The short march up and the long march down

Trip Start Sep 16, 2010
Trip End Jan 18, 2011

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Where I stayed
cordillera blanca

Flag of Peru  , Ancash,
Sunday, September 26, 2010

   We woke with a contrast to yesterdays low cloud to bright sunshine and we all packed for what we thought was going to be warm day of trekking. We set off at a similar time to yesterday and made a steady climb up the valley into a perpendicular hanging valley to the base of the Alpo Mayo (voted the worlds most perfect peak, sadly we saw it from the not so perfect side and it spent most of the time covered in cloud). As we turned into the valley the bright weather that promised quickly disappeared and a rain looked ominous. The valley had a very flat base with steep sides, lined on one side with a thicket of the paper trees. On the way up we saw two dead cows the next more horrid than the last. At the end of valley the two peaks rose up showing off there icy peaks. Are destination was a glacial lake at the bottom of the lower of the two peaks. We had short walk from the base camp of the Alpo Mayo, from which we could see a pair of condors circling, searching for there breakfast. After a 30 minutes we reached the lake over a head of rubble, we were greeted by the pure tranquility of the place, the perfectly still blue waters of the lake backed by the grandness of the glacier feeding this beauty. Everyone who had visited the lake had piled up some of the stones adding to the spectacle.

   After half and hour of photos, food and of course skimming on the lake we headed back along the valley from which we had came as the clouds grew in anger and the wind followed suit. Heading back down into the valley from which we came we continued downwards on a new path towards are camp. As we descended the moorland turned to light woodland, and life seemed to be teaming everywhere we looked. David informed us that some of the trees here were very old, but when i inquired how old he wasn't sure. Here we stopped again for a drink and food and me and Pav went off exploring in the stream, showing are youth compared to are thirty something compatriots.

   From here we continued along the valley which suddenly turned barren and very flat, this we put down to the landslides caused by the 1970 earthquake which filled the valleys with earth. This continued to a Lake for which the sun came out. David told us you could catch large trout in this lake, made me think if Carlsberg did fishing lakes, this is what they'd do. The path continued down the valley to another lake that boasted a large variety wildlife from birds, shoals of teaming fish and wetland flora. From here we followed the steam down to a small clearing where are tents had been erected. Me and Paul went and played in the steam and on the large boulders whilst waiting for dinner, whilst Josh went for a very brief swim in the river. We finished the day with another 3 course meal with the highlight being the plate of rice with a side of mashed potato. Amazing. We all went to bed early, satisfied with a good days trekking.                      
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