Two hours later, I felt that I couldn’t keep moving anymore but the desire and the beautiful landscape forced me to do it. We paused from time to time but my symptoms worsened. It didn’t matter to me, I was determined to get there: we saw cows on the road, the snowy peaks as imposing as ever and the sun caressed our skin.
We ate a snack during a break in front of a lagoon. My feet ached, my muscles were so tired that I have no idea how I continued. I chewed coca leaves all the way with the hope that the pressure in my head and the pain would ease but it didn’t.
I won’t lie about this either: it’s an uphill road most of the journey and again, it requires physical effort although people from Huaraz consider the walk as moderate (I don’t want to imagine what difficult walk means for them). This is the thing: French, Spanish, Chilean and foreigners from countries with high peaks that have hiked in these conditions before, may feel the same as peruvians. Ticos, Central Americans in general, who come from a tropical zone where 15 C degrees feels like freezing require a different preparation. If you’re planning to visit Lagoon 69 start training.
After 8 hours, stopping from time to time we made it. I was amazed by the view but after a couple of minutes, I fell on the floor: the headache was getting worse every second. I fell asleep for a while and woke up with a pressure on my brain, feeling exhausted, dehydrated and with nauseas. People around me were eating, enjoying nature but I was not feeling well. However, I used the little energy I had left, got up, put on a smile on my face, and took the only photographs I could as a proof that I was really there.