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.