Note: This is a condensed version of the pictures I took with some added narrative. The rest of the pics can be viewed in the album Trip 2013 – Montanita to Huaraz. Each picture can be clicked to see a larger version and comment / like.
Continuing on my South American travels next up was some nature watching at the “Poor Mans Galapogos” of Isla de la Plata. To get there we took a boat from Puerto Lopez for an hour. On the way we were fortunate enough to see some whales splashing about
The main purpose for visiting the islands tho was the birds, including the famous Blue Footed Boobie
Unfortunately they weren’t the most intelligent birds and often built their nests on the walking paths then would freak out when people walked past and abandon their eggs:
There were a few types of birds on the island including one our guide named “A Tropical Bird”
After the hot and sweaty walk around the island we took a dip in the water before heading back
After Puerto Lopez we started to make our way towards Peru. We made a couple of stops along the way, one of them was Guayaquil, the largest city in Ecuador.
We had a couple of nights in the city which we spent wandering around down by the waterfront.
On the way we came across a park that was infested with iguanas for some reason
The next day we headed to Cuenca, a small town in the southern Ecuadorean highlands. Along the way we saw the remnants of a bus crash with a lorry.
We were only in Cuenca for one night and neither of us were feeling very well so we didnt do a lot there. The next day we took a long bus journey across the border into Peru and the famous beach town of Mancora.
We spent a few days there waiting for good wind conditions so I could go kite surfing once more. Finally on the last day the sun came out and I finally got my chance.
Thankfully I hadnt forgotten everything from my 4 days kiting in Ecuador and even improved, managing to surf for a good 20-30 seconds at a time.
Sadly we had to leave Mancora and move on down the coast to Trijillo the second largest city in Peru. The main reason for going there was to see the famous ruins of Chan Chan.
Its an impressive structure constructed over a thousand years ago and is huge. Incredibly it is just one of 10 similar structures that the ancient Chimu people built out in the (what is now) desert.
We visited a number of other ancient structures and museums while we were in Trijillo such as the temple of the moon belonging to the Moche people.
Around some of the temples there were the very strange looking hairless Peruvian dogs.
We had a slight transport hickup in Trijillo caused by a misscommunication with the hostel owner which mean we missed our intended bus to Huaraz so we were forced to spend an extra day in Trijillo. It wasnt all bad however as we spent it down the beach.
Eventually we managed to catch our night bus up to the mountain town of Huaraz high in the Andean mountains.
We had spent some time at altitude in Quito and didnt suffer any altitude sickness. Well Huaraz was quite a bit higher and it was really noticeable. Every time you stood up you would be dizzy. Walking just a few meters up a hill would result in a loss of breath. It made hiking up to the Llaca lagoon tricky, but totally worth it.
The final day I decided to do a bike ride high in the mountains with a man called Hulio who had been taking people up there for 20 years. It was an incredible ride of single and double track down challenging gradients and conditions.
We rode all the way down to Huraz from the top passing through a number of small villages, remembering to say ‘Hola’ to the locals. It was incredible to see how these mountain people still lived and farmed. At times I felt like a some sort of future cyborg whizzing past the mud and dirt hovels on my mountain bike fully kitted out in gear.
Anyways I had a great time in Huaraz, it made a nice change of scenery to all the beaches and gave me a tase of what its going to be like when doing the Inca Trail in a couple of weeks!