Elissa and Chris's Latin American misadventures.... travel blog
























(Apologies all for the slightly out-of-date journal updates!! Only a month behind but have been a little busy...)

After 13 hours and two bus rides we arrived in Huaraz at6am, checked into our hostel and slept for a while. We had originally planned to do only a one day trip called Lago 69 to see ice covered mountains and glacial lakes in the Cordillera Blanca mountain range. For some reason we got a little over excited (and over ambitious) and booked our Lago 69 hike followed by a four day trek Santa Cruz trek (recommended by people we met in Huacachina) and a two day ice climb expedition to 6000m, complete with ice crampons, picks, special clothing, you name it. We only had seven days there so these treks had no breaks in between them. Who knows why we thought we could or wanted to do this, we aren’t the biggest exercise or trekking fans…..but anyway.

We set off on the Lago 69 hike with a guide (who we found out soon to be totally unnecessary – this guy spent most of the day around 100m away from us powering up the mountains). The day was around the same area as the Santa Cruz trek and was supposed to help us acclimatize as it goes up around 4500m. Unfortunately we found Chris´s limited lung capacity (a result of a lifetime of asthma now cured) and altitude didn’t play well together, so it was a slow ascent to the lake. Nevertheless, the scenery was spectacular and a great day until the trip home when the taxi got a flat tire, found out his spare was also flat, and then after managing to borrow one off a mate, crammed 10 people into the 5 seats. After the fun of the taxi, it was into a collective, the local van transport, having about four people on my lap for two hours.

Getting home late it was a rush organizing for our four day trek, making sure with the agency we had a different guide. Another 6am start, beginning this time with four hours of collectivo fun and another flat tire. The scenery over the trek was truly amazing though, definitely the nicest we had seen in Peru, and the three guys we went with were great. However, for some reason our guide chose to do the trek backwards, meaning climbing over the highest pass at 4750m on the morning of Day 2, instead of at the end of Day 3 when we were more acclimatized. By some miracle, Chris finally made it up the pass without an asthma attack and with much cajoling from me (and no other feasible options!). If our guide spoke English, which we were guaranteed he would, we might have found out why this route was chosen (when complaining to the office later, we were told rudely that yes he speaks perfect English but we spoke too fast! Typical). After the climb it was relatively downhill although we came to the realization that trekking was not for us. So we cancelled the ice climbing, admitting our physical limitations and laziness, and spent a couple of days in Lima.

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