Hey guys, this is the last stop, said the taxi driver as he woke us up. The last stop, where? Curahuasi. Curahuasi? but…why didn´t you wake us up at the turnoff to Killarumiyoq? Why, you were sleeping so sweet that I did not want to disturb. Disturb? oh no, we now have missed the Feast of Killarumiyoq, and what are we going to do here? Well, you could hike to Captain Rumi, said the driver pointing out the top of a hill just in front of us. Captain what?
Hiking to Capitan Rumi:
Wow, look up at the snow-capped mountains at both sides behind the hill! Oh, it is just beautiful! exclaimed she. Three years ago, I said to her, most locals told me that from the summit you could see an impressive view of the Apurimac Canyon, the Salkantay snow-capped mountain range and even condors. Unfortunately, I was not able to climb it because my left knee ached terribly after my 4-day trek to Choquequirao. Back then, I just stayed overnight in Curahuasi, and then I headed for Limatambo in order to visit the archaeological site of Tarawasi. What a pity, but let us do it tomorrow then…deal? Deal!
Oh no, Sergio, look…the sky is gray and cloudy, totally different from yesterday. Don´t worry, it is just dawn and it will get better once the sun rises. Let us go, what time is it? 6 o´clock. At that early hour, we heard the loud sound of not only cocks but also cows, pigs, and horses welcoming a new day or trying to wake up the whole town. As we crossed the farms towards the base of the hill, she said ah, smell the scent of anise(1). Delicious!
Halfway up the hill, a soft but continuous rain fell down on us turning the soil into mud. The wind blew our faces and made the mist move as a snake along the mountains. Now and then, a white cloud covered us allowing just quite a few feet of sight. I am cold even though I am wearing this waterproof coat! Lucky you, I just forgot to bring mine, I replied to her and added it seems that the Apus (2) did not want us here. Please, Apu, clear the sky so we can see the landscape!
The Apu did not hear my pray since the rain grew harder as we reached the summit. What time is it? 8 o´clock. I am soaking wet and I am freezing here! she exclaimed under the precarious shelter that protected a cross. Try to imagine the beautiful view of the snow-capped mountains from this lookout (3) if the sky were clear, I suggested. Let us thank the Apu for allowing us to reach this hilltop. Actually, the Apu wants us to come back again.
(1) anise is Curahuasi´s main crop.
(2) Apu is the God of the mountain in Quechua.
(3) The lookout´s name is San Cristobal.
How to get there:
Cusco to Curahuasi: take a van on the first block of Arcopata Street. See Map.
Time Cusco to Curahuasi: about 2 hours and a half.
Curahuasi altitude: 2668 m.a.s.l.
Curahuasi to San Cristobal Lookout: take the most eastern path that passes by the cemetery. It is just 3 km according to all signs on the way up.
We took about five hours to come back as we also walked till Captain Rumi.
Curahuasi´s main feast: November 25, Fiesta Patronal de Santa Catalina de Alejandría. We were told that the feast lasts a whole week.
There are a few restaurants and lodgings in the middle of the highway. We stayed overnight at the Hotel Flor de Anis on the Avenida Enrique Martinelly. There is another hostel just in front.
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