After crossing the Accoccassa Pass in early-afternoon, our party headed down into the Chancachuco Valley to make camp. As the condor flies, we had only advanced 5 miles today. But we’d traveled up and down thousands of feet in elevation, back and forth along countless switchbacks, all the while gasping for oxygen in the thin air. This certainly wasn’t the most difficult climb of my life, but it wasn’t exactly a walk in the park, either. (Click HERE to read Part 3).
The several hours I spent crossing the Chancachuco Valley rank among my favorite during the Moonstone Trek through southern Peru. Falling back from the rest of my team, I found myself alone in a vast and breathtaking landscape of glacier-topped mountains, colorful alpine slopes, clear running streams, and the occasional herd of llama and alpaca.