In the briefing last night Dalmiro let us know that we would not be going very far before our first stop today. We're going to stop by a local farmer's place about 0.5 mi from the lodge and spend some time there as we don't have a long way to go to the next Lodge(we'll be there in time for a late lunch). The farmers still follow the traditional ways, with some modern life sprinkled in. So as we ate we wondered what that might be like.
|Cool clay oven Wayra Lodge used for all our food.|
|Typical breakfast at the lodges.|
|Becca waiting for the group to start hiking.|
|Mt. Salkantay with horses waiting to be loaded with our luggage in the foreground.|
|Peak of Mt Salkantay.|
|Wayra Lodge's Satellite Dish for Internet Access|
|Dalmiro and Becca as we approach Maria's farm. The closest building is for storage, the middle building is the children's(built once they can't sleep in bed with Mom & Dad anymore) and the far building is the main house.|
|Our Assistant Guide Lis talking with Maria (on the right).|
|Dalmiro explaining that there is no chimney, this is so that the smoke coats and seals the interior of the roof. Over time this helps waterproof the roof. Also this helps preserve the food. Mark and Bernice listen intently.|
|Guinea pigs laying on the stones around the kitchen campfire, the stones are still radiating heat. As I've mentioned before the Guinea pigs are livestock, not pets.|
|Meat and produce are stored in overhead lofts so that they are naturally smoked when the fire is used for cooking or warmth.|
|Niches are built into the stone walls for storage of pots/pans/and sundries.|
|Each Mule Driver is responsible for making their own horse shoes, saddles, bridles, etc.|
|Lis pointing out that the two rocks at her feet are used daily as mortar and pestle in food preparation.|
Our trail today would take us low enough to begin to enter the high jungle where we would stay for the remainder of the trip. Dalmiro is from a village in the jungle and it was evident that he enjoyed returning to the jungle environment from the alpine environment. He pointed out lots of flowers and plants. He also pointed out a free range pig that was up slope of us.
|A Lead Mule in a Mule Train - the decorations mark it as such. The decorations also indicate who owns the mule.|
|Free range pig up slope of the trail at head level, maybe 3 feet away. Scared the dickens out of me.|
|Looking back on the way we came.|
|Dalmiro lets us know the Lodge is at the end of the ridge on our right and that the road we see in front of us is the start of our trek tomorrow. The road was built to serve some silver mines up valley but will be a useful connector between trails.|
|It's tough to see but the thin gray line in the middle of this photo is the line bringing water to Colpa Lodge (our destination). The photo was taken from the other side of the valley.|
As we neared the end of the trek for the day, we came upon a village. The village exists to serve the tourists who come through on this path. One of the services they offer is a zip line across the valley to the other ridge line. The zip line ends on the property of Colpa Lodge. Dalmiro tells us we can either take the zip line or descend the valley, cross the river, and then ascend the valley on the other side. 4 of us chose the quick way. Becca chose to hike. So after a transfer of essentials to her pack I'm ready for my zip line. It's over quick, maybe 15 seconds, but it offered a great view of the river we'd been following all day. Dalmiro came with our group and Lis hiked with the other group.
|We who are about to Zip Line, the Guides and the Zip Line operator|
|The orange dot in the middle is me, flying free as a bird.|
The staff had done some prep work but were awaiting our arrival to start so that we could see a demonstration.
|Dalmiro explaining the ingredients: Lamb, Pork, Beef, Guinea Pig, Fava Beans, Sweet Potatoes, Purple Potatoes, and Yuca.|
|The Pachamanca expert dismantling the stone oven that has been burning for the last 3 hours.|
|Dalmiro and staff adding the root vegetables on the bottom as they take the longest to cook.|
|Dalmiro and staff adding layers of ingredients alternating them with hot stones.|
|Dalmiro supervising the last of the stones being added.|
|Traditionally this step uses banana leaves, but the cardboard can be reused and is more efficient.|
|Adding a heavy canvas tarp.|
|Adding a plastic tarp.|
|Carefully covering the edges with dirt.|
|Final shovels of dirt. |
At this point Dalmiro told us that we had 30 minutes if we wanted to go change and come back to watch the unveiling.
|Note the cook not using gloves. Yikes.|
|Still no gloves and is now grabbing the food out from between white hot rocks|
Then lunch was served.
|Guinea Pig how it would be served at a feast. |
This was an example it was cut up and arrayed with the rest of the meats after we'd all seen it.
|Platter of the roasted vegetables:(Clockwise) Fava beans in their pods, Purple Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes, and Yuca|
|Self Serve Buffet Table|
|More Dining Hall Decorations.|
|My Samplere Platter|
Clockwise: Guinea Pig, Pork, Beef, Chicken, Purple Potato, Yuca, Tomato, Beets, Cucumber, Guacamole, Fava Beans
|Purple Corn drink with cinnamon and clove with a cucumber decoration.|
|Traditional after dinner brandy - Pisco. Quite Tasty.|
|Found this in our room after lunch. REI and Mountain Lodges of Peru continue to impress. This probably came 20 mi by mule.|
|Relaxing in the hot tub and taking in the view while digesting lunch.|
|Colpa Lodge Lounge. Not too many partook of Tea Time after all that food at lunch.|
|After dark they conserved power by lighting the hallway to the guest rooms with candles.|
Dinner was also spectacular but could barely eat any of it, after the late and massive lunch. Everyone went to bed early.