Peru Rainbow Mountains

Oh the Rainbow Mountains!!! Yes, 3 exclamation points and should be more for the excitement we felt walking at 16,000’ to see them. We had an interesting experience to get to these mountains. The tour was booked before we left the USA through a different guide than our Machu Picchu trip. A pick up time of 3:45am at a church turned into us getting left and luckily picked up by a taxi at 6am. The bus had gone to our hostel by mistake and the company sent a taxi for us later when they realized we had been waiting at the church. We had warm clothes and were fine. I am so pleased we waited because seeing the Rainbow Mountains is something I will always remember.

Chris and I had a lovely quick breakfast and then the ride to the top of the mountain. The oxygen was super low and the trees stopped growing at one point as we walked. We saw llamas, sheep, and horses. These people who work on the mountain are amazing! They pick people up at any point on the super hard to breathe trail and then take them by horseback up the mountain. Now, let me explain. The people hold the horse by the reins and run by foot up to the top of the mountain, then drop the rider off and run down the mountain for another fair. These workers do this all day long while tourists struggle to breathe just walking the trail. How impressive to be so adapted to that life.

My fifth painting in the series is one of the mountain range. The trail to the top was brown, green, and blue skies. Once on the top the sky opened up, rained, snowed, and was really cold. We got just enough pictures before this happened. The colors of the mountain are breathtaking just as much as the hike to get to them. I did not have time to sketch up there because we arrived late but I am grateful for pictures, and the ability to paint from them later. The runners with the horses offered me a ride many times going up the mountain as I was not doing well. I made it walking thanks to Chris. Again, the best person for me to travel with or do anything in life with. I wish you all have someone fun and amazing to travel with. This place is worth seeing!

-Karen Hilliard