Absolutely gorgeous, literally breath taking, and just plain WOW! We started hiking at 14,200 ft, and after 2 hours (and 5 km), we reached the top at 16,700 ft! Our driver picked us up in Cusco at 0430, and by 0800, we were climbing.
That picture was taken from the very top, and is one of only a very few without other people in it.
The sky was really that blue! We were so blessed to have perfect weather for our hike and picture taking. This picture is of the last hard push to the top where most stop, unless you're like the guy in the lower left corner of the picture. He was sitting with his head in his hands when we first saw him. We were SO glad that we had just come off the Salkantay trek, both for the hiking experience and strong legs, as well as a lengthy acclimatization to the altitude. There were a number of people (all younger than us!) riding horses both up and down!
The surrounding mountains and hillsides were just as gorgeous:
And another (figured this post should be more pictures than words!):
The peak at the right is the place where our first picture was taken, and where we could see all the awesome surrounding beauty (Rainbow Mountain is on the lower left):
On our way down out of the valley, we were treated to sights of alpaca and llama herds. The cutest thing was the bright ribbons that were attached to their ears (probably to signify a specific owner) blowing in the wind.