Last weekend Kenzo and I attempted the Senor de Huanca hike. Once a year, large groups of Peruvians do a Pilgrimage to the Senor de Huanca – leaving at night fall and arriving to the end for the sunrise.
We were told by a friend that it should be 4 hours on Saturday and 4 hours on Sunday. It was raining, and the family that we live with here was pretty worried about the two of us going alone . . . so we went, somewhat committed to the whole trek, but really thinking that we might just do the first leg and then head back or maybe not even go at all, if once we got to the trail head it was still raining. Haha. Our plans changed – we ended up doing the entire trek (and more…) and the entire walk took us 5 hours on Saturday and 7 hours on Sunday – but it was very fun!
We brought along the small camera (when we do it again – we will bring my camera!) and took tons of photos and a handful of videos along the way. Below I have posted everything in order that we saw it…and will take you through our great trip.
Meet Theodoro el Torro (bull) We’ve been taking this little guy all around Peru with us, as he represents the mascot of USF! You will see plenty more of him on the blog!
Haha – first video, check it out –
Enjoying being on the wrong mountain, and the view of our beloved Cuzco! (And yes, Dr. Pepper, I was Mrs. Green-zo that day).
Second video – “arrival” – kind of.
When we summitted the first (mistaken) mountain, we celebrated with a photo with Theo.
View of the city as we continue to walk, looking for a place to camp for the night.
Kenzo, surrounded by beauty.
Gorgeous – there are three crosses on the top left mountain-top overlooking the valley. Beautiful!
The view of Cuzco from where we made camp.
Video – 3 – Nightfall
Supposedly, the city of Cuzco is in the shape of a Puma. This was the first time we kind-of saw what they’re talking about.
We took another video at this point, but it was so dark nothing showed up. We had a wonderful evening, although it was freezing and we could not get anything to light on fire (so no fire…but, we did have a bottle of wine from our 5 Year Anniversary that kept us warm! And Kenzo just bought a stove for our next hike – so hot chocolate and food will be ours!)
Video 4 – “Sunrise” and Breakfast
Our view in the morning and what we thought was the city of Huanca. How wrong we were. It was actually the city where we should have been the first night. It took us about an hour to get down there to realize that.
En route to the little city we saw ahead, we realized that we were back on the trail!!
“A donkey”. As we walked towards the little city that we thought was Huanca, we got to pass through a beautiful valley – all different shades of green. It was beautiful! It was probably 7am, so we were the only ones out…actually, we were pretty much the only ones out the entire trail, except for when we passed through the quiet little town.
Arriving into town around 8am – in the fog. By this time, we were talking about maybe heading back to Cuzco. I had a photo shoot to do that night and Kenzo was planning on working the night shift at the hospital. Since we had started the trip half-heartedly, we weren’t 100% a go for the morning hike. So, we arrived, and there happened to be a truck driver on the outskirts of town, and I asked him if this was Huanca. To which he laughed and told me “No, Huanca is a 4 hour hike from here.” “Oh” I said, “well can we get a bus back to Cuzco from here?” To which he laughed again and replied, “No – just the walk to Huanca.” I asked him if he was headed to Cuzco and he said not until after working all day.
So – we set out toward Huanca – expecting to be walking for about 4 hours.
The quiet little town – it was definitely third world, compared to our experience in Cuzco.
Llamas and sheep and donkeys oh my!
Haha. I guess we were interesting to them.
I love the llama valley photo above!
Leaving the town – we entered what Kenzo and I ended up naming the “Highlands.” They were beautiful, soft-green, rolling hills that we got to walk through for a couple of hours. (Below I am Maria from Sound of Music).
We stopped to rest and eat some fruit at the end of the highlands and 15 minutes later entered a new phase of the trail…which was breathtaking!
Video 5 – 360 degree view of Senor de Huanca (where the Pilgrimage people stop to worship and watch the sunrise)
“This is Peru” – Kenzo
After taking in the beauty for awhile – we began our decent to the town of Huanca. It was steep and long and the town completely teased us the entire way because it was in sight. And, we messed up – because we saw a city (which we believed was Huanca) and passed the town (of Huanca) by about 3 hours…not realizing when we made the commitment to keep walking, that the decent would take us that much more time.
Poor Kenzo had to carry this mother-load the entire trip – I offered to carry it several times and he finally took me up on it – but I could only last for about 20 minutes.
Although the last 3 hours were torturous and all that we wanted to do was get off the mountain, overall – we had a beautifully, wonderful trip! And – we learned a life lesson – “In life, you take the high road. But when you’re on a mountain and you do not want to be, you take the low road.”
The valley – that red roofed church on the bottom left is Huanca – oops – should have stopped a long time ago!!
You’ve probably seen more than enough, but just in case – here is a slideshow of our hike with more photos: