Maya’s first trek!

The Lares hot springs are pretty well known around here. Lares is a remote community that happens to be blessed with bubbling thermal baths and ringed by glacier topped Andes. You can take a car straight there OR you can hike a number of treks to get there. I kept putting off going to Lares for fear of an touristy disneyland but when a friend offered to guide a few of us there on a trail that crossed directly between 2 of the biggest glaciers you can see from the valley, how could I say no? Besides, he promised “one of the most beautiful camp sites I’ve ever stayed in” and so it was off to the hot springs we went!

Along for the ride was baby puppy Maya, Krissa’s new pupster. At only 9 weeks she was a real trooper although she did agree to be bundled inside jackets on the snowy, over 15,000 ft pass we crossed. And by agreed to I mean insisted upon.

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Looking back at the valley from whence we came

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Maya with her chauffeur, Krissa

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The black rock

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Approaching camp through an endangered andean forest

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Truly gorgeous campsite

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Made so much better with ULTIMATE frisbee

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frito nachos with guac

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a roaring fire to lounge next to and watch the stars (not using said endangered trees...)

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Annnnnd copious amounts of knitting

Day 2 we woke up to somewhat overcast skies and walked directly into a blizzard on the pass. It was kind of nice because sometimes here in Peru it easy to forget you cross passes above 15,000 on a somewhat regular basis. When there’s a blizzard, you’re wearing all your layers, and you can slightly tilt your head up to see glaciers looming above you it becomes easier to remember.

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And so it begins

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In a forest of endangered trees that can grow above 14,000ft, looking at some pre-Incan burial tombs. Not too shabby Peru

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These trees are truly fascinating. They can live for thousands of years at extremely high altitudes. Their bark is light and papery and therefore forms air pockets that keep the tree warm enough to survive


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Maya, on the other hand, needed us to survive

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The path up


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Krissa on some snow covered Incan steps

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The pass! Look at that view! Wooooooooooow

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Snowy and smiley!

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Maya only smiling bc she's in Stewart's jacket.

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Descent into the beautiful valley below

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Glacier! Glacier!

We camped right at the hot springs so we had 2 lovely hot spring sessions, one the night we arrived and the other the following morning. Lares ended up not being such a bad place to end a long and strenuous hike, especially one filled with cold, snow and enough natural beauty that any other ending probably would have been a disappointment. 

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Lares hot springs!

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And the combi ride down was pretty exciting. With exciting being an understatement.

 

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