A Travellerspoint blog

July 2012

Peru - Huaraz

19 °C

Even though we´d spent alot of time at high altitue in Bolivia and Peru, the week or so back at sea level in Lima had quickly made us forget how it feels to struggle to walk up a flight of stairs. So when we arrived in Huaraz, which sits at 3,000m altitude nestled underneath the Cordillera Blanca mountain range, we took it easy for the first few days. We spent some time dinking the amazing coffee at Cafe Andino, and visited the natural volcanic thermal saunas in nearby Chancos, which were set in caves and heated to various temperatures. We takled one at 47 degrees celcius and they went to 54...HOT!

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Gluttons for punishment we climbed again, this time in the second highest mountain range in the world! Cordillera Blanca...with 22 peaks over 6,000m in altitude. It also has the mountain that Paramount Pictures use for their logo. A day trip to Laguna 69 was magic, as we walked from 4,000m to 4,600m to a bright blue lake surrounded by 6,000m+ snow capped peaks with their glaciers crackling all around. For me it was second only to the incredible sight of Mount Fitzroy in Patagonia. A motion sickness tablet that morning made Lucy super drowsy and she struggled with the altitude, so sat half of it out with numb hands and headache ridden! I didn´t do that much better, near the top I was walking as slow as a ninety year old, but recorded my heart rate at 184!

The next day was a rush of mountain biking, from a high point in Cordillera Negro (a mountain range directly opposite Cordillera Blanca)...I threw the mountain bike on top of a mini bus, jammed with locals and got dropped at 4,260m. You can ride back down the road or take one of the many single trails back. They are basically trails that link local properties and all end up in Huaraz. 3 hours of smooth downhill fun, some say the best mountain biking in the world. I have to agree!

It was great to see some more local dress in this area, which is common in the highlands, and the women were sporting some pretty amazing giant hats! We styed at Hostel Ezama which had a super handy owner who was keen to help with anything, and even let us check in at 6am when we arrived fresh off an overnight bus, so stay there if you head to Huaraz!

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Posted by TheNomadWay.com 17:00 Archived in Peru Comments (0)

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