Mas Montañas

Trip Start Nov 22, 2007
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Peru  , Huaraz,
Wednesday, April 30, 2008

I arrived early in the morning and found a crash pad before organizing another soiree into the mountains. As I was walking down the street I ran into two Swiss girls I had met in Cuzco and we decided to head into the mountains for the Santa Cruz trek in Huascarán National Park part of the Cordillera Blanca Mountain range. Just afterwords while enjoying a cool glass of chicha in a cafe, an Israeli girl I went trekking with in the Bolivian Oriente sat down next to me. Small world, but actually this stuff happens more than one might think. Anyways, a couple of bus and cab connections (through the town of Yungay that in 1970 was destroyed by an earthquake killing 15,000 people) later we were in the podunk town of Vaqueria. The ride up was spectacular, as we were climbing higher and higher above the clouds and giant sapphire blue glacial lakes of the valley. We began our ascent by meandering through some quiet and quaint villages that gave way to alpine meadows (filled with a startlingly high concentration of bulls), to rocky terrain, to glacial mountainsides, to rocky snow covered peaks (including Peru's highest Huascarán at nearly 6800 meters in elevation) of which I have very luckily been privileged to see a few times thus far. It never gets old, especially with those half rabbit half squirrel guys better known as ihavenoidethename. The path actually had signs on it which was quite a change from the norm of South American trekking, though that didn't stop us from getting momentarily lost and a bit wet due to the lack of fly on the tent. At one point I found a crystal clear stream and decided it was time for a frosty dip in the blue billabong. As I began to hyperventilate from the icy water a heard of wild horses (not wild but since there were no fences or people I am going to call them wild) galloped through the water right past me. It was quite a sight and so unexpected I thought I was in a Chevy commercial and could here John Cougar Mellencamp crooning in the background. The decent was more rocky zig zags falling away into the verdant mountain valley that was greener than a rich protestants pants. We then arrived in Caraz and found our way back to the starting point in Huaraz so as eat some cuy and grab the bus to Trujillo.
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