Leaving Huaraz Day 15 of trip - Sunday May 20th We actually tried buying bus tickets to get out of Huaraz the day before, after the champions league celebrations & a rather large dinner that we couldn't finish.. but it ended up being a bit too late in that there were lines at all the reputable bus company terminals in the area, we were confused by all the options, couldn't find a direct route to Chiclayo (picked this place to go to next after much deliberation), nobody spoke English except for 1 guy at one of the bigger companies and he was trying to rip us off, we still weren't fully clear on the differences between cama, supercama, and semicama (3 variations of "first class"), were a bit drunk, tired, things just didn't feel right, so after maybe an hour and a half we ended up going back to our hostel and spending another night there. Here's a map so you can get a better idea of what's going on. Huaraz is right by Huascaran, the tallest mountain in Peru.. also right beside Caraz. Cuzco is where we started, spent some time in Lima, and we were headed to Mancora, which is not on the map, but is basically halfway between Tumbes and Piura. On Sunday we went to iPeru, which was a tourist info office where you could get information and advice about the area in English. We got recommendations on which bus companies to go with in terms of our trip (which would have to be overnight), and it turned out that there were only direct routes to Trujillo, 200km south of Chiclayo, so we ended up buying tickets to there instead. Trujillo was on our radar but ended up losing out to Chiclayo in our initial debate after we realized we could only realistically make 1 stop before we got to our final destination in the northern end of the country. So our plan at this point was to maybe figure out how to get to Chiclayo that very morning when we arrived in Trujillo at 5am - or maybe just stay in Trujillo.. cause.. at some point you just really don't want to be on a bus anymore. We also picked up an English-language newspaper at iPeru, in which we found a long article about how the very hike we originally planned to do out of Huaraz was closed because of a big avalanche that happened back in February. This was weird because I did a lot of research for the trip and in no place was any of this mentioned.. Apparently you could walk halfway but would then have to turn back because the trail was impassable.. parts of the trail were dangerous.. and nobody wanted to clean up the mess (state, federal governments, the park, etc.) There was also an email printed from a German tourist who walked through a part of the trail and said that there was toilet paper and garbage everywhere. So.. That sucks for the region, because the Santa Cruz Trek is the most popular multi-day hike in the area... but the article we found in the paper sort of put a stamp on the feeling that the Santa Cruz Trek was just not meant to be.. Trujillo quickly became our preferred destination thanks to Gary. If you remember, Gary was the American guy from Colorado who was in our Salkantay Trek group, and the last we saw of him he was drunk out of his mind and passed out after speaking in tongues at 4am and being a complete mess. He had a flight out of Cusco at 9am, and we had no idea if he made it.. but then we heard from him! He contacted us on facebook and said that he ended up in a small fishing village just outside of Trujillo and that it was awesome. He then bused it off to the mountains somewhere to the north-east, near the "other Machu Picchu", which was supposed to be far less touristy, not as spectacular, but cool enough, and with less mountains.. or something like that anyway. I totally can't remember the name. It was on our radar but far out of the way.. the bus ride was over 27 hours IIRC. Either way Huanchaco (the small fishing village) was supposed to be really cool and we were looking forward to it. There were also pre-Incan ruins in the region we wanted to see. When it was all said and done the whole experience convinced us that the trip was proceeding according to the plans of the prophets. We bought tickets to Trujillo and would probably make our way to Huanchaco via taxi or bus from there. And for some reason in Peru all city to city bus transportation that took over 5 hours was done overnight.. So we had many hours to kill. We walked around town a bit and at some point ran into this guy selling pets.. felt bed for the little guys but.. maybe they were taken care of okay, who knows. I sure hope so anyway.. A puppy, turtles, hamsters, parrots, and.. I'm not sure what else Here's a bit of a small plaza with a statue of a firefighter holding a baby. It was near the centre of town and very close to our hostel.. I'm not sure why or how but it just feels like this photo captures the essence of Huaraz fairly well It was a rather lazy day really: we had some beers, Lomo Saltado for lunch (A traditional & popular Peruvian dish - a beef, rice, veggie stir fry that also contains french fries), filet mignon for dinner, and some casual reading & internet use at the hostel afterwards.. We had to check out by 11am but the guys working at the hostel let us stay there until 9.. The locals running the hostel were very nice and even eager to learn some English from us. The computer I was using the internet on was even one that they generally used for business related purposes, so that was nice of them as well.. At one point Bjanca showed up and we had to say bye to her because she was going to be attempting a 7 or 8 day long hike through the mountains and wasn't following us north. She was a very brave and confident girl - but humble. Felt very at home in the mountains, which wasn't surprising as she was from Switzerland. It was a bit sad to finally part ways At 9:20 or so we took a cab to one of the many bus terminals in town. We departed Huaraz shortly before 11pm and the conditions on the bus were almost equally amazing as the bus from Lima to Huaraz.. and in some ways even nicer.. but the bed could not fully go 180 degrees and was more like 160.. which made it a bit less comfortable to sleep, but considering that it was on a bus and we were still fairly tired, it seemed incredibly luxurious. This is a map right on the front desk of the hostel we were staying at; it gives you a bit of a better view of the surrounding region and what sort of terrain it was - one imposing range in the north (cordillera blanca) and a much smaller range in the south (cordillera negra). Huaraz is the ibggest red blob in the valley that you can see, in the right part of the map. We came in from Lima from the right and would be leaving towards Trujillo down into the valley to the left. I slept for most of the ride. At about 5am we would arrive in Trujillo and would have to figure out how to get to Huanchaco.