Saturday, June 15, 2013

What to expect for campsites on the Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu

If you love camping like I do, you love the serenity and the fresh air and communing with nature.  All is right in the world when I'm camping.  If you were to take me from the camping environment and throw me back into the real world dealing with crowds, noise and people, I'd probably have a nervous breakdown dealing with reality.

The Saltankay pass trail and camping is like putting a frog in water and turning up the heat. The water never increases temperature fast enough for the frog to sense the danger and jump out.

The first night on the trek our group was isolated from the other groups.  We knew the groups were camped in the same general area but we didn't see them, didn't share meals or the bathroom and we certainly never heard them.  It was just our little group getting to know each other on the mountainside.

Outside our camping area
Inside our shelter.  Our groups tents lined up
Nothing but us, the horses and the mountains
The second night the camp site was more established.  We walked by the other campers playing football(soccer) on the way to our site. Once to our site we didn't see the other campers nor did we hear them but we knew they were very close.  Our camp area had a little store, three bathrooms, a shower (cold), an area for the cook, rooms for the guides and an area for us to eat. 
A friendly game of football

Our tents lined up and waiting when we arrived
The third night was like a KOA campground including the drunks.  All the groups were put into a small area and the tents were on top of each other.  The store at the campsite looked like it also had a full bar which was heavily utilized by the young college students.  After eating I stood by the campfire for a bit and enjoyed the music playing and the disco light and called it a night.  Although at 10pm the music stopped the noise didn't. Some young man was very emotional and probably very drunk and cried and sobbed for quite a while.  At 1:30am when I got up to use the restroom the campers had long went to bed but three people, probably all guides, stood around the bar laughing and enjoying the evening.
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The garbage men took away the piles of garbage
One of the eating areas held 2-3 groups
The last night we were in a hotel in Aqua Caliente.  It was nice having a shower but it would have been better if the water was actually hot. I was forewarned about the train that came by at 10pm and again at midnight and wasn't scared awake by it.  A couple from our group had a flood in their room from a burst pipe and the front desk said, it was just the sink leaking a little.  Since we were only staying one night they checked out but the bottom of their bag was wet and hours later when we went back to get our bags the hotel stored for us, the hotel had actually taken the water issue seriously and was working on remedying the issue. The hotel was included in our trek and the price of the trek was super affordable so I can't complain too much.
Into Toata Sun Place Hotel
So as you can see, the trip was planned for isolation and adding people and noise a little more each day until being in Aqua Caliente with a bunch of tourists.

1 comment:

The Green Girl said...

I've never camped before but reading your post makes me want to give it a try.

I love how easy going you are - you just go with the flow.