We just aborted a hike to Laguna Churup. I'm not sure if we are just really out of shape or if we can blame it all on altitude. We are staying at The Way Inn Lodge 15km from Huaraz up in the Cordillera Blanca. It was kind of a spontaneous decision. Wanting to figure out if we would suffer from altitude sickness, we didn't take our Diamox (we will however be taking it in Cusco). Due to this, we spent our first night with splitting headaches.
We came up to the lodge yesterday. It was a bumpy but interesting ride. The taxi headed east out of Huaraz. Immediately the road headed upwards. Soon the pavement disappeared and the road became dirt and gravel. The road was lined with eucalyptus trees and the hills dropped down to streams and valleys. There were lots of adobe brick houses. Women in bright colored clothing, short flared skirts, and broad brimmed hats with a piece of colored cloth resting on the top, walked beside the road. The houses all had a few animals: donkeys, pigs, chickens and cows. There were small plots of land with corn and other crops. It seemed so peaceful. I wonder if the households were completely self sufficient.
Little dogs would run out into the road in front of the taxi. I was amazed our driver was able to avoid them. As we got higher, the mountains became more dominant. Even though it is the beginning of summer, there is still a lot of snow.
The lodge is at a high area at the base of some even higher peaks. You can see Huaraz way below. The mountain peaks are narrow and sharp and the area is breathtakingly beautiful. All around are farms and the locals bring their cows, sheep and donkeys out to graze. I'm not sure what the locals think of all the foreigners but they seem friendly enough once you smile and wave hola!
On our first afternoon we took a walk up the road. As we turned a corner Rowshan exclaimed, 'WOW!' The mountains dipped in a steep V and emerging from behind was a beautiful snow covered peak.
A small river swept down from the base of the mountain, through the valley and down to Huaraz