Where are we?

Beautiful Laguna Peron

In my last blog I said how the 32 km drive to Laguna Paron took just over 2 hrs! Here are the pictures to show why :)

Driving from the highway thru lots of small villages 

Our grandson always asks what kind of animals we see so thought I should show the usual ones we pass :) Big hairy pigs

Lots of chickens - crazy to put their dish so close to the road!

And of course lots of donkeys, plus sheep and goats :) 
Here's the start of the one lane for 17kms 

Of course lots of waterfalls
No one coming behind us :)
We arrive at Laguna Paron just as the clouds are setting in

Hazy view of the lake 
The night was pretty cool up here at Laguna Paron! Nice to have the comforter back on :)  My headache continued thru the night and this morning I took some tylenol.

After having breakfast we headed out for a walk along the lakeside.  There is another viewpoint but there is no way I would enjoy going up further :)  The view around the lake is spectacular with so many mountains covered with snow. We could see new snow had fallen last night, we were lucky we only had some rain. The path starts out nice and wide and then we see why, it goes to a control tunnel for the water outlet of the lake. After we pass that area the path is very narrow and there are lots of rocks we have to climb over. I want to go far enough so I can get a picture of Mt Artesonraju at 6000m and said to be the mountain that Paramount movies uses in it's logo. But as we get closer to that "perfect shot" the damn clouds move in!!  I get a nice picture of Mt Caraz which is near the same height and covered in snow/ice. Has a real interesting look to it with that ice and snow.  So we wait on the rocks and have some water and a break waiting for the clouds to lift. They did a little but still not totally gone :(

In the morning a beautiful view of lake and mountains!

Starting out on our walk

Ya, those rocks are never fun!
Arrow points to the viewpoint which is a 45 min walk at a steep climb from where we are parked

Mountain on the right is the one said to be used by Paramount on their logo- Mt Artesonraju and Mt Caraz on the left 
Cool closeup of Mt Caraz :) 
Awwwwww!! 😍
And yes I did get over this creek without getting my shoes wet :) 

Ya, he needs a lot of rest time! LOL!!

This is called a Polylepis tree - a tree that only grows in the mid-high elevation in the Andes. They are all gnarly in shape - and lepis refers to the continuious shredding of the multi-layered bark - which looks really cool 

Branches of the Polylepis tree

Couple of guys kayaking on the lake 

You can barely see Vanna near the red roofed hostel
We check and see that we've walked 1.5km and I've been pretty slow and puffing alot! Good old Dwayne just walks like normal 😀  I guess I have to make sure that when we head to Cusco from Lima we'll have to take it in steps so I can get use to the change in altitude - Cusco is at around 3300m so lower then Laguna Paron (4400m) and Machu Picchu is lower yet.

We head back to Vanna and starting making the 2 hr drive back down πŸ˜–.  We do meet a few vehicles coming up even when we waited until almost 11am, thinking people coming up from other towns like Huaraz which is about 3 hours away would be here by now.  Anyways, nothing crazy happened on the way down.  When we get down to the highway we head towards Huaraz.

We do get close when passing 😰

As you can tell I'm a water person 😊

Road we heading down

Always have to stop and check out the flowers πŸ˜ƒ

On the way to Huaraz we stop in new town Yungay - the original town was totally covered by a mud slide after the earthquake of 1970. 25,000 died.  The area has been left as is to not disturb the dead.  We didn't go to the site, we went thru the new town and stopped for lunch.  Nothing exciting, just soup for me and chicken, rice and a potato for Dwayne.  I just had to pick out the chicken foot, kidneys and heart out before I ate my soup LOL!!! Total cost was only S/6.50 ($3C).  We then headed back to the highway and arrived in Huaraz around 3 looking for a grocery store. Found one but again it was a Trujillo store, which doesn't have much of anything. No vegetables and no meat. And it was sooooo busy in there we gave up and we'll look around some more.  Next I go to the ATM machine while Dwayne drive's around the block a few times - the lineup is long. But not as long as the one going into the bank for those who need to see a teller! It's right out the door! Christmas rush!!  I finally get my turn at the machine and take out S/400 on each of our cards - max for the day for both cards from this bank! We could get out S/700 per card out of another bank but then they charge S/13 ($5) - that's like 2 lunches!! And it's no problem for us to come back again tomorrow and take out another S/800 which we will need incase we run into gas stations out here that only take cash or VISA.

We try to find a vegetable market but seems we would have to go into the Mercado - don't feel like that now because there is no parking, the streets are jam packed with mototaxis, cabs and regular lousy Peruvian drivers, I just said forget it especially with it raining!! We'll try and get to the hostel instead where we will park tonight. Only charging S/10 for the night and since we haven't had enough time to drive around this city to see where we could park, it's a good alternative.

The road to the hostel is pretty narrow but Dwayne navigates it without to much problem. When we get to the hostel the opening for the parking is also pretty tight, Dwayne has to go back and forth a couple of times to get Vanna in with out scraping her sides πŸ˜‰  It's a very small green space, room for maybe one more small car,  hoping no one else shows up today.

We even have Wifi!  Now that alone is worth the S/10. I get to work on my blog and later we watch a movie on netflix -6 Underground - new release with Ryan Reynolds. Love watching his movies but this one was to far fetched for me!!

In the morning we get started early because we want to get to the bank, Claro to buy more data (yes I have used up the 10.5GBs I bought on Dec 10th - 2 weeks exactly) and find a grocery store before the madness in the streets start. Was able to do all within an hour! Then decided to go to the Mercado for some vegetables.  By this time the place is FULL!! People buying chickens, pork (as in whole pig!) turkeys - live ones if you want πŸ˜‚ also cuy, and rabbits. All pretty crazy to us!! We still couldn't find any vegetables, well not the ones I need. Only potatoes and fruit. Was hoping to find some camote (sweet potato) to make my veggie burgers, but no luck. I probably won't be finding a real grocery store until we get back to the coast - which will still be another 3-4 days.

Here the ladies wear felt hats with a "fan" of material on one side - love the leggings ;)

Lady enjoy her street food - you can see the fan a little better

Great backpacks! Good for groceries or babies even up to at least 2 yrs old

Ladies chatting it up while selling pop on the corner

Yup main street on Christmas Eve or any Saturday LOL!

Vendors outside the Mercado

Guess we won't be taking this road in town since a few boulders have rolled down the hill

Ok now in the Mercado - pick any chicken you want :)

Or what about a turkey?

Maybe you want to BBQ a whole pig and have that on the dinner table for Christmas πŸ˜‚

If you're going to buy a turkey you need to buy a pan to cook it in

And if you want a REALLY fresh turkey then you can put one of these guys under your arm and go! I think the vendor will actually kill and pluck the turkey for you to save you some time ;)
Since we are staying in the area for awhile, I guess I will also have to make sure to send a message to my cousin and his wife who are visiting her parents in Lima. She is originally from there also.  They are visiting from Germany, and I had hoped we could meet up, but they are only in Lima from Dec 22-27th then heading to Machu Picchu. Guess we'll have to wait until we go thru Europe again πŸ˜„

I find us a place on Ioverlander for tonight that is 35kms outside of Huaraz at a small lake. Plus it's only 8km off the highway. Nearest place I could find to the highway. BUT the lake is at 12,500' but since Huaraz is at 10,500 maybe it won't be to bad. So we set off and say good bye to the crazy town of Huaraz at Christmas time!

We get to the lake and I'm only slightly dizzy so that should be ok (no comments from the peanut gallery!!) PLUS I have cell service up here so now we can phone the kids Christmas morning from here. Think we will spend a couple of nights here, need a day off from driving πŸ˜…  We'll enjoy the beautiful view from up here.

Locals here still stack rocks to outline their property 
Great view of the Andes 
View from our spot
Most of these snowcapped mountains are all around 20,000' high

We go for a walk and look back at Vanna near the lake

Small lake 

Even find same cacti up on the hill
Buddy came to visit - so of course we had to give him some chorizo sausage we bought today. 
Just before sunset the sun shines partly on the hills
Christmas morning we wake up and we are above the clouds in the valley! So cool looking! But not long after that the clouds lift and we are in the fog for awhile. Eventually it all clears up and we have a beautiful view of the valley and Andes mountains. This should be a nice relaxing day. I make us Huevos Rancheros for breakfast - Dwayne's favourite.  Then a local with his young daughter on a motorbike came by and stopped to visit with us for awhile. He is from a city in the valley and up here visiting his grandparents.

The valley is under the clouds and we are above them 

Wasn't long before the clouds moved away

Heuvos Rancheros 
Ready to start facetiming with the kids with a beautiful backdrop 

We FaceTime with our daughter and family in Abbotsford and talk with everyone there and seeing how excited they are :)  5 of the grandkids are now between 13-23yrs and one is 7yrs so of course he's pretty excited! Later we FaceTime with our son and his family in Edmonton, the grandsons are 4 & 6 so they are REALLY excited about Christmas. It was fun talking with everyone almost like being there 😍 Also facetimed with a couple of friends to see what they were up to - great talking with them to.

Around noon when I was sitting outside enjoying the sun and Dwayne was checking the front brakes the wind started up and blew our awning up and bent the brackets that attach it to the van. *#@$%&#  is what Dwayne said!!  He got the awning off the brackets then was able to remove the brackets, straighten them out with a hammer using the top of a rock :) get them back on and we both lifted the awning back onto the brackets and Dwayne got them secured. My Macgyver at work again!! But it took probably 4 hours to get it all done, so there goes his day of relaxing and reading πŸ˜ͺ

It started out nice and relaxing - solar panel out charging up the batteries
Dwayne got the awning down
That bracket is suppose to be flush with the van

But he can straighten it out using hammer and rock πŸ˜‚
Bracket nice and flat again - ready to be put back on Vanna

Then some cows came to visit us 

We heard thunder but missed the rain but not the bright rainbow afterwards

I made pizza for our Christmas dinner and ice cream bars for desert and that's Christmas for 2019 😍 Our Christmas presents to each other are sitting in Edmonton till we get back - a couple of EBikes!
Tomorrow we continue further south.

Fancy Christmas dinner :)
With a few bites missing - its my Greek pizza, tomato sauce with some tapenade, chipotle mixed in,  then onions, pepperoni, green and black olives, mozza and parm cheese- not pretty but tasty and that's what frypan pizza looks like πŸ˜‹


  1. Merry Christmas to you both!

    I think we were in that market or the area around the market about every second day that we were in Huaraz, we loved it there but then we also never had to drive there. :-)

    1. Ya there are pretty well bad drivers ALL over Peru!