After a quick 2 days in Lima (We will be passing through multiple times in the future) we hopped on an overnight bus to Huaraz. At 3100m/10000ft above sea level this small city at the foot of the Andes is the base of operations for some of the world's best trekking.
Upon arrival you instantly realize that Lima, this is not...However, if you are in the market for live chickens, guinea pigs, or rabbits welcome to heaven! Not into eating pets? You are in luck, the avocado game here is on point. Two ripe and ready to eat 'cados will run you somewhere between S/ 3-4 ($.90 - $1.30).
The eight and a half hour overnight bus ride, along with the elevation gain set me up with a nice bout of altitude sickness upon night fall our first day. Luckily, friendly folks in the hostel were quick to supply some coca tea and altitude pills to sort things out. Before setting off on any overnight hikes we took on a few acclimation day hikes to get used to the altitude. Our favorite thus far has been the climb up to Laguna Churup. landing at about 4590m/15000ft the 1050m elevation gain leaves even the most fit feeling gassed. But getting up close and personal with Peak Churup (5493m/18000ft) was otherworldly. For perspective the only mountain higher in the U.S. is Denali. Churup, though magnificent, lies only just on the edge of the vast Cordilliera Blanca mountain range where substantially taller peaks loom.
Tomorrow (as of writing 11/15) marks the start of our first real trek of the trip as we take off on a 5 day / 4 night jaunt through the Santa Cruz valley. I'll be off the grid until we return on the 19th so stay tuned!