Cusco to Via Ferrara

Cusco to Via Ferrara
Cusco, Peru

Cusco, Peru

I had breakfast with Kate and Kip, the spread was quite satisfying with fresh juices, croissants, home made yogurt, ham and cheese and not so great coffee. We – that is Jody Ursula and Gilda left st 9.30 to go shopping to find additional needed items for our trek. I can tell you that i didn’t know much about hiking and backpacking at the beginning of this trip and all the paraphernalia you needed. Who knew about his stuff like wicking clothing and dry socks and space blanket!!!! I can’t imagine using it again! But for this once in a lifetime experience I shall conform! My new friends made a massage appointment for tonight, I could sure use one but will be rock climbing instead today on the Via Ferreta just on the Urubamba river bank. We continued to the Inka street, we met a Peruvian guide who stayed with us a bit and explained the history of the Inca wall and why the huge rocks were positioned a certain way, at a angle to sustain earthquake. Behind it was an ancient Inca palace which is now a hospital. We continued to San Blas district, where there were some artisans and s few shops; nothing much really, but I met our guide’s brother and he took me on a walk in original inlaid Inca rocks streets slowly clubbing up the hills, to see magnificent views of Cusco. I came back down to go back to the hotel and bumped into Eduardo and Shari. We decided to grab lunch at a wonderful little restaurant on our street. I felt safe since I’m leaving with them on our next adventure- a night at the sky lodge by climbing via Ferreta 8 of us meet in the lobby to spend the next 24 hours together; we boarded a very comfortable large bus . Julie and I sit in the front seats. The scenery going to the Via Ferrata is stunning with snow peaked mountains, and farmland. There are also lots of villages. It’s truly strange to see how the first and second story might be occupied by small business and apartments but the third or forth story is half built and will remains like this because construction is extremely expensive and not affordable for most people. We finally arrived at Via Ferreta; meet our guides and photographers who will be climbing with us taking pictures and protecting us from the front and the back. They put on our mountaineering suits. This site is in the sacred valley near the Urumbamba River, we are to sleep in suspended fiberglass pods that consists of one composting bathroom, four down beds and amazing views suspended on a vertical granite walled mountain , 1200 feet higher than the valley. We start our climb ( both clamps must always be hooked to support our body in case we fall) hooking and unhooking ourselves on cables and climbing metal steps saudered deeply into the mountain. Then we crossed a cable completed suspended and slowly sliding across a higher cable, high up above the valley. That to me was not as scary as climbing the steps on rocks that jetted out of the mountain, so your body was slight arched backwards, but you had to hang on for dear life on the cable and steps. It required decent upper body strength. It took a couple of hours at least to get to out pod, the last part of the climb was completely in the dark. This is the sort of adventure that is truly exhilarating and you can’t think too much about the danger. Julie was first to reach the pod I was right behind and we chose top pod, after being told it had the best view. Our guides Guillermo and Effeen, will cook dinner for us. Guillermo showed us how the composting toilet works. It quite imaginative the way they built this pod. There is 2 pods for a total of 8 guests . The 3rd pod is used for our guides/ chefs and the photographers. We were each given a half liter bottle of red wine. I promised myself i wouldn’t drink. Our fiberglass pod was shared by co habitated by Julie Cristos and Jamie, The latter two met on one of Eduardo’ s trip last year. The diner arrived around 8.30 and consisted of chicken with sun dried tomatoes and vegetable quinoa, a salad and even a desert. All served on trays attached to each bed. The pod is creatively designed. As we laid down on our beds, and gazed through the fiberglass ceiling, we were blessed with an unobstructed view of the sky, as though you could touch the phenomenon that is the Milky Way. Guillermo was fascinating with his experiences with hayhuasca and great Shaman and how the visions from his hallucinations changed his life from being a logistics expert for a shipping company to leaving everything and becoming a guide in the mountains. And now he radiates with happiness. Maybe more people should try this experience it might be a happier world! I would be petrified of throwing up, which is a big part of the cleansing. Everybody in our pod was still talking and laughing with the members of the other sky lodge down below. I passed out and went into never never land!

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