First Taste of the Andes!
Trip Start Mar 07, 2008
29Trip End Jun 14, 2008
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Where I stayed
Arrived in Huaraz on Tuesday following 1st major bus trip through Peru. Headed out of Lima and straight into desertic landscape - paysage - with massive sand dunes running along the pacific coast line, then ended up in Huaraz at 3100m. Didnt struggle - on a pas galere - too much with the altitude sickness - mal de montagne - which was a relief -soulagement -. However, we were hit hard by the change in temperature which dropped - tombee - from the high 20s to approx 5degC! We also discovered early on that it was still the rainy season which was a bit of a blow - decevant -...
Stayed in brilliant hostel called Carolina's Lodge... though Audrey and I quickly felt out of place - hors de contexte - though as we discovered the place was full of serious trekkers and mountain climbers who had been in Huaraz for weeks and some for months..
Anyway, decided to go for a gentle walk next day through the surrounding hills - collines avoisinantes - to get our bodies used to the altitude. Was great! got a little lost and ended walking through a few little villages, then met local ladies in their tradional outfits - costumes - who seemed not to have to seen tourists for quite some time (to our surprise). then met a cool italian couple and walked further into slightly unexplored terroritory... lots of cows, pigs, and other animals.
Next day, took a trip to Lagunas Llanganucos further along in the Cordillera Blanca. The trip turned out to be a lot more than we bargained for (too much) -plus que ce qu'on ne pensait au depar -... the mini bus stopped in lots of different places on the way which werent of great interest.
However, we were in for a shock when we rocked in to Yungay, a town hit by a massive earthquake - tremblement de terre - in the 1970s... the earthquake caused a huge avalanche of rock, mud and ice from the neighbouring Mount Huascaran. The avalanche buried the whole town of 25,000 people under 7m of mud in under 3min
The lakes were beautiful but very cloudy - nuageux -. Huaraz in general was very cloudy and wet in the afternoons, which meant we rarely got a peak on the beautiful mountain tops of the Cordillera Blanca. Would have been better to come a month later when dry season started.
In the end, the weather took its toll on us and we decided to head back to the good food and warm weather of Lima... and it was time to meet up with the one and only Christophe Merveille so that we could embark on our trip through the rest of peru and bolivia!
Nick and Audrey