We got into Huaraz in the early hours of the morning, luckily our hostel let us crash in our room for a few hours free of charge -winning. Huaraz is located in the Cordillera Blanca region- one of the trekking capitals of S.America and a mecca for hikers of all abilities. The first day we didn’t really do much- we couldn’t trek as we had to acclimatise for at least a day and as Huaraz is all about the trekking we were at a loss so we just chilled out in the sun- lush.
The next morning we were up early for a 6am bus ride into the mountains. This was as much of an adventure as the trek itself- three hours of hair raising mountain roads- but the views were pretty awesome.
After a quick breakie in a mountain lodge we arrived at our destination ready for the trek ahead. After numerous waterfalls and a scramble to the top we finally arrived at Laguna 69- roughly 4300 above sea level. The last part of the climb was pretty tough, especially with the thin air but we did it in good time. The view at the top was incredible with the bright blue sky contrasting against the white snow caps and turquoise lake. The resident cows also added to the scenery although they did start to become a bit of a pain when we cracked out the nachos…The peace was only briefly disturbed by the sound of the chunks of ice being carved off the glacier high above the lake.
After we finished lunch we headed back to the bus- this time it was lot easier. We did have a few breaks though- we stopped to look at a bunny like animal that was hopping around in the rocks and stripped down to our undies for a dip in a natural plunge pool created by the river running off the glacier. It was pretty chilly but was very refreshing after the 6hour trek.
To round off the hard days work we went out for a meal and some beers with a few of the guys we completed the trek with including two Ozzies- Matt and Kristie.