I cycled the short distance to the andinista town Huaraz, but I did not feel strong enough these last days to continue. I rather opted for a few quiet days of recovery, reading, writing and waiting for a new bicycle chain ordered from Lima (the 10 gear cassette seems not the best choice for these remote regions).
Today, I undertook a beautiful excursion to the Laguna Churup in the Huascarán park, climbing up to 3800m by bike and then hiking for 1,5 hours further up to 4500m where this crystal-clear lake is stretched out on the feet of the clouded mountain Churup. I admired the sunset, but had then a hard time descending on the roughly gravelled road: out of the dark, angry dogs attacked me several times and I had to firmly defend myself shouting and throwing rocks. I was glad to reach my lovely hostel at about 8p.m.
On the St.Cruz trek a week ago, I had a look in the detailed headcount statistics of the guardian at Huascarán park. The most common nationalities are Israelis, French and Germans (with only about 4 Peruvian visitors each month). The hostal housed the very same proportion. Talking to the Israeli guests, they explained to me that it is very popular to schedule a year of southamerican adventure after their obligatory three (for women: two) years of military service.
Tomorrow I’ll set off again, now come the real mountains. The only true mystery, my friend, is the road, the road ahead.