13:14.35S 72:29.2W Warminannuska, Dead Woman's Pass 4215mtrs.

Sat 7 May 2016 05:35
We awoke to the sound of those cockerells and with a warming breakfast of quinoa porridge and Scottish pancakes inside us we set off knowing our porters would soon be overtaking us to set up the lunch camp.

Ahead was a steep uninterrupted climb of steps varying in height from below to above one foot for four and a half hours. I determined to pace myself so I would neither run out of breath, as I had on the first day, nor suffer from aching legs.

Rob stayed ahead with the leaders, his stride is longer and his pace faster than mine!

The reward at the top was immense. Snow capped mountains, lush green slopes, the bluest of blue skies and pure white puffy clouds.

Surprisingly, the toughest part of the day was the steep descent to our second camp. Stepping sideways onto the next step down jarred the whole skeleton, especially the knee joints. 

We had climbed well above the tree line in the morning and now we were descending back into the rain forest from the cloud forest above.

It was a big camp with each group occupying their own couple of terraces, one for the sleeping tents and another for the dining tent, in which the porters slept at night, and the portaloo tent, approached with apprehension the first few times until we realised the bag was replaced frequently and it often beat the permanent loos, with their hit and more often missed holes in the ground, for cleanliness.

As darkness fell it became cool and very damp. All night frogs croaked close around the tents, a metre or two away from our plugged ears we could still hear them and the steam a's it rused to meet the Urubamba RIver hundress of feet below. I noticed the water vapour in the beam of my torch while I checked for little frogs in the grass before I peed.

Our camp was 11,676 feet up in an Andean valley, no wonder it was cold and wet.