Monday, May 18, 2015

Adventures in Chinchero

            Over this past week, we had the opportunity to travel to Chinchero, a small town outside of Cuzco, where we stayed at a house with a family from the area.  We were there for two days, one of which was reserved for seeing the cultural area of Chinchero and the other for rest.  The latter turned into anything but a relaxing day.  After picking potatoes in the morning, we were told of a nearby waterfall that we could hike to.  Many of us were interested, so that evening we decided to make the trek, led by the two children that lived in the house, Fiorella y Ribaldo.  The hike was incredibly steep and isolated, but we were rewarded with an incredible experience.  We descended into a valley, where we were treated to views of snowcapped mountains and flowing rivers before finally arriving at the 100-foot waterfall.  The water cascaded off the astoundingly steep cliff to the basin that we were stationed at before flowing off into the valley below.  The sight was made even more special when considering that few people had ever experienced it (we did not see a single person outside of our group the entire hike). 
            Because we started our hike late, we had to return in the dark.  Although this was a bit intimidating, we saw it as a blessing in disguise.  Due to the fact that the hike was so isolated and the town was so small, we had an undisturbed view of the night sky, which was lit up with stars and planets (Jupiter and Venus, specifically).  There are very few times in my life that I have seen as many stars as I did on our hike, and it capped off a truly incredible day.  This trip, though it was not even supposed to be a part of our time in Peru, was one of the most impactful parts of my experience here thus far.
Views of the hike
The Waterfall

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