Llanganuco Mountain Lodge to Huaraz – Saturday, October 8, 2016

This morning we had our last breakfast at Llanganuco Mountain Lodge. It was another beautiful sunny morning. After packing we sat and read on the terrace until our taxi picked us up at 11. The taxi took us back down to Yungay where we caught a collectivo to the town of Huaraz where we are staying tonight. 

Way back in Cajamarca we met a couple from Quincy, California and had a great time sharing drinks and stories with them. Today not ten minutes after we arrived in Huaraz who should we run into in the square but Kim and Pete from Quincy! It was great fun catching up. 

We are staying at the Hotel Churup here in Huaraz. It is very, nice, bright and relaxing. They only had one room left when we got here so we were lucky to get it. 

While I caught up on blog posts this afternoon Duke bought our bus tickets for 8 am tomorrow to Chavín to see the ruins there. 

For dinner we had really delicious curry from a restaurant called Chili Heaven

Walking to dinner we saw a German man that Duke sat next to on the bus to Kuélap. We’ve seen him in a couple of different towns singing for money. Tonight he was singing right next to several indigenous woman who had their hand knit woolens laid out on the sidewalk to sell. All the women were knitting while they minded their wares. 

Duke said that if we run short of money he doesn’t plan to sing in the street. Instead he says he will just set me to knitting!!

Llanganuco Mountain Lodge Day 3 – Friday, October 7, 2016

We woke up Friday morning to clear skies and stunning views of the two gorgeous mountains behind the lodge. It is amazing to think that we are sitting at  3,503 m (11,490ft) and the top of the tallest of those two mountains is still another 3,265 m ( 10,711 ft) above us!

I think this may be the first sunny day we have had in the mountains of Peru. It was a perfect day to have sun because we went with a guide and another couple to Llanganuco Lakes.  A taxi picked us all up at the lodge and took us to the lakes and then we hiked back to the lodge. 

The upper lake where we started our hike is at 3,900 m (11,492 ft). Because of the altitude and the blue sky the lakes are an amazing shade of blue. 

The first night at Llanganuco Mountain Lodge we were the only couple there. Our last night, Friday there were three other couples. When we walked back to our room after sharing a great dinner with the other guests the snow covered peaks were absolutely glowing in the moon light. 

Llanganuco Mountain Lodge day 2 – Thursday, October 6, 2016

As I think I mentioned in yesterday’s post our stay here at Llanganuco Mountain Lodge includes 3 meals a day. This morning we had a really yummy breakfast out on the lawn. While we were eating the clouds cleared and we got spectacular views of Huandoy Peak and Huascarán Peak. 

After breakfast we did about a five mile loop  hike through the countryside to a lookout point west of the lodge. The great chef at the lodge packed lunches for us and we had a picnic before returning. 

That is the lodge in the distance. 

We spent the early afternoon relaxing, reading and chatting with Charlie the owner. 

Before dinner we hiked around the little lake near the ruins we went to yesterday. It fills up in the rainy season which is just starting now so right now it is at its lowest. 

Caraz to Llanganuco Mountain Lodge – Wednesday, October 5, 2016

In Caraz Wednesday morning we found a place for coffee got some money for our next few days and then caught a moto-taxi and then a collectivo to Yungay. 

On May 31, 1970 a 7.5 earthquake broke a giant piece of ice and rock off of a glacier on the highest mountain in Peru, Huascarán. As it fell down the mountain it picked up trees, rocks and dirt. It emptied a lake in its path and slammed into the town of Yunguy. The whole town was buried and 25,000 people were killed. 

They now call the area that was the town Campo Santo. They have a big mass there on the anniversary of the disaster every year. We had a local guide walk us around the site. The scope of what happened is truly incomprehensible. 

In the picture below you can see what is left of the church. In one picture you can see a little bit of the mountain through the clouds. 

After leaving the site of the buried town we took a moto-taxi into the new town of Yungay which was built a bit down the road behind a protective knoll. At the collectivo station we met a prearranged taxi to take us about an hour up the mountain to Llanganuco Mountain Lodge on the edge of Huascarán National Park. 

The owner Charlie was a CPA in London before he decided to move to Peru and build a mountain lodge. The lodge is a magical place in a beautiful setting with great rooms, hospitality and food. Charlie suggested some relatively easy hikes for us and told us all about the area. The lodge is at an altitude of 3,503 m or 11,492 ft. So we did need to acclimate a bit. My cold is much better but I am still recovering.  

To start the acclimatization we hiked over to the lake and ruins just down the hill from the lodge. The ruins are called Keushu. Archaeologists believe that the site was permanently inhabited from 3500 BC to 1536 AD and that it held about 1500 inhabitants. We climbed up to the temple complex and went into the ruins of the temple. As we were coming back it started to rain. 

Llanganuco Mountain Lodge provides three meals a day. As I write this I am really looking forward to resting and relaxing here for the next three days and perhaps hiking a bit.  It is a beautiful amazing spot.