Cuy a la Huaraz
The fondest memory of Huaraz has to be the feast Christian's Mom made for us. She heard we were trying to eat a good traditional cuy and offered us to cook some cuy up for free. All we did was buy the ingredients and then at night we saw her unfold her skills of cooking the Picante Cuy a la Huaraz for us. The recepi and more about this experience is posted below as a travelogue. Enjoy :)
if you ever can visit the mountain place Huaraz on 4200 metres in the Andes..phantastic mountain landscapes which you even better see on trips to the Yungay valley, the Lake Llagunuco and above all over the 5200 meters high pass to the ruins of Chavin..
take care of the altitude..eating some natural plants for help to breath is not bad..
Natural Heritage of Peru
Established in 1975, the Parque Nacional Huascarán contains all the Cordillera Blanca (with the exception of the distant Nevado Champará in its extreme north), the highest range of the Peruvian Andes and the highest range in the world's tropical zone. Its total area is approximately 1300 square miles (340,000 hectares), roughly 110 miles (180 km) north-south, and an average of only 12 miles (20 kin) east-west. Within its boundaries are thirty mountains above 6000 meters (19686 ft) above sea level (fifteen are above 20,000 feet, 6096 meters), crowned by Nevado Huascarán itself at 22205 feet (6768 m). ("Nevado" means snow-covered peak.) There are another thirty peaks above 18500 feet (5640 in), as well as hundreds of glacial lakes, rivers, and waterfalls, and an abundance of flora and fauna.
Santa Cruz Trek: the end of the trek
The fourth day we walked from the Quebrada Arhuaycocha to the end of the trail. We descended from an altitude of 4100 meters to one of 2900 meters in a single day by foot. It was a cloudy day at first, but we managed to avoid the rains since it was left behind us. We walked about 7 hours that day through a rocky path to the town of Cashapampa. My feet were killing me! At the end, we took a series of collectivos back to Huaraz. As in any trek, we toasted the night off with a good big meal :).
We reached the starting point of Pastoruri at around 1pm. We were told that we were now standing at an altitude of 5,000+m. There is a path of 2km that we had to walk to reach the glacier. I had bought some coca leaves and popped a small load in, and at the advice of the guide and the driver, I walked really slowly.
I did not know how but some of the teenagers were already well ahead. Meanwhile, there were others who had turned blue and breathless, and had taken a rest by the side benches. A handful more had thrown up and returned to the buses to die. One could ride horses to the 1km mark, but after that, you still have to walk up the remaining 1km to reach the glacier. I plodded on slowly, breathing hard, but not stopping once. It started to snow. This is perhaps my fourth time to see falling snow. Yeah! Meanwhile, I chewed and sucked the coca leaves.
After crossing the 1km mark, I gave myself a little pat on the back and pressed on. There were Peruvians who came up to ask me if I wanted to be carried to the terminal front of the glacier. What?? I could not believe my ears! You mean there are people who pay to be carried on the back? Sheesh… no, gracias.
After nearly 1 hour, I finally finally finally managed to reach out and touch the damn glacier!! Yes, I did it. I am now at 5,400m!! Gosh, this is the highest I have ever been in my entire life!!!! And yes, I have made it! Never once did I think I would not be able to do it. It is all in the mind, you CAN do it!
I tried to walk on the glacier but it was too slippery for me and after 5 or 10 minutes, I spat out the coca leaves, chewed new ones and began the easier hike back.
First Magical visit to Huaraz
"Walking around Huaraz - 1989"
Walking around Huaraz was a nice way to spend the day. I met some kids totally engaged in a soccer match and some women doing their laundry in the river. I also met some men on their way back from the local pub, very friendly and very drunk. At mid-day I vent to the market and bought some vegetables, "home-made" cheese and bread for lunch. The Hostel I lived in was named Senora Lopez, was run by a really nice family and had an excellent garden. I spent quite a few days flat out in the garden, reading a book and enjoying the sunshine, only occasionally distured by some pigs or the doqs. On sundays the music was high and the mood festive as people were enjoying "Cockfighting at Jimmys".