Friday, September 20, 2013

Caraz

We left the farm in Aticara on Friday afternoon, and hopped in a cab to Caraz.  Normally we would have taken the bus, especially since it was about a 4 hour drive, but Eilif had taken a cab home from Caraz, and paid for us to continue back, down the road in it.

The drive was unbelievable.  On the way into Aticara, we took the night bus, and missed the incredible scenery, but on the way out, we left at 4:30 PM, and were blessed to be able to witness the sunset over the Canon del Pato, which is NOT to be missed!

The canyon is literally up there with the Grand Canyon back in the states, but in a different way.  It was an all dirt road, and the cabby, Victor was driving it like the grand prix.  We bounded down the mountain, as the sun was setting over the canyon, and could see the gradient volcanic colors of the mountains dipping into the distance.

This road was a nail biter to say the least.  We were both silent, sitting in the Chinese minivan Victor was driving, but there wasn't a need for words...

After a couple near misses with oncoming buses, we were into the sunset, and down the mountain in half the time it would have taken to be on the bus to Caraz.  After the sun went down, and darkness closed in, we were down in the valley below, and starting out ascent into the next high altitude city of Caraz.

We passed through a hydroelectric town of Huancayo, and through several tunnels that were just cut into the rock, with no cement support.

We finally made it to Caraz that night, and checked into the hostel "Chavin," before making our way out to eat at "La Terraza," which turned out to be quite a treat, after eating vegetarian cuisine for the last 2 weeks on the farm.

We headed to a liquor store to pick up a couple beers after dinner, and ended up being invited to sit with a couple locals and chatting for a few hours.  We ended up in the plaza de Armas, with a firework and hot air balloon show for the evening, and talking late into the evening with Daniel, a Peruvian man, who kept insisting we visit him and his family in Lima for dinner, over a small bottle of "Cat's Claw liquer" that was made by one of the locals.