Up one level Peru » Cachora-Choquequirao-Yanama-Machu Picchu » Day 3 - Choquequirao (3000 m / 9850 ft) to Choquequirao Pass (3400 m / 11150 ft) to Rio Blanco (1800 m / 5900 ft) to Farm (3000 m / 9850 ft)

Day 3 - Choquequirao (3000 m / 9850 ft) to Choquequirao Pass (3400 m / 11150 ft) to Rio Blanco (1800 m / 5900 ft) to Farm (3000 m / 9850 ft)
This day was the toughest day of the hike. Lots of elevation change and the steep trail going up from the Rio Blanco to Victoria pass was very muddy and slick. Most itineraries, including the original United Mice itinerary I saw on their website include camping at Rio Blanco and taking an extra day to climb up to Victoria pass. we compressed 2 days into 1 by ascending to a farm near Minas Victoria. Our guide Edgar told us that the extra day is typically scheduled in for unforseen conditions such as the Rio Blanco being too strong to be forded or the Yanama pass being snowed in. We saw a lot of flowers during the trek, including many wild orchids in the later days when we hike through cloud forests. On our way down to the Rio Blanco, we briefly explored some as yet uncovered Inca buildings.

img_3367 Edgar told us the names and uses of many plants and flowers but I have sadly forgotten almost all of them. img_3371 Rainbow over the Rio Blanco. img_3373 img_3374 One the best flower photos on this trip. img_3376 img_3378 img_3379 img_3380 The emergency mules and Ray. img_3381 We saw many of these stones with a rounded depression. Our guide said that these were used as mortars for grinding foodstuffs. img_3382 We briefly explored this uncleared Inca site while descending to the Rio Blanco. The stones protruding from the wall on the left are stairs. img_3384 img_3385 You can just barely see the outlines of walls and buildings in this site. img_7915-ray Taken by Ray Woo. img_7937-ray We had to use mules to cross the Rio Blanco because the river was too deep and the current was strong. Taken by Ray Woo. img_3393 From the other side of the Rio Blanco looking across to Choquequirao. The trail we descended on can be seen on the top left. Extensive terracing covered the side of the mountain in years past. img_3402 Mount Choquequirao from our campsite at 3000m.