Rainbow mountain and Auzangate trek
A tour agency offered me free transport to cerro 7 color (rainbow mountain) if I took pictures with their logo, so I did. The price fro transport is a bit crazy anyway, the full day tour to rainbow mountain including transport, breakfast and lunch costs 55sol (1Euro is 3.85sol), but one way transport is at least 40sol without breakfast. Now because i made this deal I got both the transport and the breakfast (i think by mistake) for free. I had to be at 3:15am in plaza de armas and we left after picking everyone up at 4am. We gott breakfast and continued 20min farther a long the road to the start of the path. A lot of people started at the same time, but by walking normally we were quickly in front. I was first taken over by a guy from Australia, but later we walked together to the peak, only a couple of people that had been carried on horseback were there before us. But that still meant you always had other people on the picture, the colors are still very impresive. After the viewingpoint i went to the red valley. I had left my backpack with a guy selling food near the top of rainbow mountain. From the valley I walked up a mountain with a great view in all directions. I returned to collect my backpack and set of in the opposite direction towards Auzangate.
I had asked which path to take, but first there was a guy calling me back, only after I explained where I wanted to go it turned out i was going in the correct dirction. Clearly not many people continue to Auzangate. I first went to a lake with horses swimming and a couple of gooses. From there I went over a pass (higher than rainbow mountain, so higher then 5000m) and down in the valley on the other side. I couldn’t really see where the path went in the valley, but luckily i found a group of tourists with a guide. The guide told me where to cross to the next valley to a couple of lakes. I camped next to one of the lakes.
From there on the road was more clear. Past a big glacier, some more lakes, another pass. After the pass I took a detour to a glacier lake. There were a lot of small streams in front of the lake with different colors, yellow and red, and salt deposits. Although the water looked like fresh glacier water when it joined the mainstream from the glacier lake, I didn’t trust it for drinking. I had bought a filter after the salkantai trek so this was a good opporunity to use it (there are for me 3 big disadvantages of the filter; 1 its outside of the bottle, so can easily be damaged, 2 its slower with drinking, 3 the filter is broken when it freezes).
I went to the town Upis and crossed over the mountain to Pacchanta and from there to the lakes of Comercocha. I took a detour to the glaciers up the mountain and continued direction Abra Jamba pass. i camped some where between the lakes and the pass, next to a small lake and a stream.
The next morning i wake up with about 5cm of snow on my tent. I removed the snow and packed my stuff, luckily it wasn;t raining or snowing in the morning. It looked beautifull. I coninued walking (there was an anoying dog chasing for a while and lots of llama’s and alpaca’s). When I took a break i put my tent in the sun to let it dry. Lateron it started to rain and snow, and because i had already lost the path a couple of times and the guy from the tour office had told me the next part of the route was more diffeicult to find and because i didn’t meet any more people i decided to finnish the round around Auzangate and not to continue farther in the valley. This turned out to be a good decision, because this valley up to the pass and later crossing the pass was beautifull. First there were a lot of alpaca’s, then from just before the pass a large red glacier lake and the pass itself had all the different colors like rainbow mountain. Going down the pass you walk paralel to a glacier with large waterfalls. Down at the glacier lake I met 3 kiwi’s and i decided to stay with them in a hut. I had finnished my book so now, staying with them we could play cards in the evening.
the next morning I walked back in direction where I new to be the road to rainbow mountain. I hitchiked a little bit and later walked through a canyon up to the place where we had had breakfast. There I got free coffee (because they were spying on a couple next to the river and we had a laugh about that) and later got a ride on the back of a motor. Then a bus for 10min (he first asked me for 25sol, but I knew it should be 0.8sol), and then another bus for a couple hours to Cusco.
I went back to the hostel, had an early dinner and went reading at the square.
On the the square a lady trying to sell jewlery started to tell her story. Here family (22 in total) had been killed while she had been herding sheep in the mountains. They were killed by a terrorist organistation. After that she moved to Cusco and lived first for 3months in the streets until she was taken in by a family who gave her food and shelter. now she was working selling jewelery and for an orphanage.
I went back to the hostel and went with a couple Argentinians to the square for a beer and later to another hostel. At 22h I called it a night.