After nearly two months at altitude, we were craving sea level so sun hopped our way up the coast of Peru!
A well timed stop saw us in Lunahuana in time for their annual harvest festival. We joined the locals in the grape parade, sampled some grapes and numerous variations of pisco sours! Then it was onto Huachachina, a desert oasis, for some sand dune climbing and lazing by the pool.
We were pretty relaxed by the time we got to Lima! We were given elaborate directions to the local market by the hostel owner to find the best ceviche in town. The ceviche we tried was made from raw fresh fish, marinated in lime juice, red onions and chillies, then topped with fried corn. It was pretty much flying out of the the bowl as soon as the chefs had prepared it. Absolutely delicious!
From Lima, we headed to Huaraz (against the advice of the locals as the mountain towns are very dangerous) to do the Santa Cruz Trek – a five day trek over the Andes with a peak of 4,750m.
Although we love it, trekking is not our (well my) forte! We were putting up the tent in the dark, in bucketing rain and no doubt arguing when the forest rangers stumbled upon us and said we could stay in their cabin for the night. What a treat! They made us soup and hot chips and the hip flask of rum we had brought with us was a well received gift as we sat by the fire chatting.
The rangers walk the five day trek in a day so they set us off late the next morning with lots of confidence that we would make it over the pass and to the next campsite in a matter of hours. Two days later we arrived at the next campsite after camping half way up the pass, Steve peeing around the little battered tent to protect us from wild animals and refusing to let me pee within 100m of the tent, a snow storm, the path and markers being so covered in snow we had to follow donkey footprints up the pass, making it to the top of the pass and finding the view completely obscured by mist and snow!
But the sun was beginning to shine, our belongings drying and we chatted with other travelers in their ‘lounge’ tent who were probably all the while wondering how we managed to get out of bed each morning, let alone do a five day trek without a guide and two donkeys.
But we managed! Well worth the effort! Our five day treks have been put on hold for awhile as we focus on more sun, sand and ceviche in Huanchaco (against the advice of the locals as the seaside towns are very dangerous)!