Huaraz, Lake 69, and Lake Churup

From Lima, Brian and I took an overnight bus with Cruz del Sur to Huaraz. The seats were comfy (we chose the VIP floor, which included fully reclining seats, a pillow and a blanket, a media console, and a sketchy looking pre-packaged meal of a ham and cheese sandwich that we did not eat) and with the twists and turns and bumps of the bus ride, I slept like a damn baby.

Brian did not fare so well. He was going on day 5 or so of his stomach virus and, well, here's what we did on day 1 in Huaraz:

We stayed at the Morales Guesthouse in Huaraz. Though it was a bit pricier than we had gotten so used to spending ($7-10 per night on average!), it was nice to escape noisy party hostels, to not have to make our own breakfast, and to have our beds made every morning :)

Added bonus for having real, brewed coffee rather than the usual instant coffee that Peruvians seem to love so much.
Annie, one of the workers at Morales Guesthouse, recommended a little hole-in-the-wall restaurant for fried cuy (guinea pig). The waitress at the restaurant seemed utterly shocked that Brian and I each only wanted a quarter of a cuy each (rather than a whole). Here it is, served on a bed of some four or five whole potatoes. 

Little girl at the restaurant trying to talk to Brian and I. Brian handed her his iPhone so that she could try translating what she wanted to say.
Huaraz is a tiny, tiny town and far different from the colonial cities of Lima and Cusco. After visiting the villages surrounding Huaraz, though, we were surprised to find how comparably large and bustling Huaraz actually way :)

Celebrations for Peru's independence day started early here.

Once Brian was back in tip-top shape (sort of), we set off for our first hike around the Cordillera Blanca and Cordillera Negro. Lake Churup!

We climbed straight up the side of this waterfall!

After an evening of rest back at the guesthouse, we woke up early the next morning to join a group tour to Lake 69.

On our last day, Brian and I decided to check out some nearby ruins and take a peek at the villages and little homes of Andean life.

Overall, the Cordillera Blanca area was of the most beautiful sights in all of Peru. I was surprised that so few travelers who I met had made Huaraz one of their destinations. If you're in Peru and you have an extra two or three days--hop on a bus and go to Huaraz!

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