A Trio of Peaks Above Cuzco

Where: Cuzco region, Peruvian Andes
When: January 2004
Partners: Solo

In 2004, whilst touring around Peru, I spent some time in the mountains above Cuzco. Setting out one morning from town, I caught a taxi up to Sacsayhuaman, the ancient Inca site, then started off into the mountains on foot.

Soon leaving civilization behind, I wandered for hours up into the nameless mountains, marveling in the solitude. Often, I'd pass by and through small villages in the valleys with local children tending their alpacas and llamas.

Then, I was completely alone on a mountaintop with views to distant high peaks, towering and covered in glaciers, their meltwaters eroding away the very soil I'd been walking on in the valley below. Looking down through the trees, I could see a ruin Inca site on a knoll.

After my third peak of the day, I wandered back down to Sacsayhuaman, where I found that my taxi driver had stood me up in our arrangement for me to be picked back up at an agreed upon time. Fortunately, a friendly local let me hop into the back of his truck for a slow and bumpy drive back into the city.

Peru is a wonderful country, and perhaps the most memorable of the four South American countries in which I've spent time.