|The fabled Laguna 69. Actually just a pretty lake.|
|Morning views of the king of Cordillera Blanca - Cerro Huascaran (6768m). The Cordillera is the world's highest, most glaciated tropical mountain range.|
|About 20minutes out of Huaraz|
|The laguna next to the starting point of the trek|
|Welcomed by the locals|
|One of the beautiful waterfalls on the way up|
|Just shy of a clear view|
|This doesn't look so bad, but it was a climb climb climb. Up to 4400m.|
|First sneaky view of the Laguna|
|Glacial rock down to the lake|
|Marissa and JD snacking|
Hiking is a funny thing - on the way up, the rain starting to get heavier, having to stop every 10 minutes, i was like, stuff this hiking business. I started to plan my exit out of Huaraz, reasoning that it was better to spend what time I had left seeing Ecuador and Colombia, instead of hiking. After all I'm going to Nepal next so I reasoned that I'd get my fill there.
|On our speedy descent. I saw also this other lake that I had missed on the way up|
|On our drive down, suddenly this spare tire came onto our windscreen. Surprised that it didn't crack the existing oh about 20 deep cracks already there!|
|Now we're entering civilisation - complete with a electricity.|
Before I sign off... The end to our hike was the bumpy, swervy, splashy and still nauseous ride back to the paved section. The road takes you through many small pueblitos (villages) on the approach to the bigger town. Houses are mud and plaster (though how this works when it rains heavily for 4 months a year) and as you near town, often feature blaring slogans of political candidates. What was special about today, was that it was Tuesday, because... each Wednesday and Sunday are the market days in Yungay. Market days begin at sunrise, and are important as this is when the campesinos (people from the country) can earn money to then buy staples such as rice. These local markets are also frequented by buyers who then take them to Lima to sell for a profit. So, in readiness for the next day, all the women and men were waiting (and trying to wave down our full taxi) for taxis to take them and their colourful bundles of wares (in this case carrots, lettuces, rocotos (spicy bell beppers), flowers, potatoes and other veggies) down to market. I wanted to get a picture of them, but feel rude snapping away from inside the car as we slid past. They are a really interesting sight - these women of the Alitplano, wearing the big colourful skirts with bowler hats, at this time covered with plastic bags for the rain. Huddled around them or strapped to their backs are children, who help carry things also - or have a great time playing in the mud.
The alive with pleasure moment? The smiles on people's faces, as they stood in mud and pouring rain as it grew dark and chatted with each other.