Some more trekking
Trip Start Nov 29, 2009
78Trip End Jun 27, 2010
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Where I stayed
Jo's Place, Wilderness
Took a long bus journey to get to the start of the trek, largely due to the loose Peruvian definition of roads. Still, once there we spurned the offer of a donkey, as real men don’t rely on animals to carry their things and we know almost nothing about donkey maintenance. After a couple of wrong turns due to the lack of clarity from our map and the signs, we hit our stride, and were able to shake off the kids that expressed their view to me that gringos were walking ATMs – no money or sweeties from us though! I struggled with the concept of carrying a heavy pack and walking at altitude, my body feeling that only one of these was a reasonable demand. Still, the scenery was beautiful and the path was much easier than torres and we made it to the 'campsite’ we wanted, though campsite appeared to just define a patch of ground round a building that housed a hole for a toilet.
Second day was, according to the map, the hardest day, and we did our best to make sure this was the case. Lost the path slightly at one point, and rhys’ insistence that the mountain pass lay up a steep grassy slope lost credence when we saw a train of donkeys taking a wildly differing path.(Rhys- In my defence the map we had was pretty terrible for working out the path and where we chose to camp had spectacular views) I was far too occupied with my own breathing to do any insisting of my own except insisting on regular rests. We ended up camping at the foot of the mountain pass, as I feared a rebellion from my lungs and legs if we attempted it that day.
Third day dawned and we set off up the mountain. Took us about an hour to get to the top, 4,750m altitude, which is quite high. Awesome views of neighbouring mountains from the top, who knows what exciting vocabulary rhys has used and/or misspelt in his diary to describe it? Going down the mountain proved much easier than I had feared, and we made excellent time down the valley past 2 scenic lakes. Our splendid progress ended when the path vanished in an open field laced with marsh and large streams too wide to jump across. We ingeniously solved the porblem by extracting a large log from the river and bridging several streams, before continuing on our way, doing our best to ignore the couple travelling the other way who had found the real bridge. Got to the final campsite that day so we made up the time we had lost yesterday.
Final day we pushed on early to santa cruz so we could get back to Huaraz that day. I managed some remarkably slow speeds (Rhys- including needing the 1st stop after less than an hours walking) but we made it into a taxi with 6 other people for a couple of hours to Chivay, then got a minibus back to Huaraz. Pretty cool views of the gorge as we left santa cruz. Once in Huaraz, it was dinner before the bus to Trujillo, and from there to Mancora.