A Travellerspoint blog


Lake 69, Trekking to 4650m

semi-overcast 14 °C

Checked in to the Guesthouse at Huaraz (back up in the Andes again) this afternoon ready for a few days of non-driving.

Huaraz is dominated by the highest, tropical mountain range in the world, the Cordillera Blanca, and Peru's highest peak, Huascaran (copy and pasted that).

Went out for dinner tonight and managed to find a badly located Thai Restaurant run by an Northern English guy and his Peruvian wife. Food was great, miss my Thai Red Curry, service was shocking though, manners are lost on the Northern English folk apparently. They also ran out of most food and drink as well, they only had 2 beers in the fridge, that just doesn't go around for 6 people, and half the menu items were not available, which started to become quite funny as the night went on as more people came into the restaurant and ordered, they even ran out
of rice and chicken, luckily we got there first. I guess it wasn't to bad as the day before we went to some restaurant and all they had left to order was fish or fish. At the end of the meal the guy said we underpaid the bill and tried to pass off a 10 peso Cuban note as part of the payment, so we ended up paying and extra $10 ish for the meal for the group, I believe the guy was ripping us off but since I had already left the restaurant by then couldn't argue with the dude. We did warn the others who were still eating there though of this guys dubious ways.

Opted to walk up to Lake 69 today, which is a hike from 3700m to 4650m (15km in total), although the higher point is in dispute with what we are told and what my altimeter said on my watch. Started at 6 in the morning with a 3 hour bus ride to get to the National Park and the start point of the hike, we did stop along the way for a look at another lake which was very picturesk. The first section was quite good walking along the valley alongside a creek meandering through grassed fields. Then we hit the first zigzag up the hill which would not have been so bad at normal altitude but you definitely had to fight for every breath to get to the top and was slow going.

After another flat bit and another zig zag up we finally arrived at the lake 3 hours after starting and sat down and enjoyed lunch while watching a the mountains in the background and number of avalanches (no photos of these as I opted not to bring the zoom lens due to weight issues). A number of people didn't make it to the lake and turned back to the bus so I am thinking I may be alright for the Inca Trail since its at a lower altitude.


After lunch we made a very quick walk back to the bus for the 3 hr return trip back to Huaraz and the hostel.

The next day was spent sleeping in and walking around the town enjoying the day off driving and doing any activities. Isn't much of a town to see, lots of dug up roads where they are installing new sewerage systems so the place smelt great in parts, but other then that not much else here to mention.

Off to Lima tomorrow.

Posted by Tony's Travels 18:41 Archived in Peru Comments (0)


sunny 21 °C

Arrived at Huanachaco, once the capital of the ancient Peruvian Moche civilisation, checked into our campsite out the back of a hotel type place which was surrounded by high glassed bottled topped walls, video surveillance and a security guard 15 yr old kid acting as doorman. Had a nice dinner though at the restaurant in the hotel, I think Peruvian dining will be a whole lot better than Ecuador.

The following day we made a day trip to visit Trujillo and the pre-columbian complex of Chan Chan, a mud brick city constructed by the emperor of the Chimu people, as well as visiting the Moche pyramids the Huaca del Sol(which was closed so we just drove past the outside) and Huaca de la Luna, where our local guide showed us around. Saw more pots but still haven't managed to pick up a replica one, their gift shops here are a bit sparse. I have my new favourite character now from the Moche people, he is called the Decapitator, so now trying to find him in a gift shop but not having much luck there either. We also had a midget dude follow us around the ruins trying to get money from people for photos which was kinda weird, he was with us for the full 2-3 hrs.


Headed of to lunch to the local guides' "friends" restaurant for some authentic Peruvian food, but when we got there the place was a tourist trap with a restaurant full of gringos watching some people dance on a stage, so we left and headed next door to a local place 3 times cheaper for lunch with authentic crap to eat. The guide wasn't to happy that no one ate here since he was sure to be loosing out on some commission.

After a crap authentic lunch we dropped into a shopping centre, the first I have seen since arriving in South America, to stock up on supplies for the truck, and was welcomed by another first siting....of McDonalds. Unfortunately didn't have time to stop and eat anything and I was wishing we could have just come here fo lunch. Also got to see the Peruvian version of Bunnings here as well not that I needed anything.

So back to camp to cook dinner and chill for the rest of the night.

Tomorrow its off to Huaraz.

Posted by Tony's Travels 18:38 Archived in Peru Comments (0)

Lambayeque & Huanchaco

Lots of Pots

sunny 22 °C

On the drive to Huanchaco we stop in Lambayeque (whose originates from the ancient pre-Inca civilization of the Lambayeques)to visit the Lord of Sipan Museum (Museo Tumbas Reales de Sipan). The 'Lord of the Sipan’, a Moche Priest was found buried near here amidst an array of gold, jewels and fabrics. Only had 1 hr here for an express tour by the local guide (longer would have been better as there was stuff we didnt get to see) and No photos allowed and crappy gift shop as I wanted one of their pot things :( Museum had some pretty coold stuff, the archaeology of this region is a hell of a lot more interesting then that of the Romans/Egyptians/Minoans/Myceanians (sp?) (in my opinion), they have much cooler stuff and they make cool pots and necklaces...i.e. not girly ones.

Back into the truck and further driving on to Huanchaco. Oh forgot to mention the truck stopped again today unexpectedly, seems to be the running theme, but least this time it was human error, someone failed to turn on the reserve fuel tank before we left.

Posted by Tony's Travels 18:05 Archived in Peru Tagged pots Comments (0)


sunny 22 °C

Arrived in Cuenca in early evening which is a city with lots of narrow streets, manly all one way, reminds me of European type cities.

As with the running theme of this trip the hotel checking didn't go to plan, seems like someone got the booking wrong and only half of the group had rooms booked and the other had nothing, which resulted in half of us walking with all our gear 4 blocks to another hotel which was supposedly better then the original. On seeing the "better" hotel I think it would be better once they finished renovating it, we had to climb over toilet bowls and under scaffolding to get into the hotel foyer and once checked in our lights in the room didn't work, but still happy to be able to put the bags down.

Next morning we walked around town and visited a Panama hat factory, well showroom with some straw around the place. I did try quite a few hats on but they don't seem to look good on me so ended up hatless at the end of the day.


Witnessed a protest on the main street, apparently a group wanting more money from the government to make the place better, which seemed innocent enough but with the large amount of police presence and circling police helicopter one would think something could explode at any time. The government had their own people out in force to counteract the protests, which were little school kids 5-6 yr olds handing out Ecuador flags with little notes on them saying how good Cuenca is, feels like the Middle East all over again.


Went to visit a few markets and outside one there was shouting and yelling and people started running towards something around the corner along with police....and me to with camera in hand, but unfortunately I missed all the fun as it looks like a couple of guys maybe from different political parties got stuck into it on the street but it was soon broken up. Few seconds later I did see some guy selling foot products get thrown around by the cops and all his stuff confiscated and thrown on the ground, I guess his product didn't sooth the cops sore feet.

That was pretty much my day, had a hot dog for lunch and bought some funny glasses for Halloween tomorrow, to be spent on the beach.

Posted by Tony's Travels 19:18 Archived in Ecuador Tagged factory panama hat Comments (0)

Punta Sal


sunny 23 °C

Left Ecuador today and made it through the border crossing no troubles, it would have to be one of the quietest border crossings I have been too, there was a minor hiccup getting the truck through as it had been removed off their system because it hadn't been in the country for a while. Trucks have their own passports here ahich is kind of interesting, especially when you give them to the corner shop keeper at the border to process the forms for entry.

Arrived just outside of Punta Sal at our beach side camp spot for the next 2 nights, went for a swim after setting up camp which was surprisingly warm after spending many days at higher altitudes. Celebrated Halloween that night and sat around a campfire to the tunes of a violin in the moonlight.


Went for a walk next morning and was playing identify that dead animal that were washed up along the beach, saw a large seal and a turtle decomposing, the seal was being feasted on by some vultures...the circle of life :) Saw quite a number of turtle bones along the high tide mark as well which I found interesting but seems other freak out about that stuff.


Had lunch at the campsite and for entertainment a few passing whales decided to play in the water just out from the campsite jumping around with their little bub. Rest of the day was spent lounging around since this would be one of the last few days of warmth until I reach Rio in Feb.


Posted by Tony's Travels 19:10 Archived in Peru Tagged beach punta sal Comments (0)

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