Red Valley, Peru
Earlier this year I flew down to Peru on my own and made friends with a stranger from Austria named Jacky. To my luck, she ended up being a solid hiking companion and her and I went on a hand full of adventures together in southern Peru. This place is just a 4 minute trek past Peru's famed "Rainbow Mountain". During the hike up we were chuckling at a lot of the inexperienced hikers who came on tour groups and were struggling with the altitude. In their defense, 5,200m altitude (17060.37 feet) is no joke especially if you're me and just flew in from NYC (sea level) a couple days prior. Along the trail there were swarms of local villagers there trying to capitalize on exhausted tourists trying to offer them donkey rides, carry there bags, etc. Once you reach the Rainbow Mountain viewpoint, you're surrounded by hoards of tourists taking selfies and villagers trying to get you to pay them to pose for pictures with Alpacas wearing sunglasses. It kinda ruined the vibe for us so we noticed the trail continued past Rainbow Mountain and we decided to see what lied around the corner. Just a 5 minute trek around a ridge and we stumbled onto this view of Red Valley. We were literally the only people there for a good hour or so aside from this ranger I captured climbing up the mountain to collect troll-tolls from the tourists (all 2 of us). A couple weeks later I returned here to trek through this valley as part of the Ausangate Trek.