On the agenda today is a 6k hike to Lagoon Ahuac. I am told it is just as beautiful as Lake 69, so of course, I am happy to take the less touristic option with the perk of it being on the doorstep and no entrance fees.
Going up to almost 5,000 meters above sea level this one is certainly tough. Without my Inca Trail family to keep me in high spirits, the thoughts running through my mind are all but positive. I am dizzy, weak and climbing at a snails pace. The rain is continuous, my body is hot but my arms wet and I cannot feel my fingers from the cold.
Nelson checks my pulse and at one point enforces a ten minute rest, where I clock a sign that reads 3,500 meaning we are only halfway.
By 5,000 I am struggling to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I see a hut which keeps disappearing and returning to my eye line, teasing me with the dreams of shelter where I can put my multicoloured poncho back on and have a banana sandwich – both courtesy of Christian.
When the hut finally becomes real, my legs gain speed. A Chilean climbs past us, he certainly had his Weetabix this morning! Nelson promises it’s just 20 minutes until the lake so I power up. By the time we reach my bones are shaking and the fog has blanketed the whole view. I don’t even bother to peer, I just take shelter under the hut and try to regain feeling in my fingers.
Finally, it starts to clear so we make our way through the drizzle to the viewpoint. It’s raining, my face is full of sweat and the last thing I want is a photo right now.
I get a ridiculous snap and am about to make the decision to leave without getting my yoga shot, when I turn and whip off my ponchos. As I position my body into an asana, the fog retreats further and the view becomes much more spectacular.