Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Huaraz, Peru 14-17 Nov 2011

Huaraz is a heaven for trekkers. It’s located in the Cordillera Blanca region of Peru’s Central Sierra @ 3100m. We arrived early in the morning and immediately froze with the cold temperature when we step out from the bus. We had a couch here but our host is not in town, he is so kind to let us stay in his house even though he is away. We had to collect his house key from a friend of his at a travel agency. While we were walking to find the travel agency, from the street we could view the range of ice cap Mountains on the east and the black mountain on the west. Wow! It was beautiful! We definitely want to climb to one of the mountain or near to one of that.

We finally found the agency and Ivan’s friend Wilder, he showed us to Ivan’s house. It was a simple house with 2 bed, we had the house key and we are free to use the place. We are really thankful to him. To arrive at such altitude and cold temperature, we find it difficult to breath. Normally we need a day or two to acclimatize to the change in atmosphere but we don’t have so many days. We took a few hours sleep and then head to the nearby ruinas - Wilcawain. It is about 10km from town. We decided to walk, we did it slow and easy walking pass small villages and farms, we saw plenty of cows, sheep, pony and pigs. Locals are very friendly and helpful when we needed some directions. We stopped for lunch at a small stall, it started to rain heavily. We were told we are only 10 mins away from the ruinas, we have to finish it since we have made it so far! We walked in the rain uphill to finally arrived at the ruinas but it was still pouring. We need to pay to enter to the area, but we decided not to enter because of the rain. Haha! We made it this far to the gate not to visit the ruinas anyway we have a good walk as a warm up for the next day trek. To return we took the mini van back to town. The mini van was for 12 people but I think they are 20 squeeze inside.

In the evening, we met 2 French gals who were couchsurfing with Ivan the day before, they were leaving at night. They told us about the trek to Lake 69, it was better than the one we wanted to do. The trip starts with a 3 hours on 2 bus ride to the nearest town and then a 5-6 hours trek to the lake and back. We were up for this trip! In the evening, it started to rain and continues the entire night. Our alarm clock rings at 4:15am, we woke up but it was still raining. Don’t think it is nice to trek with the rain. We decided change our plan to trek to another lake which is closer to Huancayo, with this we can leave later at 7am with hope that the rain will stop by then. We continue to sleep to 6:30am, we are not so lucky this time, it’s still drizzling and cloudy! We have to cancel the trekking plan.

So no trekking, we signed up for a day trip to Lake Querococha and Chavin ruinas. We had magnificent view on the way to the lake and ruinas. We were able to see snow capped mountain hidden behind the range of dried and desert mountains. We passed a tunnel which is located at 4516m. Arriving at the ruinas around 1:30pm, the guide gave everyone a tour in Spanish, at the beginning I was trying to understand all what he is trying to say but I gave up half way. :-( During lunch a gal ordered fried guinea pig, a common peruvian food that everyone must try. She lets me taste a small piece, it doesn't taste like chicken for sure. I won't have able to finish the entire plate.

It was a long day especially when our bus was half working one the way back. The first gear seems to be a big problem and we need to cross the mountain @ 4516m, it’s not really the best time not to have your first gear working properly, we stopped many times to pour water into the engine so that the driver can start the engine again. We finally made it back to Huancayo at 9:45pm.
We both think we had enough of the mountain and decided to take the bus the next morning to back to Lima. The advantage of taking a day bus is we will be able to admire breathtaking view on the mountains and wilderness. Surely we had an amazing view all the way to Lima. We even lost count of time and found the trip pretty short. :-)

Huaraz  - Couchsurfing

Bus from Huaraz to Lima – S30 (Economy)

Day trip to Lake Querococha and Chavin ruinas – S35
Entrance to Chavin ruinas – S5

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