We woke up bright and early around 5am. I wandered to the window to look out at the view. It never disappoints. This morning was clear and we could see the snow-capped peak in the distance that had been hidden in the clouds the days before. We later learned this is Salkantay Peak and it is always covered in snow. We started our day as usual, catching you all up on the blog. Yerson brought us in two pots of fresh coffee this morning. This is probably because we requested an extra pot the first day. He also brought us two pitchers of fresh jugo de pina. We also received a basket of bread and butter and jam. We later realized that that was all we were getting for breakfast this morning. But Madre came in and offered fried eggs, probably because we were all still sitting there. So we quickly said “Si, por favor!” The eggs were delicious.
Yerson came back and offered to take us on a different waterfall hike today. We agreed and set off shortly after breakfast. The hike was again beautiful. Pretty much everything in Peru has been indescribable, but we’re trying. Yerson again pointed out new plants and flowers along the way. We walked up a path on the hillside that lead to more houses. It reminded us of the trail to Karsten’s house in Guatemala. We finally reached the waterfall and snapped a few photos. We even got a photo with Yerson! Rob took a dip, of course. Once we were all rested and relaxed we made our way back towards the hacienda.
At the hacienda, we asked for the total of what we owe so far. The host family does not take credit cards, so we wanted to make sure we had enough cash for them. They gave us the total and we were relieved that we would have enough cash but also wanted to find an ATM anyway. Madre took our dinner orders and said that she would have it ready at 7pm. We set off towards Santa Teresa on our own. We were now pros at crossing the river via cable car. The sun was out in full force today but the weather prediction only rated the UV index as a 10. We all agreed that it felt like an 11. We climbed the steep staircase into town and went straight for the two locations that offer cash back services. They were both closed the day prior when we had been in town. The first stop was still closed. So we made our way to the other location that had a sign outside that read “Get Cash Here!” They were open and we were in luck! Jenny used her Visa to get some more Peruvian soles.
After we successfully found cash we made our way to the town center for lunch. I got chicharron de cerdo. Rob got alpaca with salsa. Jenny got creole soup and an avocado sandwich. Shaun got chicken soup and an alpaca sandwich. The waitress at the restaurant brought us our bill and we tried to give her our Visa. She declined and said “no internet.” We specifically picked a lunch spot that took cards to conserve our cash supply. Also, there were several Wi-Fi options available in the immediate vicinity. Jenny was not going to take no for an answer. The waitress came back and Jenny handed her the Visa again and said “no dinero.” The waitress then waved us over to the counter and took the card. The internet must have spontaneously started working again. A true miracle!
We left the restaurant and started back down the hill towards the river. We followed the google map directions for Cocalmayo Hot Springs. It was about a 40 minute walk along the road that follows the river. The sun was so intense along the walk, we all thought we would die, but at least we would be thoroughly cooked for whatever came along to eat us. It was 40 soles for all four of us to enter. This is about 12 USD. The hottest spring was 41C although it did not feel super hot. It was relaxing yet also refreshing. We met a woman from Toronto who was on the Salkantay trek. We chatted with her for a bit until she had to leave. Once we were all satisfied and a little pruny we decided to head back to Eco Hacienda. Jenny and I both wanted to get a taxi to the cable car but we got vetoed by the boys. So we made the long walk back to the Eco Hacienda. At least the sun was behind the mountain now, so the walk was much cooler.
We made it back to our rooms with time to relax before dinner. Rob took a shower and informed me there was hot water. This was a first in our room, although the Sweeneys had had warm showers all along. I decided to shower as well and it was so nice. Dinner was grilled chicken, cold marinated vegetables, french fries, and fried yucca. It was delicious. About halfway through dinner, we heard a fluttery buzzing sort of noise. We looked up and saw a huge flying moth-like creature bouncing off the ceiling lights. Shaun described it most accurately as a breakfast sausage link with wings. It was the same size and color. We realized that there were lights on outside and open windows near the ceiling so we decided to try and get it to move outside by turning off the inside lights. The instant the interior lights went off, Mothra dive-bombed our dining table and nested into the tea bags. Everyone jumped back from the table in terror. The lights went back on to draw it away from the table. The moth went to a window and by now our host family had noticed the commotion and came to investigate. Uncle Tio nonchalantly grabbed it with one hand and tossed it outside. We all laughed at our reactions. I went to fix a cushion on the couch, and as I walked away, I noticed an EVEN BIGGER MOTH! We all noticed it at the same instant. Luckily for us, it was stationary on the wall. My movements didn’t disturb it. Until suddenly it started flying around!! It moved more like a bird than a moth. Mandy chugged her last sip of wine and we all evacuated the dining room. We patted all the dogs on the patio area and laughed with our host family at ourselves for a while. After patting all the pups for a little bit, Dixie got them fired up and they began horsing around with each other. At that point, we decided to call it an early night and parted ways as we were all exhausted from the days activities.
"It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to."
- Bilbo Baggins
We're just an adventure-loving couple with a puppy looking to share our stories with the world.