Nestled in the the magnificent mountain range of the Cordillera Blanca, Huaraz is a sweet little town full of super friendly locals and the friendliest of all backpackers, hiking enthusiasts.
With some really great local restaurants, 360 degree beautiful snowy mountain backdrop, and a few good boozers and clubs, it was pretty easy to wile away a few days here (both before and after our multiday trek in a nearby national park).
Pre-hike, we had a fairly uneventful time as I managed to get terrible food poisoning (again! We’re now at 5 times in 4 months, and counting…) so much of my time was spent vomming and pooing, and generally making the most out of our ensuite bathroom… but prior to this we also had an amble around town and managed to find a little road with a Sunday food market going on, and Sam tried his first ‘cuy’, or guinea pig. He described it as ‘a bit like a Damian Hirst art piece’. I was too revolted to look, and had to put up a menu between us to shield my view. And I was the one who got sick from ribs!! Seems fair, huh?!
WARNING!! SCARRING PHOTO BELOW….
The very necessary menu divider
Once feeling better, we got taken out for lunch by the lovely hospitable folk who ran our hostel (Caroline Lodging) – who took us and a few other guys to a local Peruvian joint where we gorged ourselves on delicious fried chicken, lomo saltado, and many ‘jarras’ (jugs) of chilcano (pisco and ginger beer cocktail. Delicious!) It was a really fun boozy lunch, and afterwards Anita (hostel owner) took us all out for icecream, on her… kind of like treating a bunch of drunk children! One of the guys from the hostel was a Dutch guy who’s living in Lima teaching P.E. and earning about 5 grand (US) a month! He basically convinced us to live abroad and teach forever.
Post-trek, we enjoyed a super fun night out with our new best buds from the trek (see ´Santa Cruz Trek´!). Beers at our hostel, then out for ‘anticuchos’ (beef heart skewers. Divine!) and finally a messy night out on the town. Highlights of which were: drinking carton wine on a plaza, dancing our hearts out in an almost empty club, recruiting a team of locals to help us source ‘things’, being invited to drink a bottle of Johnnie Walker on ice at the bar of a heaving club with a couple of gangsters (they had guns! We were too drunk to be afraid.. plus they were quite sweet), being asked ‘bailamos?’ by literally every man on a sausage-fest of a dancefloor, successfully sourcing things and staying up until 7am watching the sunrise over the mountains, chatting with our brilliant new mate Ella.
Japes with our new mates
As you can imagine, we were pretty fragile after that, so the next couple of days we managed very little, namely going out for a big Chifa lunch (of course!) with Chris and Ella, yet more anticuchos, and a walk out of town to visit some ruins with a great view (ruins were closed, but we could see most of it from over a wall.. it’s just stones right?!) I also bought a new big bright rucksack after the zip busted on mine, from the insane market in town, that sold everything from newly slaughtered chickens to mobile phones and prom dresses.
The closed ruins
After the trek, me, Sam and Ella had become quite a tight three and we decided to stick together for our next chapter, heading to the beach of Huanchaco to catch up with Chris…