Our Hostal volunteers started with us on our journey from Isinlivi to Chugchilan. We went separate ways after 30 minutes or so of hiking. They were great company and inspired us to one day take a month off and work Llullu Llama. Starting our on Hostal would be our happily ever after. So now about the hike. Just like day one, the first leg of the hike is downhill. There are so many breathtaking sights on this trail, we recommend you do not skip it. We constantly stood in amazement at the beauty nature produced. Aphrodite herself would have been in awe. The hike takes between 4-6 hours and the details Llullu Llama provide are perfect because they let you know exactly when you are about to ascend.
Bekah and I took refuge before our great climb at a log bridge with one handrail. We waded in the water, ate a snack and watched local kids, from ages 2 to 8 walk across the bridge. Now it was our turn. I filmed our walk and if you are lucky to be in our inner circle, you will see how i eagerly crossed the bridge and may have left Bekah behind as she took every step with caution (the children behind her chanting as they hoped for her to plummet into the icy waters below). Alas, she made it and we continued on our way. We were a bit weary knowing we had two big climbs ahead of us. Finally, we reached the overlook of the tiny village we come across between our two climbs. We bumped into some tourists who had a driver take them to the sight. They were unimpressed, but then again, they only drove there and did not have the sentience to appreciate the view
Overall, we ascended 650 meters on our trip and we felt everyone of them. The last 150 meter ascent is on the road to Chugchilan, where again we acquired a canine companion, this time it was only for 2 kilometers. You have to continue through the city and once you reach the end, have no hope, and just want to stay at one of the three hostals you pass along the way, the reach El Vaquero.
We had a pleasant stay at El Vaquero. The family that runs it is very caring and accommodating. There was a hot shower, which is very nice and the room is comfortable. The food, however, is lacking. For dinner we had a pineapple topped, maraschino cherry glazed pizza. I have never returned a dish, but this was overwhelming, even for a dessert pizza. After a few forced bites, we had to ask for another entrée. The staff obliged, and we were greeted with cheese sandwiches. Our meal ended well when we were introduced to canelazo, a cocktail that is traditionally used to greet visitors into a home. It is similar to a hot toddy. Again, in good spirits, we were off to bed.