New Zealand 2017: Tongariro Crossing and Mount Ngauruhoe.


Hike-about is an adventure that commenced June 2010. After storing our household movables, ridding ourselves of a house but retaining our 'home' together, we set off with the purpose of hiking in different parts of the world, not forgetting the home country, the USA.

Our primary focus is hiking to mountain peaks but any challenging hike will do just fine. Extended stays enable us to enjoy and experience living in various places amongst differing cultures. Hike-about has evolved into a way of life. It's also a process of discovery, both the world and ourselves.

We work and live 'on the road' but return to the city in which our grandchildren reside, every couple of months. This provides us the wonderful opportunity to be with them as well as a child or two, even three and of course, friends.

By the end of 2022, the blog contained over 1,470 hikes, each a set of pictures with stories and anecdotes from the trails. An index to the right allows the viewer to identify earlier experiences.

Finally, we are often asked about the journey's end.
ur reply, as accurate as we can state, is: "When we are either forced to cease through health issues or the enjoyment level no longer reaches our aspirations, we will hang up the boots."

"A Life Experience As No Other: Dare to Seize the Day Together", published by Fulton Books, depicts our life on the road and mountains until the beginning of 2017. It has developed 'exponentially' since then.

Jenni and Jeffrey Lazarow

Whereas we continue to update the blog regularly, we no longer circulate email notifications often.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

15.11 St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands

Magens Bay viewed from Mountain Top. A bay is a shielded body of water which coincides
with the Hebrew word (magen).

Looking from above the town out towards the ocean.

Taking a break after a sweaty climb.

“You need rest, more food—look how scrawny you’re getting—we’re going to the beach today,” our 'bossy'
editor informed us. We preferred it when she gave us commands rather than the combination of commands and
personal criticism of how we look. We did agree that it’s time to unwind a little as the near month stay
in Peru took it out of us, particularly the language bits. However, we were not ready to admit it, certainly
not until she withdraws her comments that we used to be so much more loveable when we were carrying a few
pounds more.

After numerous delays, we finally made it to the beach, a rather small cove. We positioned ourselves on
chaise-lounges and prepared for the afternoon’s activities. Perhaps activities might be an exaggeration.
“You have to lie down and unwind, preferably with a book,” she commanded, again. We completed reading
books we brought with us, what with the numerous plane rides and other downtime periods, we were without
material. Instead, we decided we would take in the scenery with emphasis on the Atlantic Ocean as we did
not see much water in Peru.

Looking across Magens Bay towards Hans Lollick Island.

The Norwegian 'Epic' at port, thousands of tourists flood the stores.

At first, we felt a bit awkward. However as time passed, we realized that perhaps this hiking
business is overrated. After all, every time we felt tired, all we had to do was close the eyes and
dream of whatever we wished. Hell, this was proving to be easy. Admittedly, we did get a little bored
after three minutes, maybe less. Let’s make this interesting, we thought to ourselves, deliberately
excluding the editor from our ideas. She can be quite a spoilsport when she’s made up her mind that
we are going to the beach. She also is not above exaggerating a little. Another of her caustic comments
was, “We haven’t lay on a beach for this long in twenty years.” Where she gets her numbers, we don’t
know. However, when she wants to make a point, she comes at us with large figures. We didn’t want to
mention that we thought it closer to thirty years. Let sleeping dogs lie, we thought.

A hazy day unfortunately, Tortola ahead and St. John to the far right.

Talking of dogs, we were starting to get restless, sitting on that chair. We adjusted the position
and continued with our thoughts and activities. What about, we considered, seeing how many times a
minute our eyes blinked. Does each eye blink the same number of times or is there a variation?
We stopped wearing a watch some time ago so that wasn’t a good idea. We had no intention of asking
the editor for hers—we don’t think she would have appreciated the question or the use to which we’d
want to put her timepiece. Instead, we just lay there. We realize there must be something wrong
with us. After all, many people love to relax and sunbathe on the beach.

We are also not allowed to look at other women officially. We know this to be correct and therefore,
we don’t hold it against our editor. Although the beach was almost deserted, whenever a pretty woman
passed, we made certain not to look at her. As insulting as this may be to pretty women, we have a
much higher allegiance both to our lovely, but bossy editor, and our values. (What a wonderful sentiment.
Should one say or write it enough times, one could almost believe it.)

The slogan for this part of the world is 'Home of the world famous banana daiquiri'. Unfortunately, this was
a bit lost on us as we are obviously squares. Nevertheless, we fought back strongly...see below:

When a banana goes off, it blackens quickly, the result...the low calorie dark daiquiri.

With the excitement building, we entered the water and swam around until our editor bumped into
a fish or piece of seaweed or something worse. We often wonder why certain people are surprised that
the ocean might have fish in it and worse, that the said fish, would dare to swim in a bathing area.
Following a refreshing swim, we returned to our chairs to warm and of course, rest. By that stage, we
were wondering whether the resort staff needed assistance in cleaning rooms, even toilets or anything
else. “I think,” we heard the editor pipe up, “We should return to the room and think of a hike for
the morrow.” Now we know why we love her.

A couple more islands. We also saw Tortola and St. John but the air was very hazy for photo's.

The morrow arrived and we headed for the famous place with the original name: ‘Mountain Top’. Clearly,
the locals have run short of names. Unfortunately, there’s no trail up the 1,500 feet mountain nor are
sidewalks built. By the way, apparently sidewalks (pavements) are not considered important in this part
of the world. We had a taxi drop us off so we could turn the occasion into a hike. It certainly was a
good work-out and together with the high level of humidity, we perspired vigorously. The return journey
downwards was obviously much easier but extreme caution on the roadside slowed us considerably. With a
large shop at the top, it’s another tourist haven (trap) like much of St. Thomas.

The islands were originally owned by the Danish. In 1917, the United States, fearing the expansion of
German influence in the Caribbean, purchased the islands at $300 per acre. Even for those times, it
seems a high price.


Jenni and Jeffrey

"Oops, where did that come from? Missing Machu Picchu so much...

Monday, October 28, 2013

15.10 Choquequirao Ruins, a memorable and challenging journey

A view from 3rd camp, that river crossing makes it tough.

A subtle sunset viewed from the camp outlines the jagged and rugged mountains.

The mountain path from Marampata, camp 2, to the ruins. Three days on the outside edge...fantastic.

It is difficult to relay the feeling of being on top or near the tops of mountains, few people, if any,
about and not have a clue where in the world one is. The only access back to, as some like to say, civilization,
is to follow the trail or path. Miss that path and one is lost in what feels like the middle of nowhere.
The isolation, the tranquility, the beauty of the mountains and the night sky filled with an untold number
of stars is not a feeling describable easily. It probably means something different to each of us. Should a
spectacular sunset precede the evening dusk, then better still. Sitting in the darkness and gazing at the jagged
outline of the mountains, sometimes aided by moonlight, the trickle of a stream or the pounding of a stronger
flowing river breaking the quiet, enhances the atmosphere but also highlights the insignificance of the individual
in the context of nature. At the same time, the individual also has the privilege of enjoying the sights and
feeling the atmosphere without any restrictions. Perhaps nature too needs the human to compliment it else who
or what is there to appreciate the miracles occurring in the world each moment.

We reached Choquequirao Ruins in poor weather.

One of very few gentle and short slopes; hence, a happy editor.

After emptying the guts in a non-traditional way, Jenni captures the mood of both her 'man' and town.

We looked across the ravine before us and realized our initial destination, as the crow flies, was only
another mile or so away, perhaps a 1,000 feet higher than where we stood. The latter position was on the
first day after hiking less than three hours. Because we are not crows, we hate that phrase about these
birds as it’s meaningless to pedestrians, we had to walk down to the river some 3,500 feet below and then
up 4,500 feet. As hikers, one thing that gets to us is to walk down when the target is above. Seems silly
but then who are we to argue with the Designer of the mountains. Once we had reached the position we had
viewed from afar the previous day, we still had a further 1,500 feet of inclines to negotiate to arrive at
Choquequirao Ruins and get back to camp at Marampata. Arguably, it was the toughest day in our hiking lives.

People have asked, ‘When are you going to end this nonsense…um hike-about?’ Our answer has always been when
we no longer derive enjoyment from the adventures. Well, if anyone presented us with resignation forms within
thirty minutes of the peak last Monday, we might have quit. We thought after the trek we would be wiped out
for a few days. Surprisingly, after 45 miles in three days with elevation acquisition of over 12,000 feet,
we felt good, quite a manner of speaking. Yet the night before we left for the trek, Jenni returned
from the bathroom and mentioned that she felt tired after brushing her teeth. Too many teeth? Actually, we
both began to cough again. Our diagnosis is that the quality of the air, heavily laden with dust, was the
problem. We never wished to be doctors but we obviously have the flare for the profession. Hum!

Soon after crossing the river, the big climb begins. Thereafter, it got progressively steeper.

"How much is that doggie in the box?" Our baggage comes across the river under heavy guard.

The only time we were disappointed with one of the locals was when the guide kept saying, “Marampata, Marampata…”,
while pointing towards the sky. (Our tough, initial destination.) After a while, we said in a fit of pique,
“Marampata does not exist; it is a figment of your imagination.” Fortunately, he spoke not a word of English.

Talking of brushing teeth…at camp three, Jenni headed for the banos in early evening. The mosquito-like
insects were particularly prevalent and ugly that night. As a defensive measure, she covered her face and
neck with insect netting. Good thinking! The feeble structure of the banos included a commode with an exposed
front and low mud walls on three sides, hiding the participant while seated but not in the upright position.
Flushing was by way of filling a plastic, gallon size container with water that was stored close by and pouring
it into the commode. More water, better the flush. The mosquitos, not wishing to be thwarted by the clever net
placing on the head, attacked that part of the body recently exposed in the banos. The revenge of these terrible
mites was very nasty from our perspective. Some four days later, the results are still prominent. Who would have
thought to spray repellant on both ends?

After years of searching, finally found Jack's beanstalk. As for Jack...

Reminds us of scenes from Hawaii but with snow.

A makeshift crib in a rather drab environment, to put in gently.

And still on the subject of bathrooms, it’s interesting to see that in each village, many of the homes have
a business which is the selling of drinks, candy and other consumables. The liquids are broadly, Coca Cola,
water, Gatorade and Inca Cola. We always marvel at the sight of these booths in the mountains where human
traffic amounts to less than ten hikers per day. In getting back on track, we have fixated on the Inca Cola
but had no desire to give it a try. One reason might be that it is not a low calorie drink. The more important
detracting feature of the cola is that it looks as close to urine as the real thing. Our editor has displayed
enormous courage on this trip but she understands when she’s out of her depth. She stayed with water.

After reaching the second camp, we faced lightning and rain. We tried to explain to the guide that
we don't hike in lightning. 'Ah!', he exclaimed. He ran into the hut and returned with a flashlight.
So much for our explanation. Fortunately, the lightning passed soon afterwards.

'Reach for the sky'. One of many attractive peaks.

We both were hesitant about the last day's climb after experiencing the downhill two days before.
Fortunately, we were in fine form and literally 'ate' up that mountain.

After the tough second day component, we lay in the tent savoring the moments and resting the bodies.
Soon after falling asleep, we awoke to the sound of a grinding noise. What could it be? We were the only
campers and the few residents were in their huts, including a cute baby. It sounded like the chewing of cud
but with less than graceful manners. Our editor worried that it was a cow with her calf and that they might
stumble over our tent. The thought was not pleasant. We decided to investigate. Sure enough, a mule was
eating alongside the tent. We expressed our dissatisfaction with the animal by speaking in our best
South African accent: “Voetsak,” we shouted, and the animal bolted but only about 15 feet. We returned
inside, feeling the hero in front of our lovely, but weary editor. After all, we had faced the
great unknown on the top of a mountain in the middle of the night. We lay down again only to hear the
grazing animal continue. Added to that, these animals have no inhibitions. There is no reluctance to
emptying their bowels anywhere and at any time including at our entrance.

Snow and cloud integrate on the peak, Salkantay.

Because of the heavy trail use by the beasts of burden, there is a very good covering of dung or manure,
if you prefer, which adds to the importance of good foot placement. For locals, it appears they don’t
differentiate between manure and soil. Back to the evening’s rest after the tough day. A little while
later, the residents came out the hut and explained to the mule that it should ‘scoot’. Perhaps they were
less polite than that. One of the dogs rushed out to enforce the ruling. After a further five minutes,
the dog returned from herding the mule but it was yelping. We guessed it got a solid kick from the errant
animal. Thereafter, all was well until about 3:30am when the rooster’s alarm clock set him off early, we would
think. It’s a good thing we don’t need the sleep. What do they say…it’s a waste of hiking time.

One more point about the animals. In many of the small-holdings including town homes, all types of animals fill
the spaces. At our commencement point, we saw chickens, pigs, mules, dogs, cats, guinea pigs and maybe other
birds and animals, too. A fascinating aspect was to watch them get along with each other. At no stage did we
see any aggressive or threatening behavior bar the dog and mule mentioned above. In fact, the arrogance of the fowl
shown to their more powerful neighbors was surprising.

Another peek at a Hawaii type of peak.

Looks like a back alley where schoolboys could grab a smoke in 14th century.

The older we get, the more time passes for us to think of the issues of life. The experience of seeing
different cultures, people and lands has exceeded our expectations. More importantly, although we do visit
cities, the real essence of hike-about is being in the country, the mountains, the lightly populated or
untouched areas. We get a great feel of places by visiting and meeting locals, especially the less sophisticated
populace. In addition, it has been incredible to meet fellow hikers and travelers on the trails over the years.
There are many but a few stand out who have not only touched us but have influenced us. We particularly think
of Jonna from the east coast, Michael D from Sedona, and two gentlemen from the great state of Oregon,
Bill A and Barry J. Having met and corresponded with them has been and continues to be uplifting occasions.

It's not what's for lunch, fellas but who's for lunch. The crowd gather around the main living area at camp 2

Although we see much misery and suffering in the world, we think we have our own understanding of why the
world still exists. When we look around, we see the need to nurture and provide a place for babies. What is
more beautiful than the human baby? In addition, look at the animal young ones, too. Then add another ingredient
or relationship—mother and child. Can there be anything stronger and purer than the link between mother and baby.
So whenever we see and read of the awful cruelty and inhumanity that permeates throughout the world, we are
strengthened by the beauty of the little ones as well as the bonds between those same cute babies and their moms.

On completion of the trek, a taxi-type vehicle and driver took us on a 'min-dae' ride to the main road. In local
parlance, it means we were moments away from instructing the driver to halt and let us out the car and rather
walk up the mountain to the bus stop. Although he wasn't reckless, the wide turns he made as the car careened
around and on the cliff edges was frightening. Our editor closed her eyes and we don't have to guess what she
was doing. We were involved in some last minute estate planning. Upon reaching the main road, we waited at
roadside for a double-decker modern bus. It seems one flags down this inter-city bus and after some brief
negotiations between Mr. Silvio and the driver, we headed for Cusco on a 4-hour drive. In a touching moment
just before then, Jenni took off a jacket she had purchased for herself and gave it to Mr. Silvio to hand over
to his daughter-in-law. The picture of the baby above is his grandson.

A 7-century old structure.

As always, at the conclusion of a hike-about segment, we like to thank our friends for their interest and
those who made comments, suggestions and even some compliments—thank you very much indeed. It is very special
knowing we are not alone particularly in some of those wide-open spaces. Finally, a special thank-you to
Barbara and Gary Frank for encouraging us to visit Peru. We suppose the greatest compliment we can pay them
is that we believe the experience was much more than we could ever envisage. Quite frankly, it was profound.


Jenni and Jeffrey

Friday, October 25, 2013

15.9 The Road to Choquequirao Ruins, Part 2

On the roof of the apartment again, in Cusco at 5am, the morning of the trek.
City lights still shine before nature dominates the day.

In the middle of 'nowhere', Marampata actually, nature's lights put on the evening's entertainment.

Thirty minutes after arriving at camp 2, the mountains and clouds got into an argument. We hate that,
especially when the clouds cry. Be nice fellows!

Engineers of the 14th century. The wall or terrace is well below the city (top-right).

The adventure began when we walked through the city of Cusco searching for another trek to undertake
while in the country. Two weeks previously, we had enjoyed a wonderful experience, the Salkantay Trek.
We found Edwin, a business owner, who offered us this option. He also spoke good English and seemed a
very nice young man. He also did not mention how tough the hike is—perhaps he’s not such a nice young
man after all. In fact, he drove us to the commencement point in Cachora, a near 4-hour drive over the
most torturous route we have traveled. Although the road was mostly in good repair, it comprised
hairpin bends, S-curves, sharp turns and then the same pattern repeated itself moving acutely
up-and-down. For the first time in perhaps thirty years, the editor’s ‘brave hero’ emptied his stomach
on the side of the road. By the time we reached the destination point in the car, hiking over four days was
not a high priority. In fact, it was a struggle to keep the head up and the mind focused.

Oroya or manual cable car for river crossing. Trying to convince the editor the system works
ninety percent of time.

Wallflower taking a walk in the ruins on the wild side as we head for the plaza at Choquequirao. There was only
one other couple shopping for 'specials' that afternoon.

We have enjoyed being in Peru very much. What follows should not be seen as disparaging in any way.
In fact, at times, we walk around with heavy hearts as we witness the poverty, squalor and dilapidated
buildings and houses. At the same time, the people are always friendly and helpful although communication
is extremely difficult for those without the local language—the language of the Americas. Cusco from
above seems quite an attractive town and at night, even better. However, when one looks under the roof
coverings or in the harsh light, the warts are revealed. To date, we have not seen a house or building
that is complete, properly finished or one we would entertain purchasing should it be our wish to live
in this region. Clearly, because of affordability or custom, the thinking is very different from the
Western way, or at least ours. Litter is a serious problem, too. Although there is a campaign to educate
the people, it has not taken off yet. The towns and cities we have seen are very dirty and shabby.
When our guide threw a plastic bottle into the bush, we realized how much work needs to be done.

Enjoyed seeing the wisp of cloud in front of the snow-capped gigantic mountain.

Just in time to witness the sun catch the back mountain.

Full frontal of the ruined city with an interesting backdrop. Only accessible by foot.
Nearest town 22 miles away.

Crime is another issue. Most places have some form of security whether it’s bars over windows and doors,
barbed wire or armed personnel. Dogs roam the streets at all hours of the day, too. Often one might walk
past a pooch wondering whether it is asleep or dead. The occasional flickering of the eye is always a
good clue. Dogs on the streets having a very good understanding in avoiding motorists. They are familiar
with the constant sound of honking horns. However, it is quite scary as drivers never slow for animals but
rely on the dogs being savvy. Then there are the mavericks that chase after passing cars, trying to bite
tyres or is it licking hubcaps. It takes all types.

Rugged and overpowering but so attractive.

By the time we arrived, all merchandise was sold. Maybe next time, Jen.

The most enjoyable part of climb from the canyon, the last third, showing the partial trail.

We have had occasion to see some of the interior parts of shacks, mud buildings and other forms of
accommodation. To put it bluntly, many people live in squalor. We camped in a small area on the
landlord’s premises, a sandy area between the ablutions, ‘patio’ and main house or hut. The walls
were made of mud bricks with openings for windows, a bed and the rest of the interior used as storage
area. There was an outside shower, but no hot water, nor electricity, a manual toilet flush and millions
of mosquitos. However, the view of Salkantay Mountain to the right and looking down into the canyon
and river with other mountains to the fore was one of the best positions we’ve seen. We discussed,
in a manner of speaking, what it would be like in winter with mountains covered in snow. We think
spectacular and the expression on the elderly owner’s face concurred.

Not quite breakfast at Tiffany's, although the fowl guys woke us at 3:30am.

Editor on the way down and ...out.

At another home visited, the animals roamed in out the house and courtyard freely together with
a myriad of flies. On the clothesline, the baby’s washing swayed in the breeze while the baby itself
was propped on two chairs and a blanket, acting as a crib (cot). While observing these scenes of
poverty, we reflected on a saying from our sages, to modify it slightly, ‘happiness is derived by
being comfortable with one’s lot’. It was a treat to make modest contributions along the way,
especially to the people that sweated with us. The appreciation in their faces brought a lump to
the throat on many occasions. There is something confusing about the world when people work ‘like dogs’
and earn a mere pittance. We make this statement as committed and unabashed capitalists.

River deep, mountain high.

Exposed peak poses one more time, Salkantay, the sacred mountain.

When we signed up for the trek, we decided to accept a Spanish-speaking guide instead of English.
Apparently, they were having a ‘special’ and we certainly saw it in the reduced price. After the
first trek, we felt comfortable with this type of arrangement. In the country areas, English is
completely unknown—Quechuan is a dominant language. Basically, the trek included two mules and a driver,
plus our guide. In retrospect, we could have done the trek without the guide but not the mules. The animals are
an important means of transport in the region. As an aside, there were many donkeys and mules about. At the
river crossing, they are building a pedestrian bridge and use the creatures to transport cement, tools and other
provisions miles and miles each day. The mules do an incredible job of work. What a life! It’s fascinating
observing them while in motion and at rest. It seems we all have a purpose on earth although some appear
less desirable than others. We still don’t understand the reason for mosquitos, though. Anyway, the more
we sweated and struggled up those vertical mountains, the more we realized how fortunate we truly are.
We hope we did not need this trip to illustrate the point but it certainly emphasized it.

The "A" Team...okay, maybe "C" or "D". On left, mule manager for southern side of river and off-season
Manchester United midfielder. Moving right is our 52-year old guide followed by the mule manager for the
north side of river. (Mules can't cross the water.) On the right, is gringo carrying the moola.
At rear, is camera-shy mule.

One does not wish to end on too somber a note. Instead, we will relate the ongoing saga of Ramon and Jeffrey,
a Peruvian and some might say, another 'Peruvian' but we’ll settle on an African-American rather. Ramon is
the father of our landlady, Patricia, whom we have not met. We have dealt with her younger sister Nathalie
as well as the brother. They are a very helpful family and we like them. Unfortunately, Ramon speaks not a
word of English and we are not experts in Spanish although we have accumulated a dozen or so words by now, Amigos.
Ramon deals with technical issues such as water. We find this a critical commodity as we have a bad habit
of showering at least daily unless we are on the trails. Then we really should shower but don’t have access.
We also have another bad habit in that we like hot water. We know we seem difficult but there you are.

Closing with more action on the peaks as Jen returns to camp for a 'firm' night's sleep.

Since arriving in Cusco more than three weeks ago, hot water has been a variable. We now make sure for
an evening shower, we complete the process early, that is, before the hot ceases and/or the pressure dies.
We have no idea what goes on and particularly so, after Ramon returns to explain in Spanish the problem.
One explanation given with hand movements, we think, is that the water has to flow from the roof through
the pipes. Water sitting in the pipes has naturally cooled. We are more than 60 years old—we get it.
We never put in a request without running the water for at least 3-4 minutes. People have little regard
for our intellect in Peru, it seems. If one does not speak the language, one is obviously an idiot.
Ramon is such a nice fellow but we probably frustrate him. Can you imagine the discussion we had when
we smelled a gas leak yesterday? We may not speak the language but we are learning the art of the pantomime.

To be continued…


Jenni and Jeffrey

Looks like the editor succeeded on the Oroya although signaling a left turn. Dare we say 'woman driver'?

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

15.08 Choquequirao Ruins—An experience of a lifetime

Dear Friends and Family,

We returned from an adventure, the subject box is no exaggeration, that took us through a physical endurance test
we don’t wish to repeat too soon, if ever. We read on our return that it is the toughest trek in the region.

Briefly, the only way to get to the Choquequirao Ruins is by foot. To achieve this, we hiked 45 miles over 3 days
return, acquired elevation of more than 12,000 feet with over a mile (6,000 feet) on the second day. The climb on
that day was both a test of physical and mental endurance. There were times one wanted to sit and ‘cry for Mom’.
However, we knew Mom was probably at work and besides, we’d only feel foolish. The solution was to put on the
brave face, one foot ahead of the other and move upwards, especially over a two-mile stretch, rising 1,500 feet
per mile. As an aside, there are so few people on the trail—a busy day at these amazing ruins is about 12 visitors.
Machu Picchu has 5,000 per day.

We thought we’d display a few photographs as an opener followed by a more detailed explanation of the trek
which revealed much of Peru, its people, the poverty and phenomenon of the Peruvian Andes Mountains. Our visit
to this part of the world has been an eye-opener—having a striking impact upon us. Later writings will expand
upon this.

We hope you share and enjoy this adventure that kept us in awe as well as shaking our heads and wondering whether
we had ‘bit off too much’.

Looking down the canyon in early evening

On return to camp from Choquequirao, we anticipated a spectacular sunset.

Approaching the ruins from the side and looking down at the 'terraces'.

Part of the Salkantay Mountain range, the other side from our previous trek.

Here comes the editor, up muscle-straining slopes.

Looking down to the River Rio Apurimac (4,000 feet from top) and then having to climb 6,000 feet up on the
other side. Huh!.

Impressive architecture and construction in Choquequirao (14th century)—looks better than
those in Cusco.

Some light relief—not a hike for Passover.

A huffing and puffing giant of over 20,000 feet.

Main Street Cachora, the commencement point—quite a sight for a spoiled westerner.

We were the only residents but had a lot of friends for company including dogs, cats, pigs, mules,
a cow and calf at camp 2.

Sun rays catch back-mountain early evening.

Across the river, trail takes us to Santa Rosa (lush area), 1km upwards—just the beginning..

Salkantay Mountain seen from the other side of the Salkantay Trek of two weeks ago.

The clouds around the mountains are wonderful in the area, some mountains over 20,000 feet high.


Jenni and Jeffrey

No! You cannot sleep inside our tent...unless the editor is prepared to sleep outside.