HUAYLLABAMBA - PACAYMAYU
This is the most difficult part of the trek. You climb abruptly
upwards until you reach the Warmihuañusca Pass (It means "Where
the woman dies" in a literal translation from the Quechua.) at an
altitude of 4200 metres.
It is a hard and tedious ascension on a pronounced vertical slope until you reach the pass. Along the climb you will appreciate the changing ecology, as you leave the reasonably mild valley behind and reach the treeless pastures in the cold high parts.
high mountain grass "ichu", can be found at the highest parts of
these pastures. Before reaching the pass there is a camping site
called "Llullupampa", which is to be found on a
small flat plain surrounded by two crystal clear streams. It also
has a public toilet. It is a good place for the traveller to stop
over for a rest before climbing up the last part to the Warmihuañusca
This part of the trail was known as the smugglers route during the
XVIII y XIX centuries and is the only point along the way where
you could really become altitude sick. Normally there are strong
winds and low temperatures up here.
Once across the pass, we will need an additional rest to recover
before we start down towards the Pacasmayo River valley, where we
will reach the campsite with public toilet facilities and a small
waterfall. If during the first day the trail was barely perceptible,
since it has almost disappeared due to the effect of the many earthquakes
in the area, the part we cross on the second day is well defined,
almost like a stone-inlaid street. There are also very steep staircases,
one of which steps are almost vertical putting a heavy strain on
everybody's unprepared knees.
Time on the trail: Six to seven hours until the second campsite in Pacasmayo.