Feb 16-20

So the last week ive been in the mountains. I left tuesday morning and walked out of the city up the hills and into mountains. I originally planned on going to thos lake called Churup, but once i got to the base of the mountain i decided to skip it and head another 7ish miles further up the valley to get to these othere 2 lakes. Once i actually got to the trailhead i had was pretty exhausted so i made camp next to the river that i would follow up the whole valley. Wednesday i walked up in between two huge sheer rock mountain faces and made it to the base of the lakes that were further up in the mountains. I made camp in this little rock circle thing and spent the night, waking up in pouring rain. It stopped soon though and I hiked up to the bigger lake. It was spectacular. The water was turquoise blue and the snow and glacier covered mountains rose super high above. Every so often, the mountains would crack and rumble like thunder, but im pretty sure it was the ice moving/ falling. The first big long one i was ready to grab my bag and book it because i though some ice might fall in the lame and cause a lake tsunami! I climbed a cool boulder a bunch and then headed back down to where i made camp, which was also the fork at which the other path would lead to a higher lake (4800 m). I started up the suuper steep side of the mountain on what i figured were cow trails because i definitely lost the real path. I made it up to a more terraced part when it started raining. It wasnt to bad though so i kept going until it started pouring and getting really cold. I found a flat spot and made camp real quick, and spent the evening fairly wet. But it was alright because in the morning it was perfectly clear. The sun was so strong and dried up everything in an hour or so while i had breakfast and coffee, and then i packed up and headed up the rest of the mountain (only about 700 m on the trail) and found an incredible place. Its impossible to describe how i felt at that completely pristine lake, but check out the pictures for an idea. The rest of Friday i hiked out and back to Huaraz, after getting lost a few times when i wasn’t paying attention to the fairly clear trail haha. 

Ive spent the weekend relaxing and letting my blisters heal a bit before i head out tomorrow morning for the northern mountains. Ill be out for about 2 weeks so ill update when i get back to Huaraz around march 7th.
   
I met a donkey and fed him trail mix.

    
baby horse! (His fur was still all nasty from just probably very recent birth!)

    
There were looots of cows. Also i didnt know cows (females) had horns!  I had a few close encounters with some but they were nice, they just wanted to check me out.

 

   
 
The first lake

  
The stone campsite

   
The second lake

 
I made a bunch of donkey friends

   
2nd lake.. I meditated on top of a rock looking at this for i dont even know how long but it was freakin amazing

 
Campsite before the 2nd lake

   
2nd lake 

 
1st lake from up near the 2nd lake 

 
I got bored while waiting for water to boil

 
 I found a few cow skulls and bones  

  

  A cool waterfall thing

  
The valley from above on a super steep mountsin side

Feb 16

Ive just been hanging in Huaraz the last 2 days getting some supplies together and relaxing. I finally found a good map (not the best) with topography and some trails so hopefully I’ll be able to stay on course easily. Though thats only for the north, so Im still without a real map (I have a simple tourist one for near Huaraz) for the next few days while i explore the mountains near Huaraz. I’ll be back in a few days but till then (friday or saturday) im completely out of reach!

Feb 15

Ahhh peruvian busses are the worst!So I got on my correct bus (at an incorrect location) last night just as it was leaving at 5, although it was a 530 bus. It was soooo hot, especially because I had the front top seat (right in front of the windshield with the sun blaring through)

I dealt with it (and ate lotsnof snacks for the 15 hour bus. In the morning we passed through Casma (the city I was supposed to get off at) without even stopping! So I didnt realize it was actually Casma until my phones google maps started working and i realized the bus passed it. Not feeling like hitchhiking in the barren desert, I stayed on until the next town, then waited around for a car back to Casma to get full. Since it was only 5 soles, I scrunched up in the trunk (it was a station wagon) with another dude and my bag, and then half way through the trip the other people got out, so I got a real seat for the same price. Anyway, I finally got back to Casma an hour ago, and figured out how to get a real bus (not one of the many 30 soles cars that I Would have to wait around forever in a hot car for) for 20 soles. So i have to wait around for 2 hours, but at least i could leave and find a half shady park to chill in. 

So far Peru is my least favorite country for transportation! I had expected it would be poor, but not this random! At most ‘bus stations’ (more like sides of street) there are just guys shouting and running around. Theres never any labled on the buses or where they are parked, and never any ticket checks when you get on. And then theres the cars and vans which are fast when you finally get going, but they usually take at least an hour or 2 of waiting to finally get full to leave. Plus theyre always very cramped, even if you dont have to squeeze into the trunk!

Well now that ive got a bus to Huaraz and getting one down to Lima should be easy, i hope that I am over the worst of my peruvian transportation adventures (more like debacles).

Woohoo! No more confusing situations! I got to Huaraz finally! I feel so much better now that Im secure. I got a nice room in a hotel/hostel and now Im getting dinner before I go have the first actual night’s sleep in a few days. 

Feb 13 and 14

Well i feel like an idiot!!I missed my bus because I couldnt find it! It was definitly not in the olace where the lady told me it would be. I was very confused, but Im just going to spend another night in mancora and leave in the morning. 

Also another stupid mistake was getting suuper sunburnt at the beach yesterday. It makes carrying a backpack quite uncomfortable haha. 

Woops!

This morning I woke up early after a terrible night’s sleep (I stayed at this super terrible hostel – I knew it before I got it but said whatever) and decided to get a bus straight (i have to connect in a town near it) to huaraz. It was expensive-90soles- (especially after trashing 40 soles last night) but after mancora I am pretty over the beach and just want to get back to the mountains! The bus is at 5 though so Ive been chilling in the only shady spot on the beach for a few hours trying to decide the rest of my trip. But then the shade got tiny so I went to get lunch and wifi. 

Feb 12

I’ve just been chilling in Mancora for the last couple days, walking and relaxing on the beach, eating food, and walking around town. But Im pretty bored of this little town so I booked a ticket to Trujillo today and I leave tonight. Ill check out this little beach town called Huancacho for maybe a night and then get up to the mountains in Huaraz. 

Feb 9-10: Zamora Ecuador to Mancora Peru

I made it to peru finally!

Well the border crossing was as expected extremely confusing! I got a bus to loja in te morning, chilled the whole day till 10 pm for a bus to Huaquillas, a boarder town on the Ecuador side. When we got to Huquillas, it was 330 am and there was only I and another man on the bus still. The bus driver just stopped on some random street and said he wouldnt go any further. I was expexting there to be sooome sort of bus station, but nope, so I walked towards the boarder, couldnt find an immigration booth, crossed over a bridge, and asked a Peruvian police man what to do. He told me I had to go to the actual boarder crossing, a bit away by taxi. So I went back to Ecuador, got a taxi, and went to the crossing. I was assuming that I needed to first go to the ecuador booth to get my exit stamp, then the peruvian one to get my entry stamp. So I told the guy to stop at the Ecuadorian one, where the guy told me, nope, that one is just for entry into Ecuador. So I went to the peruvian one and got my passport stamped (the Ecuadorian guy was a jerk because I woke him up from a nap haha). Yay finally I was officially in Peru! Now how do I get anywhere? I got a taxi and got him to take me to Tumbes, the nearest town, where I thought there would be a proper bus station (because he told me there was one). Nope! Just a street with a bunch of 10 seater vans with a bunch of guys screaming “Mancora!” Or “Pirua!”. The taxi driver dropped me at the mancora van and I got my bag and myself loaded onto the cramped van with 6 other people in it already. By the looks of their faces I could tell something was up. They had been waiting for atleast an hour for the driver to leave because he wanted it to be a full van. After 20 or so minutes, four of the people ran out urgently and down the street trying to catch another van that had just left for Mancora. I tried to follow but my bag was on top of the van. So the three of us left waited longer. Until finally the van was full of 9 people plus the driver and a crap ton of fruits that some guys were transporting. We were on our way about an hour (out of the 2ish hour drive down the coast) when all if a sudden the whole van started shaking along with a terrible bumping/scraping noise. Flat tire! Actually not a flat tire, a stripped tire. Somehow (I couldn’t even think of what would have done that on such a flat, paved road) the outside of the tire just peeled away. After another half hour of the driver rushing to replace the tire, and then trying to fit the warped one back on the car (eventually he just shoved it into the barely existent trunk), we were on our way to Mancora again!
I made it to Mancora! When I got here i just wandered around until I got a hostel and then passed out till 4! Then I got some food at some beach restaurant and chatted with some random dudes. Then I went for a walk on the beach and ran into some super random people. I hung out with Mark and Tabita for the night and planning to wander with them tomorrow. 

    
   

Some pictures of Sacred Suenos

   
The dorm which i had all to myself

 
The pooper 

   The dorm is essentially a treehouse (minus the tree though)

 
My hammock on the dorm patio

   

 Patio outside the kitchen
Below puctures were taken by Lucien:

   

A big pasture (not Sa’s) down the hill from Eve’s house

 
‘Working’ on the earthbag hottub
  
The gang eating lunch

   
Me cutting a branch off of a pinetree to use for the green house roof


One of those awesome sunsets…

  
Watching the sunset

  
The view from the kitchen porch hammock