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The last day on the trail started with cake for breakfast and ended in Machu Picchu. Doesn't get better than that!
Each student shared a reflection on the trip so far:
Izzy: The dogs we saw in the towns and at the school we helped paint were so cute, but Ken won't let us take one home.
Katie: I love alpacas. The hills don't love me.
Kenzie: I enjoyed the hike and the views are beautiful. The spectacled bear was cool.
Evan: I loved climbing mountain …
Our intrepid hikers are over the high pass and back in cellphone range, so we have this update from Ken:
Everyone is doing really well. We'll make it to Machu Picchu around noon tomorrow. And the photo with the black speck in it is a picture of a spectacled bear! Don't worry, it was far in the distance.
Tonight we will camp at Phuyu Pata Marca Camp. It is a beautiful campsite on a mountain ridge where one can view the giant, glaciated, Salkantay …
The morning was spent exploring the Ollantaytambo ruins in the Sacred Valley. After lunch, we drove to Chillca (1.5 to 2 hours) and Pisca, where we started our hike -- 5km from Pisca Kucho to Llacta Pata. We will be spending the night at the Llactapata Campsite -- a beautiful small campsite next to extensive ruins.
Today, the group was up and out early to spend the day working with the community of Qelqanca helping to paint a local school building and talking to them about their daily lives.
The group enjoyed breakfast at their hotel in Lima before heading to the airport for their flight to Cusco.
In Cusco, the group met some 4-legged friends -- Alpacas. They learned from local artisans about natural dying techniques used with the alpaca wool. There was then a great photo op with the local weavers.
Allison shared this pre-boarding photo of the group from the Newark airport "before they are all grizzled mountain people." And Ken reported that they arrived safely in Lima in the early morning hours and were headed to the hotel for a short night's sleep before heading back to the airport for their short flight to Cusco. The adventure has begun!
Priya and Brady shared their impressions of the last day of ski touring 2019: "Today was sadly the last day but that didn't mean we did not try new things. For example, Priya, Duncan and Marco tried skate skis, which were quite different from the normal cross-country skis we used the majority of the trip. Also, Alex, Brady, Zach and Duncan made a little ramp to do some 180s -- but don't worry, there was no damage to skis or people. We also tried …
Day 4 proved a more challenging day for the group. After two days of big mileage, sore ankles got the best of some of our skiers, and they had a shorter day on the trails.
Zach and Alex shared this description: "Today the skiers woke up and had an amazing breakfast of eggs, bacon and melon. Then we traveled to Winona State Forest to see a local dogsledding race. Then finally we went skiing where some of the kids were sore and didn't feel well, so…
Saturday was a nice day of skiing. With 4 inches of snow overnight, the trails were fresh and fast. There were more that 100 other people at the ski area, but outside of the lodge there was no overcrowding.
Maria and Duncan had this to say about today's adventures: "Today we woke up and ate very delicious pancakes, got dressed, and headed out the door for our second day of skiing. Even though everyone was sore, we still went to the bigger hills …
Miles and Marco shared the following description of today's activities:
"Today on our ski trip we hit some hard times when our group encountered sticky snow. Despite this, we all held our heads up high. The skiers also had to handle skiing through hail and cold rain. We had lunch in the lodge and then went back out and skied for another 2-hours."
Ken added: The Tug Hill Cross-Country Ski area is divided into two parts, north and south. The group …
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