A week full of goodbye's in Huaraz
Tuesday we left Huaraz and returned to Lima. We exchanged the mountains with snowy tops and the sun for a crowded city in the mist in the middle of the dessert. The Earth Science students (finally after three weeks I know that they are more than just geologists which investigate more than stones) finished their course and are now travelling through all Peru. We will spend the next two weeks in Lima to prepare all our samples we took in Huaraz for transport to the Netherlands.
Elmer ended the last blog by giving you a glimpse of our 2-day hiking adventure to the Quebrada Cojup with the Earth Scientists. The trip was indeed an adventure; 1 guide, 1 cook, 3 man with 15 donkeys, 9 tents for sleeping, 1 tent for cooking, 1 tent for dinner, a lot of sleeping bags and mattresses, 2 coolers with all our equipment, and a lot of food. The camping area was beautiful, just a 20 minutes walk to a lagoon with a view over the mountain tops and the river. The food was pretty good, however the nice decoration of the dinning room at 4400 m may have added to this feeling. However, at night it was really cold, we could even see a layer of ice on the little pools outside our tents the next day. This day was sampling day, but not for me. Unfortunately, one guy felt really sick and had to go to the hospital as soon as possible. Thus, I (speaking Spanish) traveled down with him, he on a donkey, which was really funny to see a tall Dutch guy on a little donkey. But donkeys are strong and he carried him (almost) the whole way down. After spending 3 hours in the hospital, while breathing 100% oxygen and paying only 5 euro's for a X-ray photo, everything is alright with him. Luckily, Guido and Elmer could do some sampling and they have collected some nice insects for us and also plants for Elmer.
Another nice experience was my 25th birthday in Huaraz, which is not a bad place to celebrate. Friday the Mountain Institute and the Peruvian students organized a goodbye-dinner for everybody where we tried the Peruvian dish 'Pollo a la brasa'. Afterwards, the Peruvian students showed us the nightlife of Huaraz, which we already had been enjoying. Interesting was that the club were they took us look exactly the same as the one we had already been to the week before. They all have just the same interior, consisting of nice wooden lounges and a wide dance floor. We learned more salsa dancing from the Peruvians and all the Dutch students, even the ones who were not up for dancing, were on the dance floor at the end!
The next day, a little tired, we celebrated my 'real' birthday in Hatun Machay, which is a climbers paradise with enormous rock formations in a deserted place. With a smaller group we spend there two days climbing, walking, chilling in the sun on the crashpads and enjoying (finally) a free weekend. I could have stayed there for weeks, however, we are still here for our internship and had to return to finish at the University in Huaraz. This goodbye was harder than I expected. We have been working there for 3 weeks, helped by all the staff at the laboratory. We are really thankful for everything they did for us, so it was really sad to be there for the last time. As well, we had to leave our hotel, hotel Galaxia, where we stayed for 3 weeks. This hotel is owned by a sweet old lady with her family. Every morning they made us nice breakfast and gave us the best information about Huaraz. It felt like family, they made pictures and gave us a present when we left.
Now, in Lima, I'm really happy and grateful that we had the opportunity to perform our fieldwork for 3 weeks in the beautiful place Huaraz. I think the three of us have enjoyed our stay there, even Elmer who was sick the last days. He is better now and we are planning to enjoy Lima as much as we did the first 3 weeks of our stay here. We will keep you posted!