Hector said hiking up to Q'umirqucha, the Green Lake, is training for our next day and he would swing his arms in a pumping manner. When I think of training I think of gradually building up not BAM day before and BAM the next day. The thing the hike to Q'umirqucha did is mentally prepare the group for what was to come.
What I didn't realize until educated by Wikipedia is the Green Lake was higher than our highest point on Saltankay at 14,760. The Green Lake is 4,637 meters or 15,213 ft and that's almost double the elevation I've even been. During this "training hike" I learned Hector is a liar but also a great guide because if he told us the truth we'd be at the bottom of the hill.
Lie #1 It's an hour up.
Lie #2 Only 10 more minutes (must be Peruvian time)
Lie #3 It's just over that hill (an their is only a giant mountain in front of me).
It was straight uphill in a short distance.The hike hurt. My lungs hurt. My legs hurt. Later at the lake my feet tingled to the point it was painful.
I climbed to a point where over to the right was a ridge and I figured just over the ridge was a lake. I was expecting an average lake where I'd think that's pretty maybe even say it's beautiful and turn around and head back down the hill. I stepped up the ridge and exclaimed WOW. This was one of the most beautiful lakes I had seen.