For Semana Santa (Easter weekend), 15 volunteers decided to head to Huaraz for a few days. Huanchaco is at sea level, in the desert, while Huaraz in at 3200 meters in the green Andes mountain range. On the night bus ride, I woke up a few times and could start to feel the lack of oxygen. It’s a strange feeling, you’re taking big breaths of air, but you don’t feel full of air.
We spent the first day acclimatising (napping for 6 hours) and wondering around the impressive indoor market. Coming from a beach town we’re used to walking around in shorts. In Huaraz it was slightly colder but a few of us stuck to our shorts. An old woman in the market was clearly worried for my health when she tapped my legs saying “gringa, hace fria!” (gringa, it’s cold). We did listen to her though and went a bit crazy on the leg warmer stand.
It started to rain on our first day so we went back to the hostel and tried to think of activities we could do in this weather (living in manchester for 5 years you’d think I’d know). So we ended up playing cards and then hide and seek in our 8 bed dorm. Heaps of fun.
On day 2 we arose at a glorious 5:30am, and drove for 3 hours (half of which on the bumpiest road I have ever been on). We hiked for 4 hours through some absolutely stunning landscapes. It was so nice to see some green again after living in the desert. The mountains around us were beautiful and some of the peaks had snow. I felt a lot better after seeing snow again.
We made it to our destination, at 4600 meters above sea level, to Lake 69. I thought the pictures I’d seen of it had been photoshoped as the water looked so blue, but they really hadn’t. It was the bluest lake I’ve ever seen. Evan tried to “science” us, explaining why it was that colour. I’m 90% sure it was 100% made up.