Some of the numerous sculptures, named Recuay or Huaylas, that are to be found in "el Museo Regional de Ancash", in Huaraz.
The statues are from 80 cm to 1.5 m high and have a bit resemblance to the statues on Eastern Island.
The museum is small but interesting, ceramics, textiles, mummies and artefacts from culture Recuay. The number of statues in the garden is about 100.
Address: Plaza de Armas.
Fondest memory: It was spectacular and though not perfect weather, Denis explained that it can be incredibly windy up there on clear days so this was perhaps more peaceful for a lunch break. We sat and relaxed, enjoying the breathtaking scenery and tried not to think of the descent that had been on both of our minds the whole painstaking way up. But sooner or later, you always have to go down and it was time after we finished our lunch. Much of it was done on our asses or backwards as neither one of us wanted to look where we were going! Denis was great in helping us down and Doreen, though perplexed a few times, passed her baptism of fire as well as I could ever imagine it. We were glad to be on level ground again but this time there was no cab waiting for us. Denis would take us through a couple villages over the next few hours to catch a collectivo back to Huaraz. This would not only save us the cab fare but give us a chance to revel in our accomplishments too. And besides, we were now ready for it now and the Santa Cruz trek too.
While the city of Huraz is an interesting and truly authentic Peruvian town, it is the surrounding nature that must be explored to truly apprieciate the area.
Fondest memory: Preparing for the Santa Cruz trek was no easy feat. I had done numerous backpacking trips but it had been a couple years since my last one and none of them were at the altitude of the Cordillera Blanca. Okay, I had done a nineteen-day trek in the Himalayas, which dwarf this range, but it was with the aide of a porter so I carried only a small pack. Doreen had no previous backpacking experience. She had done some day hikes but even that was fairly long ago in her past. So, this would be a real test. It would span five days and generally keep us above 3800 meters and peak out at 4750 meters. We would have to carry all of our own equipment, clothes and food.
The summer prior to leaving for Peru, we trained a good two hours or more a day in the gym. We felt pretty good flying into Lima but once in Huaraz, it was another story. It was a hilly town and at 3200 meters a great place to acclimatize. The first couple days, it seemed enough to just walk around town. With our hostel up a steep hill, we saw that we were not in as good a shape as we thought but with each trip that we got stronger. It was time to up the ante a bit and we did a walk up to the cemetery and a longer one to some ruins. Though they were tiring we passed with flying colors. A new found friend at the hostel suggested a great day hike to Laguna Churup and said he’d even go with us as a guide and split the somewhat expensive taxi needed to complete the trip in one day. We jumped at the chance. He explained it was pretty straightforward though there was a bit of scrambling in the last part to reach the lake. It sounded like a good challenge and we looked forward to it with great anticipation the night before our departure. (read conclusion below in next Fondest Memory)
Fondest memory: The taxi ride up was spectacular and a real adventure in itself, having to cross over a few streams that overtook the rugged road occasionally. It felt great to get closer to the mountains that had mesmerized us for days, acting as a backdrop for the city of Huaraz. We split the $20 tab three ways and started off on the trail. Doreen and I labored over the first few steps while our new friend walked off as if at the beach. Though neither of us wanted to tell the other, we later confided that we seriously doubted we would ever make it after the initial ten minutes. Soon we more or less caught our breath and Denis tried as best he could to walk slow enough to keep us in view. He was a climber and this was like a small workout for him. A huge massif loomed in the distance and it became apparent that the lake lie somewhere in the craggy peaks. We knew that the trail would have to become steeper if we were to reach our goal. We were ill prepared when we found out just how steep the going would get. It was just tough on the lungs at first, with both of us gasping for oxygen with each footstep but soon the steps became near vertical and Denis had to assist us a few times in climbing up to each level. Doreen had never done anything like this in her life and it was probably the most challenging hike I had done too. She did fine though, sometimes with me pushing on her feet and Denis pulling her by her hands from the next plateau. We finally reached the turquoise lake, which was half encircled by snowy jagged peaks. (Conclusion in next Fondest Memory)
Fondest memory: 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 :)