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Caraz – Laguna Paron and a few mountains

(July 16 – written by Dave)

We’ve had a couple nice relaxing days in Caraz.  Yesterday we watched the world cup.  For those who missed it, France won.  There were also two parades in town on Sunday.  The first for marching school troops, the second for people in costumes.  I never really got why either of the parades were happening but they were fun to watch all the same.  Below are some the highlight photos that I managed to capture.

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Marching proud

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The winning junior school

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Street parade

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These kids were great

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Short skirts

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Guy in the middle didn’t get the “pink or white” memo

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Starting young

Today was nice but not quite as relaxing.  We decided to join with Philipp, Kathrin and Andy in a taxi for a ride up to one of the famous Cordillera Blanca Mountain lakes.  The taxi was a bit tight with Nancy in the front seat and the rest of us in the back seat.  Nancy had a seatbelt, the driver and the rest of us were belt-free.  Just don’t think about it.

It was a breezy 31k from town to the lake.  Most of it was uphill on a rough rock/dirt road.  We had to stop half way up to pay for the park entry and also change a flat tire.  The driver used his only spare to be able to continue.  I’m not sure about having no spare and continuing up the mountain but it worked out – we had no more flats.  To say that the ride in the back of the taxi was comfortable would be, well, a lie.  The shocks worked barely.  The four of us smashed into each other on every switchback.

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Driver changing flat – if it looks like a beat up station wagon from the 1970s, well, it is…

Just when we started to wonder if it was all going to be worth it, we crested the last little rise to the lake and wow what a sight.  Before us sat an amazing bright blue lake surrounded by snow capped peaks of the Cordilla Blanca.  We walked along the north shore for a while, then back and up to a lookout.  Here is a case where photos are better than words.  My hardest task of the afternoon was picking which ones to post.

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Laguna Paron and the Cordillera Blanca Mountains

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Laguna Paron and the Cordillera Blanca Mountains

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Cordillera Blanca Mountains

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Nancy scaling the peaks

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Cordillera Blanca Mountains

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Cordillera Blanca Mountains

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Laguna Paron and the Cordillera Blanca Mountains

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Cordillera Blanca Mountains

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Us at Laguna Paron and the Cordillera Blanca Mountains

We leave Caraz for Huaraz tomorrow.  We are looking a 4 more days off there to resupply and plan for the route south.  We may try doing one more lake visit as well.  We are currently debating where to stay in Huaraz as tomorrow is our anniversary but we do have a budget to maintain (Senior editor’s note – actually the budget is double because of our free camping nights so there are really no worries about the budget…).  Debate could continue into the night.

Our German friends are debating routes and plans for the next few days as well.  We are not sure who we will be riding with tomorrow, if anyone.  On a “nice surprise to see you” note, we spotted four more bikes in the square this afternoon.  The first two bikes belonged to a French couple that we meet 6 months ago on Nancy’s birthday in Mexico, and the second two belonged to British couple that started in Alaska a year ago.  A little later we bumped into Richard, the bikepacker from Chicago and the three Venezuelans from the other day. There are a lot of cyclists on this route.

21 responses to “Caraz – Laguna Paron and a few mountains

  1. Happy anniversary to you both. Beautiful photos! Great color to both the water and sky.

  2. WOW! Anything with the world heritage diamond on it is generally worth a look

  3. Paul Alcantra

    Nothing like glacial milk to turn an alpine lake tourquoise. And, who doesn’t love a parade? Ha!

  4. Happy Anniversary! I believe that Mom also put money in your account for your day, so quit arguing with Nancy and give in, David!!!! (…says your older and wiser sister!!!!)

  5. The turquoise lake reminded me of the rivers along side the Yellowhead highway in BC so many years ago. Beautiful. Happy anniversary!

  6. HAPPY 26th ANNIVERSARY
    LOVE, MOM

  7. Have a wonderful Anniversary in a fabulous Hotel! The pictures are beautiful! I’m glad that taxi ride ended up being worth it!

    • It would be better to stay at the lake overnight, just to make the taxi worthwhile. However, I’m not sure that we are ready for sleep at 4,200 meters just yet (14,000 feet)

  8. Happy Anniversary! The photos are spectacular and the one of you both at 4200 meters should be framed. Thank you for always putting out the effort to share your adventure.

  9. Wow, the pictures! Happy Belated Anniversary. Just a “little” behind on my reading but trying to catch up 🙂

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