Huaraz is the closest city to the Huascaran national park. This park includes more than 600 lakes (laguna) and many hiking tracks. We decided not to do the Santa Cruz trekking that lasts 4 days. In fact, it is the raining season. Instead, we did 2 day hikes and one 2-day trek.
We booked this tour including the extension allowing us to walk along the lake and even reach another one.
5am, a minibus picked us up from our hotel. Unfortunately, we couldn't use the 3 hour drive to sleep as it was a very bad unsealed road.
We had breakfast watching the beautiful laguna Paron. We then started the 5-hour hike. The path was quite easy but we were 4200m high so it was still hard to breath properly. It rained almost all day long.... And even with the rain, we really enjoyed this trip!
The day trip to this lake being a bit challenging and very touristic, we decided to take our tent with us and enjoy the place with no one early morning. What a mistake, because this day will be the worst of our world trip according to Edouard!
We left the hotel at 5am again, a bit tired. At the starting point, a 3-hour walk brings people to the laguna 69 but we wanted to visit it the next day, without anyone. A few hundred meters after the beginning of the walk, I hid myself from people behind trees to pee. But 2 cows decided to say hello, to block me and even charged me trying to put its horn in my leg!!
After 2 hours walking, we took another path to see the laguna Brogui. It hasn't stopped raining for hours but now it is even hailing. The small track transformed into a stream, we were completely wet. At the end, we found a turquoise laguna and a refuge in ruins. We used it to hide from the rain, so lucky! We stayed under this little roof for an hour hoping rain would stop, that didn't happen. We had to go back to the main track in order to pitch our tent. Edouard kept wondering 'what the hell are we doing here?'. It was really difficult to find a spot for the tent. Indeed, the soil was either full of water, full of cow dung or super rocky. We stopped in a place which was a mix of the first two, after 30 minutes wandering under the rain. Once tent was pitched, we quickly ate some sandwiches at 5PM with only one thing in mind, get into our sleeping bag. Rain kept going but this time cows were joining the party and started grazing just next to the tent. Edouard was so fed-up and just wanted the day to come to an end.
The noise of cows woke us up at around 1AM. By opening the tent to try to get them away, we discovered that one of them was chewing my backpack cover! Without hesitating, Edouard, like a hero, put on his shoes and started running after the thief cow. My cover was full of slime and we had to ensure all our stuff was safely stored to avoid another incident. From then on, cows got event closer to the tent and we kept trying to get them away by screaming any kind of sounds. This little game last for an hour before we gave up.
After an agitated night, we woke up around 6AM with one objective: go away as soon as we can. Of course, it was still raining and the tent was drenched. We eventually arrived at laguna 69 around 9AM. What a reward! Alone, in front of this turquoise water with some sunlight allowing us to enjoy the view on a snowy mountain just behind the lake. We enjoyed the place for 2h, we even had our breakfast there.
The way back was a piece of cake, we even walked an hour extra to reach laguna Llanganuco. This one is green and beautiful too!
We chose this easy trip to rest from the day before. Well, glacier is still at 5000m above sea level but it was only a 1 hour walk return. We have to admit that we didn't expected such an impressive landscape and to be that close to the glacier. We could even see the sun at times as well as blue sky, so good!
We left Huaraz tired but charmed by this white cordillera. Landscapes reminded us Patagonia a lot (without the sun).