Gry and I left Huaraz Saturday morning for a trek through the Cordillera Blanca. It was a five hour minibus ride to the trailhead, scary at times, but nice to get a bit of an idea where we would spend the next four days.
This is the road up to the little village of Vaceria where the hike started.
I am the first to admit that I am just about the most spoiled person on the planet, but I had no idea just how spoiled one could be until this trip. We carried just day packs with water and cameras and the guides with mules carried our larger packs, the tents, sleeping bags and food for the whole group. I thought this sounded very nice, but had no idea how decadent it would feel. Each morning one of the guides came to our tent with tea and a basin of hot water for washing up. The mules would pass us during the afternoon so that they could have camp set up and snacks ready in the kitchen tent when we arrived. Edith, our main guide was with us hiking all day, then would sit in the kitchen tent and chop vegetables for whatever homemade meal she was making that night. Breakfast was hot pancakes or omelets, and other fresh things.
The camping sites got more and more spectacular each day. We were a group of 6 with 2 guides and a mule handler and there was another group about the same size that was doing the same trek with us, but other than that, we didn't see much of anyone during the day.
We had just one tough day of hiking with a 1000 meter gain all in the last two hours. But reaching the summit was well worth it and we had a little celebration up there before it started to hail and get much too cold for hanging out. Our group was great - an adorable couple from Madrid, Irene and Gonzalo, a sweet, quiet couple from Poland, Gry and I and our guides Edith, Lucia and Emilio.