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Inspired by the Lares Trek: A Manga Artist’s Odyssey through Nature and Culture

Greetings, fellow manga enthusiasts! As the ink of my pen meets the pages of life, I find myself recounting a recent odyssey that transcended the borders of both physical and creative realms. This remarkable journey, the Lares Trek to Machu Picchu organized by the exceptional team at Bamba Travel, was more than a mere exploration of Peru’s majestic landscapes. It was a tapestry woven with threads of cultural immersion, spiritual connection, and, of course, artistic inspiration. Allow me to share the sprawling epic that unfolded during my sojourn through the Lares Trek.

Day 1: Cuzco to Wakawasi - A Prelude to Nature's Symphony

cusco peru market

As the first light kissed the cobblestone streets of Cuzco, a sense of anticipation enveloped me. The day commenced with a predawn pick-up, heralding the beginning of a journey that promised to unravel the secrets of the Andean highlands. A picturesque bus ride led us to Lares Town, a gateway to the realm of ancient traditions and breathtaking landscapes.

The day’s highlight? A rejuvenating dip in the Hot Springs, a therapeutic pause before the six-hour trek to Wakawasi. Zigzagging climbs unfolded vistas of snow-capped mountains, inviting contemplation and connection with the natural world. This leg of the trek, spanning 14 kilometers, not only challenged my physical endurance but also stirred my artistic soul as I encountered the raw beauty of glaciers and the resilient spirit of local Quechua villages.

Day 2: Wakawasi to Patacancha - A Summit of Inspiration

Rural herdboys, in their traditional red-woven ponchos, taking in the vista as they mind their grazing herd of alpaca & llama.

Day two dawned with the promise of new heights, both literal and metaphorical. The four-hour ascent to Ipsayccocha Pass at 4,400 meters was a moment of transcendence. Amidst the pristine landscapes, I found solace and inspiration—a perfect backdrop for sketching the essence of the Andes. The descent to lunch by a tranquil lake, surrounded by native crop plantations, served as a testament to the symbiotic relationship between the locals and their environment.

The trek continued, leading us to the charming town of Patacancha at 3,800 meters. Here, camping among llamas and alpacas felt like stepping into a living tableau of cultural richness. The day’s 15-kilometer journey not only fueled my artistic curiosity but also left me with a profound appreciation for the delicate balance between human existence and the natural world.

Day 3: Patacancha to Aguas Calientes - The Confluence of Worlds

train in aguas calientes peru

The third day unfolded as a four-hour walk to Ollantaytambo, an ancient Incan stronghold. After a cultural feast in the town, a train whisked us away to Aguas Calientes—a bustling gateway to Machu Picchu. The quaint streets, adorned with cafes and shops, beckoned exploration, providing a respite before the grand unveiling of the archaeological marvel.

Day 4: Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu - An Artistic Climax

llamas grazing n machu picchu peru

The final act of our journey commenced with an early morning bus ride to Machu Picchu, shrouded in the ethereal embrace of morning mist. A guided tour unfolded the layers of history etched in stone, and as I explored the ancient city on my own, the echoes of centuries past resonated through my artist’s heart.

The return journey traced our steps through Aguas Calientes, offering a glimpse into local life at the vibrant marketplace. The bus ride back to Cuzco served as a reflective moment—a time to distill the myriad impressions, sights, and sounds into the artistic wellspring that would soon find expression on my canvas.

Final Word

In bidding farewell to the Lares Trek, gratitude fills my heart. Bamba Travel orchestrated not just a physical expedition but a transcendent odyssey that left an indelible mark on my artistic journey. The Lares Trek, with its blend of nature and culture, was a living canvas where every step, every encounter, and every panoramic vista added strokes to the masterpiece of inspiration. As I return with a sketchbook filled with the vibrant tapestry of the Lares Trek, I carry not just memories but a reservoir of creativity ready to flow into the pages of my manga. Until the next adventure unfolds on the canvas of life!

Hinata Shikari headshot

Guest post written by Hinata Shikari

Born with an innate wanderlust, Hinata’s vibrant illustrations are a reflection of the diverse cultures and landscapes he encounters on his globetrotting adventures.