Our morning began with a daring hike whose decent would cover 5,000 feet along a narrow footpath. Looking down upon the village of Lamay my legs began to tremble and shake while my mind swam in images of the fall that was so very possible as I gingerly peered over the precipice, but then again I always get a thrill when I put my vertigo to the test. The cliffs that loomed and towered above us were stained with a beautiful crimson and orange sediment and were dotted with ancient burial caves that once held the remains of the Incan men and women who had helped to build and maintain the sprawling ruins where we had previously slept. Native women and children passed us, walking the opposite way, as we made our journey downward. It was slightly relieving to see them as winded and sweaty as we were on our climb, to the point where they could barely gasp a friendly ''Buenos Dias'', the last syllable hardly audible as it escaped their lips. Halfway down we encountered a local woman yelling rapid Spanish at an unseen person who must have been farther down the trail. Our guide informed us that she was yelling for her daughter Natalie ''Come on Natalie, at least give it some effort!'' We laughed and eventually came upon Natalie who was contently sitting with her boyfriend on a small stone railing, obviously on the verge of giving up. Even heartier laughter erupted among all involved when we heckled Natalie to ''Vamanos'', your madre is waiting for you.
We arrived at the village after approximately three hours where I promptly employed the youngest horseman in our team, a sweet boy of perhaps 16, to secure as many grande bottles of Cusco beer for our crew who were most grateful. They laughed when I questioned whether they thought it was too early in the day for a drink, responding almost in unison that it was ''never too early por un cerveza''. Their smiles widened even more as I doled out generous tips for the fine effort and work they had done on this particularly challenging adventure. They nearly rolled in the dirt in merriment when, as we all posed for a parting photo, my usually demure wife called out ''Decir Sexo'' [say sex] as the camera flashed.