Well, here we are. And Gary was right. In only a few days I can tell this place is amazing. We could spend months here and never tread the same trail. My friend, Mark G, did exactly that. He spent 3.5 months in Peru, using Huaraz as his home base for a good part of that. World-class hiking, he said. More than 600 glaciers and 35 peaks over 6000 meters tall. How could we go wrong?
Unfortunately, we have only 2-3 weeks here. So without wasting any time, tomorrow we start the famous Santa Cruz Loop, which we hope to hike in 4 days (normally 5-6). After that, we head a little south to do the 10-day Huayhuash Loop (pronounced "why wash"). I can't tell you how excited Kristin and I are!
Oh, and we somehow managed to bring the "Cochamo Curse" with us - it has rained every day that we have been here, despite being the dry season.
Wild flowers in full bloom, brightening up an otherwise dreary day.
Friends at the end of the trail.
Following an ancient irrigation channel carved through the rocks at 13,500 feet.
Gary and Kristin with big smiles . . . just before the storm.