Just one of the incredible views from town.
On the ominous day of September 11th we said our goodbyes to Portugal, flew to Madrid, Spain, found a quiet piece of the airport, blew up our air mattreses, blockaded ourselves in a corner with our bike boxes and got a good 7 hours of decent sleep… fortunately there are no all night fiestas in airports 🙂
An 11 hour flight landed us in Lima with enough time to shower, eat, sleep and catch the bus to Huaraz the next morning… OK.. Things are moving along pretty smoothly – nice. We get our room at Joe’s Place in the evening which is a local hiking, climbing and biking haunt/hostel with a cheery disposition – our friend Cass turned us onto it as well as being our go-to guy for any and all information – thanks, Cass!!!!
Gary, chilling at Joe’s
It’s a different world here which is fitting us like a tight tee-shirt. 11 days later…. Hunkered in…..
To be totally honest… I’ve said in the recent past that I’ve felt done with 3rd world travel. The unending noise, the congestion, litter, crowds, etc, etc. has always been challenging for me, I often feel a bit claustrophobic. I have to admit though, after Europe, I’m feeling comfortable here and as you can see from the photos, it’s really incredible. I’m excited about all the options for exploring, both on bike and foot… a lifetime’s worth, it’s almost overwhelming! The rainy season is on it’s way, they tell us. At the moment we plan to use Huaraz as our home base until either we tire of it or the rain drives us away. We’ve acclimated to the elevation (10,300′ in town) and have been toughening up the feet and hiking muscles. Tomorrow we’re off on our first multi-day trek… Excited!
The direction we’re headed tomorrow…
Looking down on Huaraz from the Southeast
Terry Tempest Williams, an environmentalist and prolific writer made a statement in her book “Refuge” that I’ve never forgotten…… “for every person there is a land with which one resonates above all others” …. For me it’s high altitude, dry, arid, sun rich mountains and canyons, so dishing me up a serious portion of the Andes is a major big hit of a first course. Instantly, seriously excited, instantly, seriously at home. There are some local challenges, as Gary mentioned, however having been schooled from a young age in living with chaos, I seem to an easier time dealing with the local confusion than Gary. All things considered, we both think we’re doing surprisingly well…. I love the colors of the land… the browns, greens, sages, greys, mauves, against the blue sky are beautiful… And the local simple homes in the hills made of earth, blend in with perfection… I love our new home at Joe’s and all the interesting folks that wander in and out. It’s a place where people find themselves staying much, much longer than they ever intended…. And with that all said…. we’ll let the pictures tell the rest of the story…. Enjoy!
Looking North from a hilltop East of Huaraz
A trail up to the high country took us past several small communities ..
Living close to the land….
Curious kids say “hello”
We spent 2 nights at the Hof Hostel at 12,400′ to acclimate and do day hikes.
The view from the hostel, looking southeast…
Looking down canyon back towards Huaraz.
Approaching Churup lake and peak on a day hike from the Hof…
Lake Churup at 14,600’…not much air up here.
Tomorrow we head back up to this same region for the first of what we hope to be many multi day trips in the Cordillera Blanca.
And as always… With that said…
Miss you, love you… Think of you every day!!!
Gary and Patti