Day 2 of Huchuy Cusco Trek: Delicious and Downhill

Day 2: The pounding rain beating a steady rhythm on the roof of my simple room in Mama Natividad’s guest house the night before had covered the surrounding mountain peaks in a luscious blanket of fresh white snow. For me, this discovery first thing in the morning was something of a gift. Allow me a momentary tangent to describe how much I love snow; as insane as that may seem to so many of my northern hemisphere friends and family enduring an endless string of driveway clogging slush/snow/slush again storms. Beyond all forms of skiing and other winter recreation possibilities I love snow because of its amazing ability to impart peace and quiet. The first thing that comes to mind when I think of a snowy landscape is that thick blanket of post-storm silence that can absolutely chase away any nagging thoughts in my mind and allow me to simply observe. So, couple that feeling with a warm earthen kitchen filled with the smell of wood smoke and hot coffee and we’re pretty much talking about my idea of paradise; 14,000 ft and change on the side of a mountain, flanked by the remnants of Inca architecture from several centuries ago.
Mama Natividad, her 5 year old daughter, and elderly mother were already in the kitchen getting another multi-course meal ready when I was making my first cup of coffee. Even with
6 of us eventually in the kitchen, there was hardly any talking as we all stared off at the white mountains and the cloud banks floating between the different peaks and ridges. Later, we were too busy feasting on pancakes with fried bananas, choclo con queso, and fresh bread with jam to say much of anything.
It stayed pretty quiet as we packed our bags, said good bye to the 3 generations of family that had shown us such hospitality, and began a long downhill hike to the town of Calca.
It was a rapid transition from high alpine meadows, rocks, and jagged peaks to lush green foliage and overhanging flowers. The recent rains had also turned streams into pounding rivers and created small waterfalls from rock outcroppings.
It was a slow 4 hour walk down to the valley, and I think we were all a little disappointed the trek was over as we crossed the bridge into Calca. I can at least say for certain that I will make another visit to Huchuy Cusco and Mama Natividad’s guest house before I leave Peru; and would strongly recommend the 2 day trip to anyone considering a visit to Cusco or the Sacred Valley.

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