Monday, January 7, 2013

Peru Honeymoon: Heavy Breathing in the High Andes

Peru Honeymoon: Heavy breathing in the High Andes
By: Brad Wrobleski
Rating: ****

            This article is about Brad Wrobleski’s honeymoon journey hiking through the Andes in Peru with his new wife, Junko.  This trek ends up being a beautiful journey, as can be expected when one is traversing the Andes.  Many amazing things happened to them during this experience; from putting on small origami shows for young schoolchildren, to venturing through the beautiful mountain ranges with their guide Natividad and his team of burros.  One is likely not to forget an experience like this.

            The journey began in a small town named Huarez, where Brad and Junko did all their trip preperations like purchasing of food, organizing gear, and acclimatizing.  After spending a week in this town, they take a bus to the town of Chiquian to start the real adventure.  Here they met up with their 66-year-old guide Natividad, who has 40 years of trekking experience, and his team of burros and they start their adventure on the lush alpine trails passing a number of small villages.  The couple know that the day of their ascent toward Cacanan Pass has come when they are awoken by Natividad making calls to his already loaded team of burros who start hauling themselves up the trail while Brad and Junko finish getting prepared.  During the first day of real trekking on the Cacanan Pass, Brad soon realizes he’s in for slightly more than expected and begins to joke about going back and just having a traditional Hawaiian honeymoon.  After several more days of travellin, they have passed the Carhuac Pass, Yerupaja (Peru’s second tallest peak), and Lake Carhuacocha, and the sights they saw in those places will be with them forever.  They had many encounters with the people that live in the area during this time as well and while of course the beautiful sights were a highlight on this venture, experiencing the culture of the people here was both daring and exhilarating in itself.  Nearing the end of their trip, they hike down to Tapush Pass and are delighted to see the beautiful purple and tallow wildflowers in the immediate area that they are in and these beautiful plants are all around them until they descend to Laguna Jahuacocha where they realize that they have nearly hiked circumnavigated the whole range.  The four days before the last on their trip are spent lazing around enjoying home-made cheese and taking short zigzag trails back to the town of Llamac where they are delighted to be back at lower altitudes and can finally breath normally.  They then spend the last day taking a four-hour plod back to Chiquian and they stumbled right to the first restaurant they saw, covered in so much dirt that they are turning nearly every persons’ head that they come by.  Their 15 day, 165 km trip with enough ups and downs to equal two ascents of Everest left Brad and Junko with an extreme respect for wilderness trekking, and a mean thirst for an Inka Cola.

            Reading over this article was nothing but joyful for me, it brings to mind the eagerness that I possess within myself to travel the world and go on many treks just as Brad and Junko did.  I have also always had large interest in this particular part of the world (meaning Peru) and as soon as I stumbled across this articles title, I knew I had to give it a read.  I honestly didn’t take too much away from this article other than a slightly larger passion for the beauty that one will find in many places just from stopping for a moment and taking a look around.  Although one thing that it will make me think of for the future, is to be carrying everything I might need or want with me while trekking through the wild, instead of on a burro half a mile ahead of me.

Wrobleski, Brad. “Peru Honeymoon: Heavy Breathing in the High Andes” Explore: Canada's Outdoor Adventure Magazine. Calgary, Alberta. Peter Thompson. December 4, 1998. (pp, 22-30). Print.

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