Macusani to Pisac

Written by Neon

Fidgit and I weren’t feeling great leaving Macusani, though that had become the norm. Our bodies were breaking down, our nutritional needs were not being met in this area, and the attempted breaks were no longer restful. At this point, we had been walking through South America for nearly a year, walking our way step by step toward our season’s end goal: Cusco, Peru. We had made it to Peru, and parts of our trips were becoming more arduous as we closed in on our goal. We were making it, though, and continued to try and focus on the positive while acknowledging the rest of what we were experiencing.

So walking out of Macusani was difficult, though I was bolstered by the knowledge that we were closing in on a goal, which can sometimes be a great motivator. Especially if you’re closing in on the goal ahead of schedule, which we were! I had taken to the ritual of crossing off each town and doing the math every day to count down our kilometer-age. That means I had some idea of what we had left, not anything definite because Fidgit had made an educated guess on our distances, and sometimes/most times we didn’t follow our route to a T.

We walked for a couple days- honestly, they ran together at this point- and went through towns regularly. We thought the towns along this section would be small, and we were correct. We had planned accordingly and stocked up on items you usually cannot find in small towns: oats, drink mixes, salami. etc. I tried to find something enjoyable in each day, and the changing terrain helped with that.

We made our way across some beautiful landscapes and skirted some amazing mountains, though there was one mountain in particular that I was waiting for- Nevado Ausangate. I had read that the Inca believed this mountain to be the birthplace of llamas, and it was also the highest peak in the Cusco region. As we neared Ausangate, I began checking to see if each snow-covered peak we passed was the mountain. A few days after this continual checking began, I finally saw the majestic, glacier drenched Cerro Ausangate. It was a view I savored as we walked around the western side of the peak. For three days we navigated around the massif and found our way to the small town of Ocongate. To me, reaching and then passing Nevado Ausangate was our last marker before we reached Pisac and the potential end of our season. The mountain was not only beautiful in its lore and aesthetic, it was also a sight for sore eyes in this worn-through adventurer’s mind.

From Ocongate, I just felt like I was on auto-pilot, with “Just get to Pisac” being my mantra. There wasn’t energy left for much other than one foot in front of the other through the next few towns. Fidgit and I weren’t on good terms as we crested our last pass and descended towards the Sacred Valley though as we neared Pisac, I found a small reserve I didn’t know I had to make it up and then down through some amazing Incan ruins. At the end of a very long day of mostly descent, Fidgit and I stumbled into Pisac, Peru.

We had made it at last to somewhere that had at one point just been a spot on Google Earth Pro, and was now a real, tangible place! The couple of days we spent in Pisac were the first in a long time that we were both more relaxed and able to take care of ourselves. I headed into Cusco with renewed energy.


On our way down again


Everything is wearing thin/through.


Another day, another shrine at another pass


Are you Ausangate?


Full Moon Rising


Are you Ausangate?


Are you Ausangate?


Are you Ausangate?


The ‘wildlife’ was riveted


And it snowed


Are you Ausangate?


And then it lightning snowed! These guys are showing off their coat of snow from the previous day’s multi-hour lightning AND snow storm.


These lovely gentlemen allowed us shelter in their storage room during the storm


Are you Ausangate?


We made it to another mountain- the colors are so vibrant!




Look at that drape-age


Bye for now, mountains.


Finding our way through town


Fidgit walking over our last pass.


And down we go into the Sacred Valley


Oh, hello Andenes


We’re going the right way!


Hello, beautiful!

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5 thoughts on “Macusani to Pisac

  1. Cliff Rawley says:

    Thanks for the captivating pictures and descriptive commentary. Be careful at those high elevations. Cliff and Martha. Did you drink some coco tea to help with the altitude?

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