QuickPeek: Hiking. Rest.

One of the reasons for being on the route we are in, is to explore some parts of Peru intimately, the other background agenda is a little interesting. While we were in Puno, we had seen a photo exhibition on one of the plazas and we noticed a bunch of interesting places. One of them was called Nevado Allin Capac (or Qhapaq or Japac, depending on who is writing). The photos were stunning and we figured it was along a route we could make our way along as we headed towards Cusco. So We have been making our way one day at a time towards Allin Capac.

The closest town to Allin Capac is a place called Macusani. I had seen it in a map and so we decided to go that way. Today we started early from the small town of Crucero. There were no direct buses to the village and so we had to take a bus heading to Juliaca and got dropped off at the Junction where we waited for another ride. A couple of collectivo’s passed us by but didn’t stop. Bummer. After 45 mins or so, we were joined by a couple of locals and a little kid and the next vehicle stopped to pick us up! Sweet! It was a pick up and we ended up on the open deck and though it was sunny, the wind was freezing. The route was absolutely beautiful and slowly but steadily, we made our way towards Allin Capac. Within 30 mins or so we got to Macusani and we spotted a hostel and decided to stay the night.

We had a lot of time to spare and so we ended up walking about town, finding lunch, a late evening snack and hit up the bus station to figure out what our options were. Turned out that though Allin Capac was right next door, there was no collectivos and we had to look for a taxi. Bummer. Our hostel owner mentioned he had a friend who hiked a lot and might be able to help us find a ride and may be even join us! Sounded like a good idea. In the evening, the feller, Javier, showed up and we chatted a while and though he had lot of experience in the region, he had no idea how much the taxi would cost. We figured we’d find that out in the morning and made a plan to meet at 8:30 AM and knocked off.

In the morning, we got a quick b’fast and headed back to meet Javier on time. Javier had some contacts of taxi’s and fund out that they’d charge about 200 Soles (80 SGD) to drive up 25 km. That was ridiculous and I was not ready to pay up. Javier understood the situation and tried to find alternate options. We got lucky when another friend of the hostel owner showed up and offered to give us a ride for 80 soles. Sweet! That fell into our lap and we signed up and headed out.

The ride was a short one (I suppose one could get a collectivo to the village of Huanutuyo and from there hike up 8 km to the trail head). It was well travelled as there were numerous communities living along the way and when we got to the trail head there were old ladies herding Alpaca. heh. I suppose with a motorbike or a bicycle it would be an easy ride and free. We left Jose at the trail head and hiked up the hill. The Mountain of Allin Capac was imposing and incredibly majestic and the trail climbed straight up towards the face. Mid way up the hike, we came up to a cross where people paid respect to the mountain with Agua Florida and wine and we finished teh hike just below the glacier where the glacial melt formed a beautiful lake.

The hike was easy except for the difficulty with breathing in the thin air at nearly 5000m. A multi day hike is a real feasibility as there were ample camping spots, but going above the lake might need some crampons. We spent a while at the lake taking in the majesty of the mountain and eventually headed back to the carpark and back to Macusani. Javier was super nice and offered to show us another little place nearby where there were pertoglyps. He went about looking for a motorbike but could not get hold of one. Ah well, we were happy with a really awesome hike and decided to hang out in the cozy confines of the hostel in the evening.

Track Notes

Expenses: SG$ 37.66
Comments: A stunning hike up Allin Capac! Glad we took this long detour to get here eventually!