Santa Cruz Trek, Huaruz (Days 3 & 4)

It had rained heavily the night before but we awoke to clear skies. This was the first time on the trek. You can catchup with days 1 & 2 here. We were woken up at 5am with the sunlight, I put back on the clothes I’d worn for the two previous days which were by now pretty dirty, had a quick breakfast and again we were on our way. We continued along the valley which took a step drop as you can see with the photos of the lake in the background.

The path took us along the right of the valley and we veered off to see one of the glacial lakes. Before the we there we had to go uphill.

Reaching the too, for now, we found ourselves in a beautiful lush green valley. This is what I assume people mean by meadows.

From here the clouds were clearing at the top of the mountains and I got my best view of the Paramount Mountain. This is of course shot from behind and I waited a long time for the clouds to clear.

After reaching the end of the valley we were presented with one last climb that would take us up to the lake.

And then we reached it. Sadly the summits were still covered in clouds but the Sun was shining and the lake colours were beautiful.

We returned back to te first valley and this time walked down to the valley floor taking steep switchbacks.

It was really hot on the river and we had descended to less than 4000 metres by this point. The river was tiny but I can imagine it being bigger in rainy season but here you can see how this tiny river has eroded such a large piece of land.

We stooped for lunch by the lake and I took the opportunity to drink cool water from the stream. After lunch we continued downhill.

A little further on we got to walk around this lake which provided one of my favourite photos of the hike and even the trip so far.

As the afternoon continued we started to leave the snowcapped peaks behind and you can see the scenery begin to change. We made one final push to our last camp.

When I arrived there I met some puppies and this was the first camp to have a shop. Still no toilets but I treated myself to a coke.

Nothing exciting happened overnight except a little rain and we awoke again early for the final 10 kilometres, this time all down hill. Here you can see the scenery rapidly change as we decrease in altitude.

Again as in other hikes the river is now much larger and is further and further from the path which gets steeper and steeper.

And then the end of the trek was in sight.

After finishing we stopped at a shop/restaurant for some food. Our guide collected a box of puppies for her child and we happily jumped in the mini bus for the three hour journey back to Huaraz. I was dropped at my hostel but luckily I had booked another. I grabbed my things and very happily switched hostels.

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