High altitude towns and cities seem to be causing me problems whereas Jade is completely unaffected. Huaraz is 3100m above sea level so we decided to give ourselves a few days to acclimatize before actually doing anything. However i got a serious case of man flu and ended up in bed for the first 3 days. Huaraz is quite a big place and not that exciting. The usual plaza is here and not a lot else, the main draw for Huaraz is the surround mountains. Theres lots of trekking and other outdoor activities to do and we booked 3 day trips to see what all the fuss is about.
Due to my severe case of man flu we had to cancel our Laguna 69 trek (no idea why its called that) as high altitude trekking would of probably finished me off
. Instead we opted for a nice relaxing horse ride. We got picked up by the 'ranch' owner and took a local minivan to the awaiting horses. We managed to explain that i had no experience so a horse that could barely move would be great. Another 3 Israeli guys (loads in south america) turned up aswell to join us. We soon set off in the basking heat quickly realising we had forgotten our suncream. Grave mistake. Out of the 5 horses there were 2 useless ones and 3 that wanted to clearly escape Peru. The Isrealis were experienced and wanted to go fast but one of them had a slow horse, sadly for him a horse which didnt want to overtake me at any cost. To make things worse (or funnier) my horse kept farting in his face all the way up and zigzaging just incase he thought about trying to pass. I never actually saw Jade for the first hour of the ride as her horse was a bit mental and zoomed off right away with the 2 other Israelis. She wasnt best pleased and at the half way point she swapped horses so we could enjoy some incredibly slow riding/farting together. I should mention the scenery was breathtaking as we were overlooked by beautiful snow-capped mountains. As we made it to the finish we started to realise just how bad our sunburn was gonna be, not to mention our sore arses.
We took another day trip to see the pastoruri glacier
. It again started half an hour late (we think peruvians should send their watches back) and we made 2 stops along the way, firstly to try out the local coca tea (helps with altitude) and then to see a huge cactus. The journey along the way was stunning and more enjoyable as our bus actually had suspension that worked!
When we arrived we could feel the sudden change in oxygen level as Jade could hardly catch her breath and then she had to start walking lol! We got wrapped up and with our huge bright red faces we stood out like sore thumbs. It took us about an hour to get all the way to the glaciar by a path recently constructed and our guide who had only spoken spanish until now actually told us that when he was a teenager (15 years ago) the glacier was actually where the car park was and has now shrunk a great deal. But to look on the bright side it has given the locals a new business opportunity to charge $3 for a horse to take the lazy/unfit tourists to the top. So whilst Jade rode on the horse....
After lots of huffing and puffing, I staggered to the top of a view point to see the almighty glacier. After taking again to many photos Jade eventually joined me as we relaxed for a while, taking it all in.
Plaza De Armas.
During me being unwell/having sunburn/arse pain we relaxed in the main plaza in Huaraz. Soon after taking a seat we were approached by some local women and a few of their friends - Llamas. Great photo opportunity. Jade and 3 llamas, one of which loved wearing his sunnies. Soon after it was our turn to have our photo taken as a peruvian man wanted to take a photo of us with his children while on holiday from Lima. Soon after that 2 students came and gave us a filmed interview to practice their English, so much for a bit of quite relaxation at the park.Lowlights
Day tour to Llanganuco Lake.
Mark decided to stay in bed after a bad night coughing so I went alone on the day tour. The bus was half an hour late and it turned out I was with about 30 other Peruvians. We made 2 stops before we actually made it to the lake (the only thing anyone actually wanted to see) the first being some random village. I have no idea why we came here as the guide only spoke Espanyol so I spent 20 minutes being chased around by old woman trying to flog me tat. Another 30 mins drive we arrived at Yungay village and as my guidebook advised me this village was completely wiped out by an earthquake over 30 years ago. Now theres just a huge monument and graves for the thousands that died. A further 2 hour drive over the worst road ever and we finally made it to llanganuco lake. Initially it was disappointing as it was so misty but quickly it disappeared to reveal the very serene, peaceful surroundings. I paid a quid to have a little boat ride across the lake and managed to take a few snaps before the heavens opened. We all hurried back to the bus and started to make the 3 hour journey back to Huaraz. But this tour wouldnt be complete without stopping 3 more times to try and flog me more crap. I made it back finally 2 hours later then told and to a random bus station, thankfully a nice girl showed me the way back to the plaza. So even though the lake was beautiful out of the 11 hour 'tour' I actually only spent 48 minutes there.