Day 3 – 7.5 miles, 4.5 hours.
But, we knew we had hot springs to look forward to in Santa Teresa this evening and only a half day of hiking. I
felt was so dirty at this point that a shower was about the only thing I wanted in the entire world. That, and a bed, or an A+ in Civil Procedure. Yea, didn’t happen.Ivan really lived up to his tour guide status today. He told us so much about the flora and fauna of the area. Peru is made up of many microclimates and there is a ton to see in the changing scenery as we ascended and descended. Those berries Ivan squashed are used as a traditional Inca dye and last pretty much forever. That amazing, huge flower? A granadilla flower. I’ve already told you about how much I love granadillas here. We sampled wild strawberries that were so flavorful and fragrant. The pink begonias were delicate and vibrant. Yellow lady’s slippers are used as a contraceptive. Apparently very strong, according to Ivan. A couple of hours into our walk, Ivan led us to a cable car that spanned an enormous river. See my face? That is the face of fear. I remember thinking at several points along our hike that disconnecting from nature and recharging in such a beautiful environment was exactly what I needed. We hiked along in silence just enjoying the early morning quiet and fresh air.We lunched at La Playa. Peruvians always start every meal with soup and chef Benito was a soup-master. We had quinoa, noodle, vegetable carrot, and other delicious creations on the road. Quinoa is also huge in Peru.Trumpet lilies were crushed and the liquid used for its hallucinogenic properties by shamans. Ivan said that after one “trip,” the shamans were never quite right in the head again.After lunch, we took a van to Santa Teresa where shortly after arrival, we were bathing in some beautiful hot springs by the river. It wasn’t a shower, but it was pretty amazing. Michael and I met a Russian couple living in Ireland, two other Brazilians, one of whom is Camilla’s neighbor in Sao Paolo, and they were all a friendly fun bunch.Soundtrack of the night: “Tche” by Gustavo Lima. Please listen to it. It’s amazingly catchy. Brazilians can and really do dance and sing immediately at parties. We had a bonfire and a little fiesta this night.