Huaraz, the mountaineering mecca
Huaraz Travel Blog› entry 7 of 8 › view all entries
Well, took another long bus ride a few days later, this time into the beautiful mountains of Peru. I made the mistake of taking the less expensive Yungay Express, which ended up being a short, uncomfortable bus loaded full of indigenous people. Not that indigenous people are bad..Just that their funny hats and dresses and bags of crops take up quite a bit of room on the bus. At one point I fell asleep and when I woke up (at least an hour later) we were still in the same spot, in the midafternoon sun, because the bus had broken down. Luckily it was fixed right up and we made our way into the winding roads of the Cordillera Negra mountains...beautiful. By nightfall we had arrived in Huaraz, and I booked it to a great hostal, Hostal Churup. The owners, Juan, and his son Juan, are so sweet and have a great set up going. They told me they were booked after the first night, but I have managed to stay here for three nights so far, and will tonight and tomorrow as well.
The first morning I stumbled upon a great cafe, Cafe Andino. Granted it was full of tourists, but the vibe was just like Zoka in Seattle, and I felt right at home sitting on the patio, drinking a realllll Cappuccino. Yum. I started talking to this German guy sitting next to me, Thomas, and we´ve become friends since. He is a mountain climber (mountains over 6,000 m!!), and a very cool guy. I had my book of poetry by Rainier Maria Rilke, with German and English side by side, so I gave it to him to have a look. I had to assure him that it was not sad. He said he´d been homesick the previous couple days. We chatted for most of the afternoon and I finally left the cafe to go back to my hostal, where I met with more great folks. Dan, from Oregon, and Denis, from Montreal. We went out for dinner to a place known for it´s spicy food and i got chicken curry!! It was actually surprisingly tasty, and went well with Cusqueño, the dark sweet beer that is most popular here. I haven´t laughed so hard in a long time..it was great. Both of them had really funny stories, and it was good to talk to some North Americans, I have to admit.
Yesterday was a similar day: I woke up early and went for a great 4 hour hike with a great guide, Chaubert, where we got great views of the Cordillera Blanca. I was with a couple from Canada who spoke literally only three words of Spanish, so I felt pretty awesome talking to the guide the whole time and only once having a problem understanding him. After the walk, I made my way back to Cafe Andino, where I had an awesome lunch and met up with my friends from the day before: Dan, Denis, and later, Thomas. Thomas and I ended up talking for the majority of the day (we were at the Cafe for almost 6 hours! So comfy!!), and then Denis left for his bus back to Lima, and Dan and I, went back to Churup to sleep. He didn´t have a bed so we ended up sharing one, which was pretty funny..and he woke up at 4:30am to go for a 12-day trek in the nearby Huayhuash mountains, famous for their beauty and for Siula Grande, the mountain from the movie ¨Touching the Void.¨ I was supposed to go on a 5 day trek this morning, but woke up at 7am sick as a dog, and so have spent the WHOLE day in the hostal, mostly in bed or on the toilet. Yuck! Hopefully tomorrow I´ll be feeling back to normal, as I might go with Thomas on Saturday for a 4-5 day trek into the mountains where he will climb Nevada Pisco. Independence day is tomorrow as well, so I don´t want to miss the salsa music, drinking, and ultimate Peruvian fiesta.
Maybe I´ll be better about updating, but my journal has been a nicer way to remember my days :)
Take care everyone. I´m having a great time!