South America | Peru | Central Peru | Huaraz – Arriving in the Mountains
The bus ride up from Lima on Monday to Huaraz (we used Cruz del Sur, which was a good bus for s/30)included three videos (blaring) dubbed in Spanish, and then thankfully, the last two hours were silent. We started up the road from the coast and hit rain almost immediately as we gained altitude. The sky opened up and dumped rain as our welcome when we arrived in Huaraz, and even though it is a small town and we had two hostels picked out, Jo´s Place or Hostal Churrup, we took the easy way out and went with a tout from the bus station in a taxi to his ¨recommended¨ hostel to get out of the rain. It was late and we figured what the heck….
We arrived at Hostal Galaxia (clean, simple, friendly) but found the lack of other travelers disappointing since we were the only ones there. For the first night it sufficed. Dinner was a simple meal next to an internet place, and I hopped online to check email (yeah, 5 messages!!). This traveling thing has changed so dramatically since I traveled in SE Asia, email is the vehicle for staying in touch, and I love it. Huaraz must have at least 50 internet places in town, and I am convinced half of the town chats with one another each night!
Our dinner last night included a personal audience with ¨Victor¨ who I now understand finds almost every traveler who arrives in Huaraz and solicites his guiding services for treks. He´s a friendly guy, but we didn´t get a good feeling about him so we just let him show us pictures. Funny, looking at his pictures seemed to sway us from doing the Santa Cruz trek (seemed pretty much a mud path with lots of backpackers) to going to Huayhuash for a longer trip in a much more remote area.
This morning we dropped laundry off at an awesome place (B&B laundry near restaurant Piccolo) and walked around town. We tried Hostal Churrup, but noone answered the doorbell at the time. However, a lady from the Hostal next door walked outside and asked us to take a look at her place (name to be inserted later). We loved it, AND there were five other travelers staying there, which was basically all of the gringos in town since it is low season.
We ran back to the other hostal, grabbed our things and went to our new hostal. The afternoon included relaxing on their roof terrace and watching the sunny afternoon turn into a dark brooding rainy evening. The mountains with snow on them surrounded us, and the hostal is on a hill so the views are fantastic. We had arranged at Restaurant Piccolo during breakfast to meet the owner´s brother, Martin, for some trekking information-advice for dinner that night. A small detour to one of the many internet places made us a little late, so we missed him. However, he came back a little later and we chatted with him about Huayhuash. He really knew about the trekking there, and had some fabulous ideas for us.