Sacred Mountain Ausangate in Peru
by Pablo Gutierrez
(Santa Barbara CA. US)
Colorfull mountain range at Ausangate, Peru
Myself and a small group of hikers had a fantastic adventure, 5 days out off the beaten path experience in the mountains of the Vilcanota range south of Cusco in Peru.
The trail is locally known as the Camino del Apu Ausangate. Every day it was like being in a new film. The scenario changed so much, from extensive pastures dotted with thousands of Llamas and Alpacas, to incredible colorful mountains, passing by Glaciers and lakes.
The hike itself was moderate, despite the altitude. We started at some 13.500 ft, and went through a 16,500 pass, stayed in Tambos, or Andean lodges, these were very comfortable and the food was superb.
The local community provides all the services, and Llamas carry your personal gear. Orlando our host was a gracious, president of the community. He greeted us the first day with his harp and accompanied us in our trek.
We had the opportunity to meet with the Andean shepherds, and learned the myths and tradition of their communities, we also participated in a weaving demonstration , by the ladies from Osefina, a neighboring community.
Kimberly, a fellow hiker, was able to photograph a wild Vicuña. and I was close to tears from emotion as we passed the Yauricunca pass. for more information you can visit the Andean Lodges website