As part of my trip to Peru I did a companion trek to the more popular Inca Trail called the Lares Trek. This trek is 2.5 days in length and gets up to 4800 metres A.M.S.L. I found it a very challenging and rewarding hike, one that took us through valleys and over mountains, meeting the local people along the way. It was nice to say hello to the children who were out shepherding their family’s animals, helping out while home from school.
As this was a multi-day trek we needed a way to transport our gear along the trail, gear including food, water, tents, sleeping bags and our duffel bags with a few extra things like a fresh t-shirt and socks. Usually porters are of the human variety but on this trek we had llamas and donkeys carry our things. I thought it was kind of cool to have these animals on the trail with us, carrying on a local tradition. There were a few local men in charge of packing up the animals and moving them along the trail. Usually the group would set off and get passed by the animals and their handlers further down the trail. They’d pass us, setup the eating and cooking tents for lunch, then take it all down, pack it all up and pass us again in the afternoon on the way to our camping spot.
They did a wonderful job and provided us hikers with a much-needed smile along the trail.