After an 8 hour ride on the night bus, we arrived near the highest mountain range in South America in a town call Huaraz. Huaraz is surrounded by snow mountains. There are more then 60 snow mountain peaks with many of them over 6000m.
The month of May is a time of festival Corpus Christi, celebrating Jesus, in Peru. The tradition is for different groups in each town to form dance group that prade around the street during dance steps and beating drums. It was quite a sight to see their colorful costums and dancing. It reminded us of the Tibetan dance steps.
For the first day in Huaraz, we decided to try outdoor rocking climbing (Montrek, 30 Soles/person) about 20 minutes from the town of Huaraz. We have an indoor rock climbing wall that we built in our apartment in Kunming, but the children had never done real outdoor rock climbing, so we were all very excited.
The first rock wall (15m, 50ft)we climbed was much higher and harder than all of us expected. Annie who tried first was stuck on the wall for a while not knowing how to proceed as there was little handholds. However, she thought she better not quit as all the children are watching her. Slowly but surely, the 37 year old Annie made it up doing something that younger people would do. The repel down the cliff however was effortless and fun.
Then Nathan, Olivia, Joani, and Jon each took their turn to try. Nathan got stuck in the middle and kept crying out,I can`t do it. We all encouraged him and eventually he did it. Joani also made it. Olivia did the best of all of us as she was up in no time. Afterwards, many of our arms were sored and tense from cling on to the wall.
Next, we tried a harder wall right above a rushing cold river. It was about 25m/80ft and look much more formidable. Based on the first wall experience, the guide suggested only Olivia and Jon to try climbing this harder one. Olivia surprised everyone by again going up quickly and skillfully up the cliff. Jon of course also made it with some effort.
It was a fun day and we thoroughly enjoyed it. Afterwards, we ate another gunine pig (Cuy) for celebration.
1) We took the Z-bus from the Flores Bus Terminal in Lima (35 Soles/seat, Semi-bed). It is a mid-range price and the bus was fairly comfortable. It left at 9:30P and arrived at around 5:30AM.
2) We stayed in Tamia Hospideje (50 Soles for room with 4 beds). The host was very friendly.
3) The ice cream shop at Chifa Sam close to the plaza and Montrek was very good. (1 sol for 2 scopes)
4) Montrek`s price is not the lowest but so far we had good experience with it since they have their own guides and equipment and is not a middle man.
5) The restruant next to Tamia was very good food.