Peruvian Adventure 5/18/2006-6/28/2006
Steamboat à Denver à Miami à Lima à Huaraz à Cordillera Blanca à Cordillera Huayhuash à Huaraz à Lima à Miami and home
With only days before my departure I am rapidly moving in to first person mode. I need camping gear, ice and rock climbing gear, hiking gear, clothing, medications, maps and guides, food and things to keep me entertained for six weeks in a place I have never been.
I will be in a tent for about 30 out of the next 45 days in a variety of setting and with a variety of needs. I need a base camp type tent for the first three weeks of climbing, a light weight single person tent for high camp and a four season tent big enough for two people and gear for the two weeks Mo and I will be on the trail circling the Cordillera Huayhuash range.
Right now everything is laid out in our extra room downstairs and with a little effort I hope to trim it down and compress it in to a big back pack, a smaller back pack and a large duffle bag.
5/18/2006 3 PM DIA concourse Gate A48: It is amazing how seemingly solid objects can be compressed and arranged so that seemingly impossible volumes can be fit in to a fixed space. I didn’t achieve my goal and ended up with one extra duffle bag and a $100 overweight baggage charge, but after packing and repacking, adding and taking away, getting last minute necessities, I am almost on my way.
Check in and customs went smooth as silk, no strip searches
today since they were only checking 80 year old white females. Next step is to get to
I had build up a slight apprehension about
The trip to Huaraz gave me a great respect for Peruvian bladders. The bus was full of men, woman and children and with the only one brief stop before heading in to the mountains, our eight hour bus trip was non-stop. I also faired well, as a combination of good planning on snacks and inadvertent mild dehydration kept me reasonably comfortable.
The ride itself was a fascinating tour of the extremes. Starting in the seas level slums of
The unnamed great desert of western Peru
As the ground rose further we encountered gray lifeless mountains that abruptly rose from valley floor.
Gradually rising in to
Rivers were evident in the valley and with the water there was life. There were groves of banana and avocado trees surrounded by lush vegetation and corn crops. At one point there were acres of red and yellow peppers laid out on the ground to dry creating a bright patchwork tapestry.
Peppers laid out to dry in the sun
As for the bus accommodations, the seats were more comfortable than either Untied Airlines or LAN and we were entertained (in the most liberal sense of the word) by a Feliniesk Spanish language martial arts film. With out going in to the details of the movie, it would be what you would get if you threw David Lynch, Kill Bill and Jean Claude Van Damme in a food processor, in Spanish.
With in five hours we climbed from sea level to 14,000 ft
and as we crested a pass at 13,000 ft I got my first view of the Peruvian
Cordilleras. There 20 major Cordilleras
or glaciated ranges in
We then dropped 3,000 ft in to a lush agricultural valley
before finally and gratefully arriving in Huaraz. I was met by Chris Benway who had arranged my
ground travel from