Peru, Peru, Peru

Trip Start Aug 31, 2005
1
9
36
Trip End Apr 11, 2007


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Friday, November 18, 2005

So I made it across the border in about 1 piece, although the helpful Hose did rip me off for some money and changed my money for "funny" money! But I guess that's all part of the experience of travelling and gives you the stories to tell people. Well that's what I keep telling myself anyway!

In Mancora (Peru's surf capital) the waves were huge, so when I fell off (like normal) I was spun round and round and round! Still a great place though, and the weather was pretty hot too, somehow managed to avoid burning myself TOO badly!



Trujillo was visited for a bit of archaeology and culture, a change from adventure sports every day! The town is not very safe though, we were trying to get combi buses through to the ruins. We were wondering round close to the market there, and had to ask a few people where we should go for the next bus. With every person we spoke to, the first thing they said was, it's not safe here for gringos. Even people we didn't ask came up to us and said this! The last straw was a police man who came and told us this, so we hopped in a taxi and payed the extra sol or two!



Then off to Huaraz with the ozzy couple (Sam and Rod) that I had been in Trujillo with. Huaraz is the trekking capital of Peru and has a number of mountain ranges from which to choose from. Not wanting to miss anything, I chose the 9 day trek around the Codirella Huayhuash. If you have seen touching the void (you should it's a great film) then this is where that mountain is, Simuli Grande. This is the second best trek in the world apparently behind one in the Himalayas.

Our group consisted of a crazy Mexican biologist, a dutch mech eng, another dutch mech eng/5th best lwt rower in Holland, a Peruvian guide, a Peruvian donkey driver, a horse and 4 donkeys! I like to think that I'm vaguely fit, but not really next to these guys! So I had to huff and puff after them up to passes over 5000m high! Some of the days were pretty tough, but some were not too bad. I thought that camping in Bristol in April was a bit nasty, however now I've camped in howling winds and snow at 4000+m, so i have a new perspective. For the first few days it rained or snowed like clockwork every afternoon, but calmed down after that and was just freezing cold! Maybe I should come in summer next time!



We didn't see another tourist for all 9 days, only locals living in their isolated houses in the middle of nowhere. We also got to stay in a small isolated village 8hrs horse ride from the nearest town! The kids on the route have learnt a standard phrase of "De cual paise eres", then followed by "Caramello?", one of the kids had obviously thought about it and to save time says it in one phrase, translation "Where are you from, sweet please?"! Showing a complete lack of interest in which country we were from!




The trek was amazing, snow capped mountains, glaciers, avalanches (not anywhere near us!), waterfalls, clear blue glacial lakes, massive river valleys, hot volcanic springs. You can see some photos of what I saw, I went a bit mental with the camera and took about 170 photos!



Although it may look like I'm having one long holiday, it's good to get away from normal humdrum western working life for a bit. I'm getting lots of time to think about stuff, meeting loads of people from different walks of life and countries. I have more volunteer work planned for when I get to Bolivia before Christmas. My time in South America is now extended to mid feb, so my new return date to the UK (subject to further change!) is 1st June 2006. In Lima for a couple of days at the mo, how i love smoggy, busy, traffic ridden cities! For now I'm off to the unmissable Macha Picu and other sites in Peru.
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