The Highpoint of Our Trip
Trip Start Jun 14, 2007
27Trip End Aug 04, 2007
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The small two-towered catholic churches in each village were the most colorful buildings, painted with bright colors and neat contrasting trip. Topping each home throughout the countryside was an intricate wrought-iron cross at the peak of the roof to protect the inhabitants from the spirits they believe lived in the land before the house was built, combining the catholic faith and the ancient traditional beliefs. Any flat surface might be painted with the symbol of a political party and name of its candidates. We found Waldo! He recently ran for governor of the province of Huaraz.
We stopped in the main plaza of one village to try local fruit flavored ice cream. Have you ever had chirimoya or lucuma ice cream? Christina chose mint chocolate chip and chocolate! Women in brown felt, wide-brimmed, stovepipe hats carried brightly colored bundles on their backs, sold artisan trinkets, or begged for a handout.
Further down the valley we came to a solemn place where the pueblo of Yungay once stood. In 1970 a 7.8 earthquake shook all of northern Peru, flattening the villages all through this valley as well as in many other parts. It caused an enormous block of ice to fall off of the
We drove on to a turquoise lake up in the mountains where we took a 20 minute boat ride rowed by a local man. Once again, the scenery was spectacular and we wished everyone could see what we were seeing. We took a walk along the edge of the lake for about 20
We finally arrived back in Huaraz about 7 and started walking through the streets to our hostel. The main streets were a congestion of sidewalk vendors and trekking agencies. All the side streets seemed to be home to local markets. The city itself needs a lot of work, but our hostel was a refuge of quiet and quaintness.
Tuesday morning we started out on another tour up to snow level. The southern end of the Callejon de Huaylas was higher and less agricultural. Sturdy tufts of green-gold grass covered the mountains punctuated by semi-dried scraggly orange flowers with bits of fluffy
We passed sheep folds made of piled rock walls. A small shepherd boy with sausage color cheeks, a red shirt, and multicolored earflap hat watched our bus go by. A woman stood patiently outside her house guarding the drying corn. An old man in leather sandals and equally leather feet carried a load of lumber across a suspension bridge over the sparkling river.
The kids tromped around in the snow and slipped down patches of ice before we made our way back to the bus where we ate tender boiled corn with fresh cheese. Trying to stay awake the 35 kilometers down the mountain to take in all the beauty, we all dozed and nodded a bit.
In Huaraz we enjoyed hot drinks at a restaurant overlooking the main plaza of the town which is under restoration. The next day was the 150th anniversary of Huaraz and bands played, people in typical costumes marched and danced up and down the street and everyone seemed to join in the general gaiety.
At our hostel we had showers and finished packing before heading to the station to catch our overnight bus for Trujillo.