Before you read this, I will let you know that I just posted a previous article about our remaining time in Cuzco.

After Cuzco, we took a flight to Lima. We were only in Lima for a day and then we headed up to northern Peru to visit the town of Huaraz. This town is next to an area of the Andes called the Cordillera Blanca, or white corridor. In this area there are over 50 mountains higher than 18,000 feet. Many of these peaks are over 20,000 feet. We hired a guide and a donkey to carry our packs and headed into Huascaran National Park for a four day trek through these mountains.

The first day we only had to hike for four hours. Most of the hike was spent walking up through a valley between some tall mountains. Here is a picture of the area we setup camp for the night.

The next day was another casual day of hiking. We only had to hike about five hours to reach the next campsite. We continued to walk up the same valley. The snow covered peaks that you see in these pictures are over 20,000 feet high. Along with us were two girls from Switzerland and also a couple from the Bay Area, Ethan and Ema. Here is a picture of the sunset from campsite on the second night.

The third day was the toughest day. We had to hike up and over a pass that was around 15,500 feet in elevation. This was the highest I have ever climbed before. The lack of oxygen at that elevation certainly makes hiking more difficult. But we managed to climb up to the top of the pass without too much of a problem. Here is a view of one of the lakes that we hiked alongside on the way up. Afterwards, we climbed down into a valley on the other side of the pass to the next campsite.

On the fourth day we had a simple three hour hike down a beautiful valley to the place where we would take a bus back to Huaraz. Here is a funny picture of three grumpy kids we met along the way. On the bus, on the way back to Huaraz, we came to a vista point of the Huascaran Mountain, which is the tallest mountain in the area at over 22,000 feet. Huascaran is the tall peak on the left side covered in a cloud.

After Huaraz, we took a very long trip up the coast to Ecuador. The trip took two full days, and involved three different buses with two very long 12 hour layovers. Now we are finally in Riobamba, Ecuador. We will be here for a few days, and then head to Quito. Our time in South America is winding down as this is our last week here.

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