‚ÄčAnna and Ed, from Sheffield - Trekked in April/May 2010

10 day Cordillera Huayhuash Circuit with Abner and Adolfo 26th April-5th May 2010

Photos on Flicker.Having found out about this website via Lonely Planet Thorntree forum we contacted Abner by email with help from Jenny and various Spanish speaking friends to arrange our trek. 

After 2 nights in the excellent Albergue Churup in Huaraz (at 3000m+ allowing for some acclimatisation) we met Abner (and his sister who speaks excellent English!) at 9am in the main square the day before starting our trek. Together we bought our bus tickets (2pm to Chiquian) and all the food, which was a great experience in the local market and at street stalls. Shopping with Abner meant he designed our menu to what we like, whilst incorporating local dishes and ingredients. Following an evening meal and night at the Valdez house in Chiquian we caught the 8.30am bus to Pocpa with Adolfo and all the luggage, food and equipment - Abner had left early to fetch the animals from their farm to meet us at Pocpa at 11.30am. Once the donkeys were loaded we set off on our 10 day adventure.
The first few days walking were relatively short to aid acclimatisation. We soon got into the daily routine of:
  • a great breakfast (pancakes or porridge)
  • packing up camp and Abner and Adolfo loading the donkeys
  • 3-7 hours of walking (most days including a high pass) with plenty of breaks to take in the stunning scenery and a good "box lunch" en route
  • a welcome hot drink on arrival at camp
  • plenty of time relaxing at camp
  • a tasty and filling soup, followed by a delicious dinner in the large cooking/mess tent
  • bed (in our own tent). 
We had mixed luck with the weather, but generally had the better views in the morning so it was worth getting up and going early (mas temprano!). Abner and Adolfo made the trek for us - they were patient with our Spanish attempts and helped us to improve by teaching us, they were great company and Abner's big smile is contagious, they allowed us to ride Tipe the horse for some sections of the trek (mostly uphill bits) and generally looked after us very well.

On the last day we waved goodbye to Abner and the animals and got the bus back to Chiquian with Adolfo, where we found Alcides preparing our Pachamanca feast - highly recommended! We got the 4.30am bus back to Huaraz (rather than 2pm) the next day to give us time to get our very smelly laundry done before heading back to Lima. There are direct buses to Lima but we'd left luggage in Huaraz so had to go via there.Hopefully helpful hints:
  • Try to change bigger notes for smaller ones for campsite fees and anything you buy en route (we bought fresh trout from a farmer and a few resupplies in Huayallpa) 
  • We struggled to find iodine for our drinking water locally so bring it with you - Micropur is available locally but doesn't kill all nasties 
  • Take a swimsuit for the pool fed by the hot springs or you'll be swimming in your undies like us! 
  • Take lots of books (the donkeys will kindly carry them for you) as there's lots of time relaxing at camp. 
All in all a great trek with great guides - we highly recommend it! View our photos on Flikr
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