don Martin collected wood in the afternoon so I just waited for a fire hoping that I would feel my toes again soon. While we were enjoying the warmth the fire gave us, Don Martín was doing the dishes – of course the river water was cold, almost frozen. It was an unforgettable moment looking at Don Martin coming to the fire and putting his hands into the fire. He must had been extremely cold as he left them there for minutes until he just laid down next to the fire and fell asleep.