Nice sunset view as we pass over London, England, on our way to Albania.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Shkodra, Albania.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Hiking the Peaks of the Balkans, June 13-24!

Sunday, October 20, 2019

A little bit of excitement last night

We are at the beginning of the rainy season here at the base of Huascarán National Park. Prime hiking months are apparently June, July, and August when you get mostly clear blue skies. So while we do get some sunshine through the day, it is mostly cloudy and there is a good chance of a shower every day as well.

We are getting our bodies used to the fact that we are at 10,000 ft altitude. Most of the good hiking is upwards of 12,000 ft, so it is good to take a couple of days to get used to the thinner air.

Yesterday, we walked around town. We didn't keep track, but we probably did 10 kms (6 miles) overall, but most of it was fairly flat. Besides just seeing the layout of the city, we had to buy some supplies for our one week stay here. Can't be eating in restaurants all the time!

The view out our dining room window.

We did get some blue sky.

Anybody want to be a Peruvian electrician?

The city of Huaraz is about 100,000 people, but it has more of a large town feel to it. We are on the outskirts of the main part of the downtown area, and in fact we can find hiking trails not far from where we are. We can also easily walk about 15 minutes to the central area.

We were headed to the main market to do some grocery shopping. I didn't bring the big camera, so the following photos are all taken with the phone.

Garden made with old tires.

There are a lot of these little three wheeled taxis.

Statues in the park. Notice the big snow capped mountain in the background.

Lots of water running through town.

They've tried to pretty things up a bit.

The main drag.

Made it to the market!

Ruth, buying some veggies.

We bought some strawberries from this lady.
Cost for the 1/2 kilo bag all cut and cleaned was 1 sol (40 cents CAD, 30 cents USD)

I asked her if I could take her picture, and she smiled and said yes, but then she wouldn't look at the camera! Notice her hat. Many of the local indigenous women wear this type of hat. Some of them are really tall.

Speaking of tall, I think I am the tallest person in town. In fact, I think I would have no problem making the Peruvian basketball team. 

We dropped off our purchases at home, then we had a late lunch out again.

This time, it was 6 soles ($2.40 CAD, $1.80 USD) each for a tossed salad, a plate of rice, french fries, and a chunk of beef ribs. We can't make lunch ourselves for that price, so we will likely eat lunches out all the time!

We walked back downtown taking a different route. The plan was to go to an ATM and get some more cash, but we got there and realized that neither one of us had our bank cards with us! Ruth had her Visa card and ID (they always ask for ID when you use a credit card around here) with her though, so we went and bought some booze and a jug of water.

Beer is reasonable here, and so is wine, but it's not dirt cheap. Liquor is dirt cheap though! I bought a bottle of VAT 69 Scotch for 22 soles ($8.65 CAD, $6.60 USD). 

A new cathedral is being built, but it looked like there was no actual work going on for quite a while

Fancy copper entrance doors to the new Cathedral.

Ruth, with a dressed up alpaca.
Even Ruth is tall here!

This was in the central plaza, and we gave the lady 1 sol (40 cents CAD, 30 cents US) for the photo op.

We had had enough for the day, so made it back home by 4:00pm or so. I had a nap for an hour. No headache this morning, so if that was altitude related, I guess it's better. We'll go out and do some more altitude today and see how we do.

Opened the dining room curtains this morning to this view...

Those mountains weren't there yesterday! Well, of course they were... but they were in clouds and we couldn't see them. This photo was taken from my chair only a few minutes ago!
That peak is at 20,300 feet!

The Peruvian Andes are magnificent. Looking forward to showing you more of this mountain range over the next few days.

A little bit of excitement last night. As in Mexico, they set off these loud noise making fireworks every now and again. So we've heard a few of those. But we heard something different... four or five bangs in a row, followed by some screaming and shouting. This was not fireworks! We peeked out the window (we are on the 3rd floor of a very secure building) to see four police officers on foot (no vehicles) and a crowd of about a dozen people. Didn't see anybody on the ground, so hopefully the shots didn't hit anybody. There was some scuffling and arguing going on, and most of the crowd began running away. Other bystanders were also scattering. It took about 20 minutes before three police vehicles arrived with sirens blaring. We do not go out at night, although our host has assured us that we are fine during the day.

Laser Temperature Gun. Battery Included. Already cheap, the price has dropped a couple more dollars.

And in Canada...


  1. They'll be talking for years about that time the two Canadian giants came to town.

    1. Lol, we aren't the only Canadians and Americans that visit here and I am sure some of those that visit are even taller than us. :-)

  2. Love the shy strawberry lady. What a fantastic price! I like this area with the green, looks like a nice town although as in Mexico things can be different at night. That is true in Canada as well!

    1. She was very friendly but I guess she just didn't want to look at the camera. We will probably buy more strawberries from her again while we are here. :-)

      We like this area so much better than Lima and it is noticeably cleaner as well.

  3. Our Florida sister had trouble when we went from Peru to Lake Titicaca altitude. We're from a mile high hometown altitude so none of that bothered us - of course we didn't hike like you're planning to. On one of our Peru visits a little highlands lady stopped in front of us, spread her full skirt and squatted over a street drain to do her business - all the while looking at us, looking at her! Love that dining room view of yours - wow!

    1. We have learned that everyone reacts differently to higher altitudes. Luckily, it hasn't really affected us too much and I think part of that is due to the fact that we have spent a fair bit of time in higher altitudes over the years and stay pretty active while we are in a higher altitude. We certainly noticed that it did affect us as we were hiking yesterday but I am sure that in a couple more days we should be hiking more normally.

      Wow, that would have been a sight to see, or perhaps not see!

      We are loving the views from our apartment windows. :-)

  4. Great photos, Kevin! Reminds me so much of Mexico. We just lost a friend from Lima. She was so young but died from cancer. She was a beautiful, sweet lady. Ruth, I can't believe you are still wearing the barrette. I'm so glad you like it! How's it holding up? I'm glad a little part of me is traveling with you! Can't wait to see your hiking photos. Enjoy!

    1. Thank you Grace! Much of the time it does remind us of Mexico but we think maybe more so of Guatemala.

      Very sorry to hear of the loss of your Peruvian friend, it isn't fair to die young. :-(

      I wear that barrette a lot, I love it and it is holding up very well. It is a well traveled barrette. Thank you so much for making it for me, I often think of you both when I go to put it on. :-) We hope you are both doing well.

  5. The alpaca lady and Ruth are too cute. The mountains are amazing.

    1. Yes, I love that photo! :-)

      The mountains are totally amazing here, what a spectacular view we get of them.

  6. Your being giants remind us of our trip to Guantemala. At Chichicastanego the tallest Indians came all the way up to our armpits. Gary is 5'10" while Myrl is 5'6". Friend's looking at pictures ask about all the children.

    1. Yep, we remember that same feeling when we were in Guatemala as well as the Chiapas in Mexico. Kevin was always having to duck under all the tarps and ropes any time we went through the outdoor markets.

  7. Looks like a lovely area, minus the gunshots! Hope that's a one-off. Have fun and enjoybyour hikes!

    1. We hope that it was a one time only thing as well. We honestly do feel very safe here and the people have all been very friendly.

  8. We loved being in Peru, the indigenous dress like you saw (in your photos), and the wonderful Andes. Jimmy and I trained in the Sierras before heading for So America to avoid altitude sickness, and it worked. Though when we got to 16,000' in Ecuador, we surely felt that! We always felt safe in So America.

    1. Yes, it is hard not too love Peru. Lots of culture here and lots of beautiful scenery.

      It is great that you have the Sierras, not too far away so that you can easily practice on them. I think we have been relatively lucky with the altitude sickness as we only have had minor issues, other than the fact that when we hike we have to walk slowly, or at least I do, Kevin seems to be doing much better in that category. Our hike yesterday (Tuesday) took us up to 15,000' and other than moving slowly we both ended up with a very minor headache on the way down.

  9. Huaraz appears prettier and cleaner than Lima? Love how they re cycled those tires. Great prices on the strawberries and lunch! Those snow capped peaks looked beautiful.

    1. Yes, it is very much prettier and cleaner than Lima. We are really enjoying this little city/town. We have seen other recycled tire art throughout the town as well.

      We just bought more strawberries from that lady again and yes, that is an excellent price.

      The mountains are fantastic!

  10. Wow...that kind of excitement I could do without...loved the pics you know I think even I could be tall keep the pics coming awesome....Barry and Jeannie....

    1. So could we, hopefully that will be the only time!

      Yes, even you could be tall here Jeannie. :-)


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