05.03.2013 - 05.05.2013 65 °F
When in Cusco I was a bit worn out so I booked the last 8 days of my trip in the comfortable Lima suburb of Miraflores in the family style hostel. By the time I got to Lima I was feeling more energized to do something with the last week of my trip. I missed the mountains the last 2 weeks and knew I was only 7 hours by bus to some of the spectacular mountains anywhere. A disproportionate number of friends and people I met were either going or buzzing about this city, called Huaraz, in the heart of the Cordillera Blanca surrounded by 23 peaks over 6000 meters (19,800 feet) high. I decided on a 3 day 2 night trip bookended by overnight busrides.
Over half the time that I travel to a new place I find it hard, even unpleasant, to deal with the details of arriving and getting to the point of being settled, safe, and finding the fun. I spent the day before going there researching and contacting hotels and tours to try to hit the ground running. Despite the effort, day 1 in Huaraz epitomized the arrival blues. Upon getting in I was tired and found the city one of the ugliest and travel unfriendly places I've seen. The surrounding mountains were incredible albeit through ugly buildings.
The weather was beautiful and knowing fickle mountain weather I wanted to get out a little out of the urban area to view the spectacular mountains immediately. Due to the tour company opening late I missed everything and there was no one at the hostel who wanted to do anything. So, I took a 2 hour nap, found food, hung out a bit with a woman from Lima who was scaling a 5400 meter (17,800 feet) peak the next few days. I also verified a hike for tomorrow.
Huaraz was totally destroyed by earthquake in 1970 and the cathedral is not yet rebuilt but is pretty neat in its current state.
From the plaza the highest point in Peru is visible Huascaran at 6768 meters (22,300 feet).
My hostel has a terrace to view the city and mountains.
I saw some interesting things from here. Cool morning shots:
Dusk after a storm:
On street selling of Guinea Pig and Chickens:
Treatment of the animals is poor. Another thing that is exceptionally out of control is street dogs. This was a whole pack:
This dog used the ATM space as a home overnight: