Trekking in the Cordillera Blanca
Kate posted in Travel, Kate & Dave on November 30th, 2006
We have become hard-core hikers! The 4 day Inca Trail expedition not being enough, we headed up north to the town of Huaraz which is the trekking centre of Peru. On the advice of another couple of travelers who we had met on Lake Titicaca, we hired a local guide called Juan, who agreed to take us on a 4 day hike through the Cordillera Blaca. For those of you who have read or seen Touching the Void, this is the next-door mountain range. Our trip was to take us up to 4750 metres, mostly below the snow line.
In preparation for the trip, Juan took me to the local market in Huaraz to buy supplies. The meat market was particularly interesting and I was quite glad that Juan ignored the skinned guinea pigs, rabbits organs, rams heads and cows hoofs that were on offer and selected a huge slab of beef instead.
Once we had packed everything into boxes (4 people need a lot of stuff) we took a taxi to the tiny town of Cashapampa to begin the hike. Tony our mule driver lashed everything to donkeys and we set off. Even though it is the middle of the summer rainy season, the weather cooporated and it only rained while we were in our tents (we drank a lot of tea in 4 days!) And we only got snowed on once. The trek it self was relatively easy with only one hard day, climbing over the pass at 4750 metres. At that altitude you really start to feel short of breath, and every step becomes very difficult! But we are glad to be back to proper beds and hot showers. No idea how people do the 15 day trail that Juan also guides. Off to find a massage now.