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Ccolpapampa to La Playa
El Viaje de Peru 2012

A Peruvian woman on the streets of CuscoA Peruvian woman on the streets of Cusco (Jim Sullivan)
Awakening in Ccolpapampa was a dream. The light breeze wisk the misty atmosphere in swirls, the rooster was announcing the day like the rabbit in Alice in Wonderland, our bodies remembered the trek of yesterday and our minds recalled the elation at the Salkantay Pass. Reality slowly focused on the 9 mile hike today although we were remembering it was only about 2500 foot descent. We would continue to enjoy the music of the river and the beautiful flowers.

Augusto appeared at our tent with his cheerful tea song, and we engaged the activities of the day. Today would be different as Jesus and Francisco would be returning to their homes near Mollepata. We spoke with Francisco about his horse that he had to leave at the pass. He said he felt certain it would be easily found and well enough to travel home.

Our gear would be carried by a local carrier to La Playa, and Augusto would set up camp there. Our task was to enjoy our walk along the river admiring the hovering snow covered peaks that loomed above. The road followed the river on the opposite side and was often well above it and never a distraction.

After a wonderful breakfast and farewells to Jesus and Francisco, we rejoined our serpentine trail to cross a narrow bridge and continue along our path beside the river. Our new Golite packs had served us well and the water bladders a great system for rehydration. Our rain gear, fleece, hats and gloves were a light load to carry. Our boots were dry and soon the ticking of our poles was drowned out by the melody of water.

While we were on the brink of the rainy season, bright flowers and ferns decorated our path. Shapes and sizes only a creative intellect could imagine became the objects of our photography. Naturally we had to show each other the latest find for mutual enjoyment.

Small communities were sparsely populating the trail and several entrepreneurs offered drinks of juice and Inca Cola. Naturally they were the temperature of the day since ice was a luxury found only in restaurants. Children sometimes played around the concession areas hoping for some kind of a treat and were often rewarded. It was fun. They enjoyed the pleasure of passing company and a little attention.

The beautiful flute music I had purchased at Amazon.com was still playing in my ears. My feet had been walking an Inca trail. The thread of life we walked along provided water to make food and mix a mud mortar to build homes. Once again the earth provided for her children. The Pachamama mythical yarn was spun into the lives and lore embracing the goodness from which a beneficial life is derived.

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