Blackbird Peru Teams Have Made It To The Cordillera Blanca!

The first views of the cordillera blanca from Conococha Pass make you really want to get out of the van and start alpine climbing

The first views of the Cordillera Blanca from Conococha Pass make you want to leap out of the van and start climbing!

Today, we boarded our Mercedes Sprinter for the long drive north to Huaraz, Peru, the gateway to the Cordillera Blanca.  After a nice breakfast with fresh eggs and tropical juice, we boarded our shuttle and started the long journey to Huaraz.  

The drive before reaching the Cordillera Blanca is not very inspiring, but as soon as the mountains come into view the drive is worth it!
The drive before reaching the Cordillera Blanca is not very inspiring, but as soon as the mountains come into view the drive is worth it!

 

The shuttle was comfortable and the long drive was a great opportunity to catch up on sleep.  Until you get into the Andes Mountains, the scenery is bleak and quite desolate. There are few trees and the land is flat and there is almost nothing to look at, so you’re not missing much to sleep through the drive!

 Pollo saltado, a traditional Peruvian dish, was delicious at our lunch stop!

Pollo Saltado, a traditional Peruvian dish, was delicious at our lunch stop!

We broke up the drive with a quick stop for lunch.  While I’m still not able to bring myself to do it, some more adventurous than I ordered the Cuy – fried guinea pig.  These little buggers are a staple in Peru and elsewhere in South America, and if you can handle it, apparently they’re not bad!

 

Cuy, also known as Guinea Pigs, appear on the lunch menu throughout Peru and South America.

 

The Cordillera Huayhuash is another incredible mountain range in Peru, just south of the Cordillera Blanca.  It is seen here from Conococha Pass.

The Cordillera Huayhuash is another incredible mountain range in Peru, just south of the Cordillera Blanca.  It is seen here from Conococha Pass.

As soon as the glowing peaks of the Cordillera Blanca and the Cordillera Huayhuash appeared at Conococha Pass, we were instantly enthralled.  When these mountains first come into view they are intense – huge, steep and brilliant white.  They contrast the barren landscape and look absolutely ferocious – like the fangs of a wolf, piercing the sky.  It’s a surreal view and the peaks are so vivid it’s shocking. 

Our hotel in Huaraz, Peru.

Two of our climbers enjoying the courtyard at our hotel in Huaraz.

We checked into our hotel, a nice little oasis in the city, and walked toward the city center for food.  There are lots of good restaurants in Huaraz, but finding the right spots can be a challenge.  With a few good restaurants up our sleeve, we grabbed a great meal at Creperie Patrick, a nice place with traditional Peruvian food and crepes...go figure!

 

Dinner at  Creperie Patrick in the center of Huaraz, Peru.

Dinner at  Creperie Patrick in the center of Huaraz, Peru.

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