September 7, 2015
For general information on the Choquequirao Trek click here.
Day 3 – Choquequirao, kilometer 31.5, to Sami Wasi, kilometer 16. The hardest day, descending back down to the river and up 5 kilometers up the other side.
We decided to sleep in a bit leaving camp at just before 7:30AM. This may have been a mistake as it was extremely hot in the river bottom.
The day started out overcast but with fewer clouds than on previous mornings, although a bit hazier overall.
As we hiked back towards Marampata the morning sun was just starting to fall down the mountain side. By the time we reached the camp the light had reached the first set of terraces but not the second.
From Marampata starts the long descent, already in full sun, to the river.
We reach the river at about noon. It’s a scorching hot day with clear skies.
After a short lunch break, we start the climb up. The first 2 kilometers to Chiquisca, kilometer 19, take about 1.5 hours.
Here we find the guided groups having lunch and waiting for the sun to go down over the ridge. We, of course, don’t do that and head back out after a short rest. At these temperatures and intensity of the sun the climb up can be dangerous with heat exhaustion a real danger. It is therefore imperative to stay hydrated.
Braving the heat we climbed to the second camp. Great views of snowy peaks begin to emerge brilliantly lit in the late afternoon sun. The tradeoff for waiting until later to make this second climb is that you lose the light on the peaks.
I could not find reference to the camp named Sami Wasi on any map or website nor could I find a different name for the camp at kilometer 16 above Chiquisca. The small camp’s scenic location overlooks the river valley in one direction and snowy peaks in the other.
Arriving before the others, we got first pick of camps sites on the narrow ledge. With the two small guided groups coming in behind us, the ledge was too packed for comfort but a little better with an end spot. This is definitely not the wilderness camping we’re used to in the States.
Services here are very minimal. The “store” has next to nothing. The shower is a shower head above a concrete floor behind a blue tarp, good water pressure though. The toilet, a bamboo structure, is at the end of camp with a tarp acting more as a view guard than a door. If you are not careful you can topple over the commode.
The cooking areas are very minimal and only one has any furniture, that being a rickety table and a bench. A mother dog and her puppies are cute or a nuisance depending on your tolerance for begging animals.