Working in Huaraz

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October 10th 2007
Published: October 10th 2007
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View from LodgeView from LodgeView from Lodge

Sunset hitting the mountains
Hellllllloooo! Well I just finished up my volunteering position at The Way Inn Lodge in Huaraz. It was an incredible month, but I am excited to get back on the road and do some traveling. During my month stay I worked mostly with Natalie and the Manager Pete (a kiwi (New Zealander)) along with two Peruvians. Rosa, the cleaning lady, and Ilario the cook. We all got along very well. Most of our days were spent waking up at about 7 am to enjoy the amazing mornings that the place had to offer. The mountains surrounding the lodge are indescribeable. They just tower over the area and they call your name every day to climb them. During my stay I only climbed 1 of the two mountains named Churupita, but it was to a height above 5,000 meters. Higher than I have ever climbed before. It was quite greuling. The last 2 hours to the top was a scramble over large boulders and loose rocks. After the 3 hour hike down the slope without any sort of trail whatsover my knees felt ready to break and I decided that I would never need to do it again. It was a difficult
Lima Water ShowLima Water ShowLima Water Show

Our last night in Lima and a new water fountain reserve
hike, but when I got to the top I had a great view. In one direction I could see all the way down a canyon to a very blue lake and a large glacier (which I hiked to during my last days at the lodge and another post to come) Down to the left of me I could see two lakes. One small one and another larger one. The large one is called lake Churup. On my first day at the lodge Natalie and I hiked to this gorgeous lake that sits at 4,200 meters. By the way, the lodge is located 3,700 meters above sea level. The rest of the view was of mountains in the distance and quite breathtaking. Unfortunately, I went to the top alone and had no one to share the experience with. Therefore, I took some timed self photos (me in the orange shirt) located in the link below. It was a great day and I was glad I made the ascent. Afterwards, the other large mountain screamed at me to climb it everyday, but while watering the vegetable garden one day I hit my right knee in the wrong spot and had some troubles

Cool sunset....but I love them all
walking downhill thereafter. Instead, I had to sit at the lodge day in and day out absorbed in books and staring at incredible landscape. The owner Alex has truly built himself a paradise in the mountains. Everyday I dreaded the end of my tenure there and I hope to go back sometime. As for my job, I helped out in the bar with some cooking (mostly cakes and cookies) and with breakfasts for the guests. I also got to water the large veggie garden and read books, and be the cake tester. (someone needed to make sure the cakes were edible) By the end of the month i was out of shape and loving it. Some of my days off were spent back in Huaraz using the internet and walking the streets, but mostly I just wanted to be back in the mountains at the lodge.

On one unlucky night, after the owner Alex had left on vacation for a month some locals decided to try and rob the lodge by putting a knife to Rosa and threatening to kill her 4 year old son if she did not give them the keys to the lodge and to the safe which she did not have. Rosa´s other son, 8 year old Kevin, got away and informed us at the lodge of the intruders. A couple of us had to run down to Rosa´s house (where Natalie and I slept as well) to chase them off with a pick axe and beating stick. Thankfully, Rosa was not hurt too bad, only shook up by the experience. It was a very sad ordeal because Rosa lives there with her family (her husband is gone for the month) and those of us who live there never had to worry about our safety before the incident. It made us change our attitudes for the rest of our stay. Each night we walked down to our room with a lead pipe and metal fire poker just in case something else happened. Our sanctuary had been tainted and it really is a shame, but we are just glad everyone was safe and no more major incidents occured. The rest of our days were wonderful and I still think everyone should go there for at least a week if they can make it to Peru.

As for other leisure activities at the lodge, one of my favorites was trout fishing in the trout farm. It is cheating, I know, especially because we used bate on hooks and there were about 75 fish in a pond only 30 feet long. Sometimes we needed dinner and I was more than happy to help catch some fish. We only weighed one of the fish, but it was 2 pounds. There were many of this size and it was beautiful to watch them swim in the early morning sun. Other activities included a little bit of yoga and stretching on the lawn, soccer tennis on the lawn, watching sunsets from large surrounding boulders, and star gazing at night. One night we even set fire to two sides of a baton and twirled that around. If I can get the pictures from a friend of mine you will get to see how cool it was.

Now that our time is up, Natalie and I are headed off to the jungle. Tonight we leave for Trujillo, 8 hours away. Then tomorrow night we get on a bus that will take us to Tarapoto over the course of 20 hours. Once in Tarapoto we will catch a 6 hour bus ride to Yurimaguas where we will find a cargo boat heading up river to Iquitos. The boat ride can take anywhere from 3-5 days, but the whole time will be spent swinging in a hammock reading and keeping a lookout for wildlife. Therefore, we have a long trip ahead of us, but traveling with someone makes the time go by a little bit faster and you always have a shoulder to sleep on....unless you are me. I cant sleep on these damn buses. Until next time, check out some of these photos and read about Natalie and my 2 day trek to an incredible glacier. Below are links to photos from our time in Lima, my Santa Cruz Trek, The Way Inn Lodge, and other hikes and random beautiful sunsets.

Take care everyone!!!!!

Love James

PS. Sorry to see USC lose, but Colorado´s kick ass playing keeps my spirit alive!!! Go BUFFS!!!!


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