Published: July 14th 2012July 11th 2012
I was now back on mainland Ecuador after a great trip to the Galapagos and after nearly 3 months it was time to leave the country and make my way to Peru. With my plane landing in Guayaguil I decided to spend a day with some friends (Amber-Jay, Johanna and Emma) before getting the bus into Peru. I spent most of the day with Emma trying to send some things I had bought home which proved to be an expensive mission and also getting some amazing ice cream recommended by Emma mmm, in the evening I met up with the others and a group of their friends and had good fun with some of the girls getting seriously into the karaoke.
I got to the bus station early the next day and managed to get a direct one to Mancora that left at 7am....after many hours of travel I crossed into Peru and that was where a couple of other travellers came onto the bus. We got talking at the entrance of Peru because they were trying to work out where I was from due to my Emergency Passport being a cream colour, they were a nice bunch of people...a
girl called Asha from Australia and 2 guys from Germany Stephan and Florian. We found out we had all arranged to stay at the same hostel so when we arrived we dumped our bags in the room and went to the bar for a drink. I had decided to stay at the Loki because I had heard it had a great swimming pool and a good party atmosphere...it didnt disappoint! The hostel had a great lay out and my room was surprisingly nice...the pool was bright blue and clean and there seemed to be a lot of people around. After our drink we took a wonder outside the hostel where to be honest there isn't much and we had some food. It was then time to get involved with the party so we went back to the hostel and played some pool and darts whilst drinking then headed with the party down to the beach where everyone gathers until early morning with numerous bars pumping music out on the sand. The next day I spent hanging out on the beach with some English people I had met the night before and also hanging around the pool. The beach is nice
but quite small and they also have a guard further down it who doesn't allow you to go any further because it is prone to robberies. After then having a competitive game of volleyball in the pool we got changed and got back into the swing of things. The night took a similar shape to the previous and im also guessing similar to everynight and we ended up on the beach again where we met some other English people and a few Israelis and had good fun. The following morning there was a crowd of hungover people with sunglasses on watching the Wimbledon Final and cheering on Andy Murray...I got myself a full English Breakfast and joined them as im sure you know there was a glimpse of hope but as usual he could get his hands on the major. I then decided as the weekend was nearly over that I would start making some more progress south and get the nightbus to a place called Huaraz up in the mountains which had been recommended to me by Mike and Elise when I was in the Galapagos.
I knew it would be a lengthy journey and after around 20hrs
of travel I made it to Huaraz. On the nightbus I was sitting next to a girl called Amanda from Canada who was going to the same place so we hung out and looked into some hiking. We both had similar thoughts on what we wanted to do so after some thought decided to do a day trip to the popular Lake 69 the following day then decide later on what to do the following day. With Huaraz being 3,052m high I could feel the altitude as I had come up straight from the coast but I knew I would be going a lot higher soon so would be interesting to see how I cope. I found out Al who I travelled with for a few weeks in Ecuador was in town so we went and met him for a drink and got the low down on the city and things to do. It was an early start the next day and was feeling anything but fresh after having a bad nights sleep...not helped by others in the room one of which was a girl in the bunk below me continually breaking wind..nice! Me and Amanda then got picked up
from the hostel along with a few others and we were joined in the van with some others of varying countries but the majority from Israel. It took us 3 hours to get to the starting point which involved winding around the mountains and being chucked around inside the van for the majority. We arrived at the starting point around 10am and got told the van would come back around 4pm to take us back. Myself and Amanda thought we would set off as the average walking time was 3hrs to the Lake. The scenery was beautiful with snowcapped mountains, waterfalls, lakes and also some mules and bulls chucked in. We began climbing and climbing higher towards the sky...with being so high the colour of the sky seems a more striking blue and some of the mountains dont look real from a distance with the bright white snow on top. With a few water breaks along the way we got to the stunning Lake 69 after a steep walk up a huge hill and after 2 and a half hours of walking which was also at 4,450m which is quite high. A few others arrived just after us and we
took 15mins or so to take in the view and have some pictures before making our way back to the start. We passed many a trekker on the way up...and every single one asking how far to go it was, and not a look of enjoyment on their faces (we were smiling as we had only down hill ahead). In 2hrs or so we made it back to be greeted by more oxygen as we had decended a fair way and also to some flat land to collapse on. Once everyone had made it back we then had the delightful 3hr return trip and we got back to the hostel around 6pm. Me and Amanda then took a walk to the main street to try and find something for the next day. We found a day trip going to the Pastoruri Glacier which is around 5,250m above sea level which would be the highest either of us would have been in our lives so decided to book in.
We were lucky that it was a 9am start this time so was nice to have longer in bed. I decided after the previous nights events to take a motion sickness
tablet I had which seems to do the trick for sleeping so had a great nights sleep in preparation. On this tour we had a lot larger bus to take us and more people than the previous too. It was a shorter distance but due to the dramatic incline in altitude we made a few stops on route to the glacier. Firstly we stopped at a local cafe where we all have some Coca Tea which helps with altitude sickness and also put an order for food which we would have when we return. It was funny to see the menu because there was an English translation alongside the Spanish and some of the funniest ones I have seen...a few were: Sweated of Trout, Jumped Back, Juice to the Back and many more which had as all laughing. Next up was an interesting pool of water that is apparently 14m deep but only in a small area with really clear blue water which made for a great visual having the mountains behind too. Also we saw the Puya de Raimondi plants which are unique to Peru then finally got to the glacier where we had an hours walk slightly up
hill to be right near it. We must of began just under 5000m and were told that when we reach the bottom of the glacier it should be around 5000m exactly. This is the point I did start to feel the altitude along with many others, we all walked slow and drank a lot of water as advised but could definitely feel it in my head (feeling light-headed) and chest (breathing). The whole group made it there ok although someone said a local girl used one of the horses to go up which are available and it panicked and threw her off but she was ok. Reaching the glacier was nice...mainly as I knew there was no higher point to walk to...the glacier was nice although nothing like the Perito Moreno in Argentina. The nice thing was that you could go as close as you want and there were areas with icicles which looked cool. After 30mins or so we made our way back to the bus which took less time then drove to the restaurant for food then back to Huaraz. It was another good day trip and very in-expensive, when I was back at the hostel though I
did start to get a splitting headache from the altitude but it went away after an hour or so.
With myself satisfied with what I had seen I chose to leave that evening for Lima and Amanda chose to leave too but to continue to Hucachina after arriving in Lima.
Time to see the Peruvian Capital...
There are more photos below