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Published: September 23rd 2009
What can I tell you about our happenings, since my previous entry, that was made even before we have taken the flight to start our journey - so many things have happened.
Well, Since Nitzan wrote you a little about our flights to Lima, and about our stay in Lima, I will jump directly to our last week, spent in Huaraz, situated 8 hours north of Lima.
Well, first, I am happy that I can write you, that means I came back from the “Santa Cruz"
trek. Though I am back, I cannot say I am in one piece, because I have just learned about the existence of muscles I was not aware I have in my body - and now that they are aching and contracted, I have come to know them.
Nitzan is writing an entry in parallel to me, and she would probably explain to you more in details what we saw and detail all the logistics around the trek - guides, group, donkeys, horses, food, tents etc. So, I will concentrate on what she is not telling you....
Being the youngest adult on the trek, I was also crowned as the slowest of
the group... not the best title in the world, I admit - but look at the bright side of the story - I always made it to the end of the day on my own feet. Since I was s-o-o-o-o slow, I had plenty of hours of all alone walking - with everyone else being at least an hour ahead (yes, after the first hour of walking, I was normally already half an hour behind the others).
The rest of our group, consisted of a couple from Switzerland, that have been walking in mountains all their life; a couple from Holland that are tall and so have long legs (this is why for every step they make I need to do two..) and a semi-retired couple from England - at the ages of 58, and I could not find a single excuse for them being the fastest of all except that I am really a fat cow
with no ability for sports at all!.
Though I had hard time walking, especially uphill (which was 80%!o(MISSING)f the time...), I did have plenty of time to admire the beauties of the surrounding - magnificent mountains covered with snow, some
amazing turquoise lakes hidden in between, rivers flowing in the valleys, and lots of plants I was not familiar with - though hardly any trees. There were many Bromelias - parasite plants that seeds themselves on other trees, branches or even rocks. They appear in many sizes and shapes, with beautiful special flowers - they gain their water and nutrition not by growing roots but by containing rain water in between their leaves. Some photos of my described views made by the family's photographer (Tal) are also attached.
The highest point we have reached was 4750m above sea level, which implied a climb of ~1500m from the starting point of the trek.
Leaving aside the beauties of nature around us, I was very happy with the trek impacts on the family and the kids especially. They had to learn how to share riding the horse; Since mom was so far behind, they had walked many times with other travelers, and so they have practiced their English (for example Omer walked with the Swiss couple for more than 2 hours and he did not stopped talking the whole time) or Spanish (Shachar was giving the guides instructions how to
pull the horse and when does he want to be on the horse, or when to walk, as it was too scary to be on the horse in some of the slopes). They have learned the meaning of mental strength that pulls you and push you, even when you feel tired; they have learned how to be very happy with very little - same cloths for 4 days, brushing teeth in the river, no TV / DVD/ Nintendo/ Internet, sleeping in sleeping-bags and not in a comfortable warm beds, etc...
We have all seen and almost felt rural 3rd world villages, where people live with no running water, no electricity, having to take care of raising the animals and grow vegetables for food - and how can you be modest in your needs.
All in all, it was a very good experience (even though as I said above, aching and hard), and we will definitely do it again somewhere else in South America!
Hasta Pronto, Lilach P.S. This entry was already ready a few days ago but due to technical difficulties, we could not load it on time. Meanwhile, we have done quite a lot and had GREAT
time and experience, but you will all get to hear about it in my coming entry....
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