I am, to an extent, still trying to back-fill my blog. Today I’m adding some information that would be useful to other travellers. So, many of my wonderful Facebook friends might not find this the most interesting information. However, I’m also including a slideshow of all the pictures from Huaraz.
How we got there
Having gone north from Lima to Trujillo, and then being told how amazing Huaraz was to the south of us, we decided to back track a bit and head in to the mountains. We took an overnight bus from Trujillo to Huaraz with Linea. We booked the VIP tickets to get the 160 degree reclining seats, but the main problem here was that the seats were so close together that our legs were trapped by the people in front of us when they reclined. The only way out of our seats was to lift ourselves up to pull our legs out. On the upside, the VIP lounge at Linea’s station in Trujillo was quite nice.
Going from Huaraz back to Trujillo, we took the Moviltours 9.40pm bus and bought VIP tickets which gave us 160 degree reclining seats. Moviltours happened to have the front two seats available on the earlier of the two buses and we basically hoped this would give us more leg room. The Moviltours depot wasn’t particularly pleasant as the seating is right next to the toilets which stank. Having found that on the last few buses we’d taken that we were given a blanket to keep us warm, I’d left my hoodie in my backpack only to find that the blanket we got on this bus covered by feet or my body, but not both.
Where we stayed
Originally, we booked the Hostel Akilpo in the centre of Huaraz, but some people we’d previously met in Lima said they’d just stayed there and there was some sort of regional celebration going on which essentially involved seeing how much noise could be made, and they’d been kept awake until the very early hours. So, we reverted back to one of the other places we’d looked at which was the Casa Maruja bed and breakfast, just outside of Huaraz in Palmira. The B&B is run by Gilf and Maruja, with Gilf speaking great English which was a big advantage of course. The breakfast each morning was bread, jam, coffee, juice and eggs, which is perfectly good for me. We booked a private room, and ended up with a three bed room for the two of us, so we had loads of space.
One of the quirks that we learnt about was, rather obviously, if the hot water didn’t appear to be working, to just go and ask about it. This B&B used both solar thermal heating as well as gas, and I think they switched between the two of them. In the middle of the morning, I think the supply was switched over from the gas to the solar, so it wasn’t always that hot, but it was OK.
I’ve seen some people complain about “having” to get a taxi to and from the B&B which costs PEN 4. However, having seen on the noticeboard that you could get any collectivo in to Huaraz for PEN 0.80, we eventually also worked out where we could get the collectivo back to Palmira from. The routes we used were Routes 10 and 18.
What we did
The only other thing to add is that we went to the thermal spa at Monterray which, for such little cost, was a great way to spend the morning. Three of us went together taking a taxi there for PEN 6. The entrance fee was PEN 4 each, and we paid another PEN 1 between us to hire our own changing room that also acted as a locker. The spa was fairly quiet, just us and a few locals, and set in the beautiful scenery of the Cordillera Blanca. We also decided to get a private bath which cost another PEN 4 each and was well worth it as the water was much hotter (not that the public area was particularly cold) and really helped after all the hiking.
Where we ate
We did the fairly typical tourist thing of using Trip Advisor to hunt out some of the better places to eat, including Cafe Andino, Trivio, La Pizzaria, and Chilli Heaven, all of which I can recommend. The latter three are all situated in and around Parque Periodista which seems to be a good area to find food in.