A Day of Rest in Pacchanta
June 15, 2011
We all knew we needed the rest day and the opportunity to sleep in and recover some of the energy that we'd spend on a nonstop trip so far. We did not bound out of the sleeping bags when the sun came up but slept in until 7:30 or so before hitting the mess tent for breakfast.
Domingo made sure there was no hunger left in the group after breakfast, so the fare covered the gamut, from cereal to egg. We were in no hurry to do anything so we wandered about the village a bit, taking in the bulk of Ausangate whose face rose seemingly right behind the camp. The local kids came to take a look at us, we were surely of the usual trekking ilk that passed through and camped in the middle of the settlement. The local dogs sniffed around and made the anticipated feed me appeal before wandering off to some other haunt, which included taking a piss on one of our tents. The local chickens pecked around our tents as well and groups of trekkers came, went, and camped.
The highlight of the day came after lunch when the local hot pool entrepreneur finished cleaning out the concrete pool and ascertained that we were indeed hot pool customers. When the pool was full, we headed there for a soak, after paying the small fee requested by the caretaker. The water was hot but the caretaker queried us as to temperature and made the necessary adjustments. For those interests, refreshments were readily available, from the non alcoholic Inca Cola to a tall bottle of Cuscena beer for the more parched. As always in remote areas of South America, we were a subject of keen interest among the kids . . . big white dudes (at least Bob and G qualified as big) decked out with facial hair.
It was a great soak and did wonders for the aching muscles that were just beginning to rebel after the trek in and a first night on the ground. We soaked for an hour or so, taking care to avoid the mid afternoon sun in a shaded spot while the local kids played at the of the pool. We eventually had a enough heat and retreated to the tents for an afternoon nap, a bit of reading, and later, Domingo's afternoon snack served at around 4 p.m.
Dinner followed at 7 or so and after eating and the start of many a nightly cross examination of one another as to past history, the night finally chilled enough that we headed for the tents and called it a night. In the background, the last of the daylight faded on the bulk of Ausangate and one by one the lights of Pacchanta blinked out . . .