Amy in Peru: An Odyssey

Monday, May 14, 2007

Visitors, Glaciers and Bricks

The end of April saw a visit from a woman from Canada who had read one of the articles i had written and wanted to check out the Project and Huancavelica. Was great to have a visitor (my first and only!), and it was especially cool since we discovered over the course of her visit that she is the mother of a bookcrossing friend in Halifax! How random is that? Bookcrossing blows my mind sometimes! Here are some pics of her visit.

The beginning of May, I needed to get out, so i went to Huancayo for the weekend, and took Saturday to hike the Huaytapallana Glacier. Seriously, I didn't have a sense of how crazy it was going to be, but it was an amazing experience.

Met up with the group at 6:30am and we drove about an hour or so out of the city and to the base camp of the glacier hike. The initial first climb was brutal--- remember this is a hike at 5000 meters above sea level---- holy no oxygen!! We got to the top after a few hours and saw the galcier and i thought "Oh isn't that pretty. Well! Good hike!" Turns out we actually hike TO the glacier. So a few hours later we were there. Then I thought "Great! Now we head back!" And it was downhill for a while, and we passed by some beautiful lagunas--- the silence and peace was so eerily calming. I don't know when i have been SO far from anywhere, and in a place that so few people in the world have bothered to go (this hike was not ion any tour book).

After a nice hike down through the lagunas, the path took a turn, and the last two or three hours was almost straight up again. My karate training definately came in handy--- small goals is the only thing that got me back to base camp. After 6-7 hours of hiking at such a high altitude, i really didn't have much left in me. Goals included 'the next rock', 'that tuft of grass', 'until i can't breathe anymore', etc.... :)

But while it was difficult, it was also amazing---- the views were epic, the solitude was spiritually nourishing and the accomplishment was damn pride-giving! :)

The next weekend (the 13th of May) was Mother's day, which is a HUGE deal here in Huancavelica. And the family downstairs invited me to participate in their festivities, which included making pachamanca. Usually it is made underground, but we made it downstairs with an improvised brick oven! It was a lof of fun, and here are some pics of the family.

So that is what has been going on here more or less. Leah gets here on saturday morning (the 19th) and we will be flying to Cuzco for the week. Will post when we are back! Can't wait!! :)

Hope all is well with everyone!