One of those two trails goes to Pisaq, but which one? I wonder while looking to the East, to the Antisuyo region, from Laqo also known as the Temple of the Moon.
Hiking unknown paths always makes me nervous since my sense of navigation is almost non-existent. What if I get lost in the woods? In order to avoid this ordeal or at least decrease my fear, I do a couple of things like:
– Breaking stems or stalks and drawing arrows on rocks or the ground to give me directions
– Writing and taking pictures as much as I can to remember some points of interest
– It is very unlikely I would find my own marks left in nature
– It turns difficult for me to remember POI from my writings or pictures
Anyway, I decide to take the upper road above a small Inca wall and finely carved boulder that seems to be an altar or a seat (sometimes some shamans do offerings to the Earth or Pachamama in this area).
A broken path:
The uphill road, which it is said to be an Inca trail, is wide and clearly marked with even some green signs that state horses are not allowed here. The sunny day gives me a view of the snow-capped mountain Ausangate to the far right. After turning left at the top of the hill, the path is broken by a ground full of rocks. Fortunately, the ancient road continues just a few meters below and from now it is all way down.
A few minutes later, I reach the wak´a or shrine Yanaqaqa, which is a huge piece of rock, and the place called nowadays Ch´illkapujio which was also an Inca shrine and a colonial house. The only thing one can see it is the remains of the adobe house. The signs in this area give me confident as they claim that the Ccorao Pass is ahead. I am in the right path, I think.
The empty sign:
The valley is divided by the river that comes down from Tambomachay and just in front of you there is a mountain full of terraces. Nearly atop of this mountain some kind of ancient buildings are visible and that is an invitation for future explorations. The leisurely downhill ends at a bridge 20 minutes later.
Even though the slope is not steep, I can not help but gasping after a few minutes in front of a sign with nothing written on it. The frightened moment arrives when I find that the narrow path splits in two. After examining the one to the right, I come back and take the one to the left. Good bet: a couple of houses appear some steps ahead which, in fact, it is the entrance to the indigenous community of Yuncaypata after three hours of hiking in total.
My small notebook is filled with a lot of notes now and I have already taken dozen of photos of this hike just in case I need to find my way back walking. But I think that is not necessary this time because the highway back to Cusco is a 15 minute walk above Yuncaypata, 14 km away from Cusco. I guess it is enough for today; tomorrow I will continue exploring a path to Pisaq.