Rambling Robert's Travels

This blog chronicals the travels of myself, Rambling Robert, on my next adventure to South America.

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I am a world traveller. I do not work as such. I have been homeless and unemployed since 1October 2003. I worked as a chef for 30 years in America.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Travel update from Huaraz Peru

So now where was I...Oh yeah I left Mancora and went to Huaraz. Huaraz is in the Caldera Blanca. Way high up in the mountains.3100meters above sea level. For my American friends that would be about 2 miles! To get here from Mancora, I took an overnight bus to Chimbote and from there an all day bus from 8:30am when we left until 5pm when we finally arrived.
The trip went through the canyoñ del pato. That would be canyon of the ducks.What a staggeringy beautiful journey this was. The scenery for the first three hours was just stark. Grey black brown. No green at all. Barren waste land. worse than the badlands of South Dakota. but the road was a narrow dirt road strewn with rocks along a ledge overlooking a rushing river. White water all the way. Along the sides of this canyon were steep ledges like a thousand meters high. Just breathtaking. If you ever wanted to shoot a movie on a desolate deserted moonscape of a planet this is where I suggest you come. Very narrow road. a few times it was really scary. You just shut yur eyes and reckon ...Well if the driver thinks he will live through this I guess we all will!!
We passed a few little settlements and stopped at a cafe in the middle of nowhere. Got drinks and used bathrooms and some people ate. Then we were off again. After another 30 minutes the scenerey began to change gradually there were some cacti and then some trees and before I knew it we were in the high andes forest called selva alta. trees bushes plants. Whoa back on planet earth. Now we can see huge snow capped mountains in the distance. What beautiful vistas. Like nothing I have seen before.
Finally we get to paved road after 7 hours of hard driving. 20 minutes later our bus gets a flat tire. Go figure. through all the rocks and crags and the terrible road, our old mercedes benz bus has no troubles but when we finally get on pavement again...
So finally we get to Huaraz. It is just getting dark. I hate arriving after dark. A tout named Marcos meets the bus and he takes me to a good little guest house on a back street where I get a sweet deal (15 sol per night about $6.50 USD) on a private room with a nice clean hot shower. I needed that.My first hot shower in a month. Yazzahh. Thank the little baby jesus for the small things in life that make you smile. Like your bus not dropping dead on the road in the middle of nowhere. Like a nice friendly family run guest house. Like a HOT shower that you have to mix cold water with or burn yer ass.
I had an altitude headache. Going from sea level to 3100masl in one day will do that. I chewed some coca leaves and took 3 500mg panadols and had an early night. Next day I chilled out and bought a ticket to go on a tour to a national park and see the tallest mountain in peru. I know I know everytime I take a tour I hate it. Well no surprise. Gosh this sucks. they always take you shopping!! Artesan shops full of the same shit they sell in Huaraz but for twice the price... overpriced lunch stop. more shops selling rocks and minersla. after the drive to Huaraz why anyone would buy a rock is beyond my comprehension!!!

Huascarán is an extinct volcano, 22,205 ft (6,768 m) high, near Huaráz. The highest mountain in Peru and one of the highest in the Andes, Huascarán and other nearby peaks form an impressive snowcapped rampart. An Avalanche in 1970 swept down its slopes and buried the village of yungay beneath a few million tonnes of rock mud and snow. the whole thing lasted 3 minutes. 23000people killed. Nothing. I mean nothing left of the town except a recked bus above the rubble. We stopped and saw the bus. There is a big memorial there called Campo santo yungay(sacred field of yungay). Rather grim actually.
Today is my fourth day in Huaraz. I like this town. It is nice and warm in the daytime but at sunset (ppuesta del sol) it gets cold very quickly.They have a great market here. Loads of local food products. A huge variety of potatoes and tubers. lots of river fish. Wonderful cheeses. I have been eating a lot of the local queso anejo(aged cheese). I make little sandwiches in my room. Big surprise to me: the olives (aceitunas) here in Peru are superb. Every bit as good as what I have found in France,Greece, Spain, Portugal, Egypt or Morrocco.Wonderful Paltas (avocados) too. They make these little round balls of quinoa like a candy. Reminds me of the Rice krispy marshmallow candys Debbie W. made for me when I was in Petaluma.
Andy(www.hobotraveler.com ) writes in his blog, that he cant understand people who dress all in black. He likes color. I agree totally. Here in Peru Highlands there are lots of indigenous people. Mostly Inca. They dress very beautifully too. The women all wear special hats so you know what clan they belong too.
So now, here are a couple of quotes to ponder.
Peace and love to All who read these words.

"People like us, who believe in physics, know that the distinction between past, present, and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion." Albert Einstein

"Forever is composed of nows." Emily Dickinson


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