Saturday, June 27, 2009

Cordillera Blanca - Day 2 - Huaraz to Chavin de Huantar

On day 2 our goal was to get to the ruins at Chavin de Huantar. But it took us nearly all day of exploring the small towns along the way to get there.

We stopped at the small town of Recuay, where there was a 'barbecue' going on to raise money for the church. Of course, we had to help out. Pretty small town, nice square, nice church.

We turned left at Catac, another small town and headed up into the mountains.

Our next stop was a beautiful lake. (Querococha) Here we paid 2 kids about 50 cents to hold their lambs and pose for the camera.

We also had a little 'Mate de Coca' (Coca Tea), to help rev us up for the altitude. The cutest little girl was hanging out with her mom, who was selling the coca tea.

By early afternoon we passed through the Tunel Kawish, at the crest of the mountain at 4512 meters (14,660 feet). At 14,660 feet, the oxygen is thin and we all got a little woozy. But fortunately we were headed back down the mountain.

We were amazed at the terraced farming going on all over the mountains.

When we arrived in Chavin, we found it a pretty little town. Not much there for tourists except the ruins. We stayed at Hotel Inca, right on the tiny square. The square was beautiful--filled with flowers.

The only restaurant in town that was open was called Restaurant Turistico (Tourist Restaurant). They were serving Cuy, or stewed guinea pig. It is a traditional Peruvian dish. I tried it. It was OK, but I wouldn't go out of my way to find it again.

We spent the late afternoon wandering around town. (It took all of about 15 minutes to see the whole town).

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