Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Solitude in the mountains

Hola people who still read this. This blog has been going on so long that it seems like I shouldn't keep writing, it's almost like this isn't a 'trip' anymore but just my life. So I made my way up to Huaraz here in Peru which is up in the mountains in a range of mountains called the Cordillera Blanca. This area is home to some amazing treking and there are loads of crazy people doing long mountaineering excursions on the glaciers and massively high peaks. I, on the other hand, did not want to mountaineer but went up there to give some rock climbing a go. So I arrived and the first day I went on a couple hour hike and ended up running into the strangest fiesta in the hills outside of town. There were guys in crazy masks, a band, local indian people and everyone was dancing. The guys in the masks were drunk, being crazy and it was like some alien world for me. They, of course, looked at me like an alien & I drew some attention from the drunken masked guys who came over to try to talk to me and....ask me for money! I took some photos & video and then the rain came so I bailed. The next day I finally got to go out & rock climb. It was my first time doing this and it was challenging & fun. I really like how you have to use your brain to figure out your route. I really want to do more of it. That night I met some more travelers in my hostal and one girl had signed up for a trek so I ended up signing onto the same one as it coincided perfectly with my travel plans. We would squeeze a 4 day trek into 3 days and get back to town hours before my overnight bus was leaving. So the next morning we were picked up at 6am and off on a few hour bus ride into the mountains to begin. I wasn't really prepared to go treking, I don't qiute have the gear but I figured I'd be okay. It turned out to be me & 3 girls on the trek together - one from Austria, one from England & one from the USA. We spent 3 days treking somewhere around 45 kilometers up to a glacier (first time for me) and even heard loud booming cracks until a slight avalanche came down. The scenery was amazing, especially as we got to the top at 4700 meters. Sweeping views of massive snow peaks and amazing remote solitude. Our group had fun making up games and Andrea, from Austria, kept with me the entire time so we pushed each other to make it through the tough climbs throughout the day. We had a 430 am start yesterday and hiked to our highest point & then down for hours on end only to end the 8 hour day with a steep hour long climb. Then our transportation never showed up so we had to take a local bus. I already had my bus ticket to travel overnight and time was really close. I was worried I wasn't going to get home to shower before leaving, which I desperately needed but those worries subsided quickly as I looked over the cliffside to my imminent death thru each hairpin on this crazy bus. We stopped for a bathroom break on the bus, me & 20 local men & women jumped out and claimed our territory in a funny fashion. We got back to Hauraz with just enough time to take a freezing cold shower & jump on the overnight bus. Now I am in Trujillo on my way back up north to my car. From there my plans continue to be tight for a change, no more just cruising at the moment. My mom comes in a week, i have to pass the border to hopefully obtain a new permission for my car & then head 20 hours south towards Lima. I hope everyone is healthy & happy. Salud

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