Huaraz, Peru (day 3) Laguna Llanganuco

Our third day in Huaraz, Olivia ran a fever during the night, so I didn’t think we would make it out to the lake like we had planned. However, she slept in late and when she woke her fever was gone, so we decided to get out despite the late start. It was going to be a pretty low-key day anyways – mostly driving.

The lakes we were headed to were high up in the mountains, Lagunas Llanganuco.

Beautiful farmed countryside

Beautiful farmed countryside

The drive up was pretty. We accidentally took the wrong mountain road up, so it was particularly challenging, but John managed it like a pro and we were there not much later than we had anticipated.

The Cordillera Blancas

The Cordillera Blancas

We were unprepared for the beauty that awaited us at the lake.

We made it to the lake!

We made it to the lake!

At the lake

At the lake

The first lake sat below a huge glacier, and was absolutely breathtaking.

Laguna Llanganuco

Laguna Llanganuco

The water was a gorgeous teal blue color. Our guide told us it’s that color because of the algae that grows at the bottom of the lake. We decided to take a little boat ride out into the water.

Ready for a boat ride!

Ready for a boat ride!

It was a fun little excursion.

Nice day for the lake

Nice day for the lake

Cliff really wanted to throw his baby doll over the side for a little swim…but we successfully saved the baby.  John got to row the boat for a bit, too, which was a fun experience for him.

Rowing our boat

Rowing our boat

We were a heavy group, with six of us in the boat!

Enjoying the water

Enjoying the water

We missed lunch at the little “restaurant” that was by the lake, but the mamitas were able to scrounge up two pieces of choclo for the kids.

Happy to have some lunch!

Happy to have some lunch!

Chowing down on choclo

Chowing down on choclo

Choclo is Peruvian corn. It’s boiled and then traditionally served with a piece or two of queso fresco. The kids love it, which is good because it’s on pretty much every menu and in every market.

After the kids finished their light lunch, we decided to take the rocky road down just a bit further and get a peek of the next lake.

Lake under the mountains

Lake under the mountains

The second lake

The second lake

 It was beautiful too!  The road was pretty bumpy in places!  We were so glad for a 4×4 vehicle on this trip.

Part of the road ahead

Part of the road ahead

Runoff from the mountain

Runoff from the glacier

Crossing one of the numerous bridges

Crossing one of the numerous bridges

After crossing a land bridge, we came upon a herd of cattle that were grazing in the bright green grass.

The land bridge across the lake

The land bridge across the lake

Cows!

Cows!

 Cliff was enchanted.  He loves cows!  We grabbed a snapshot with our Texas A&M flag before loading back up into the car.

Gig 'em Ags!

Gig ’em Ags!

 It was such a fun excursion!

On the way back down the mountain, we picked up some hikers who were growing weary under the hot sun.  It was a crowded but nice trip down the mountain and we enjoyed visiting with the Austrian hikers and admiring the scenery.

The snowy Cordilleras

The snowy Cordilleras

Waterfall beside the road

Waterfall beside the road

Farmland beneath the Cordilleras

Farmland beneath the Cordilleras

 Once we got down the mountain road, we had a late lunch, or early dinner, in Yungay.  The kids had fun chasing a cat around the restaurant during before and after the meal.

The last stop on the list for the day was the cemetery in Yungay, where 25,000 people were killed in The Ancash Earthquake of 1970.

Walking to the memorial

Walking to the memorial

 It was the deadliest natural disaster in Peru – the entire town was completely wiped out in just 3 minutes.

Memorial at sunset

Memorial at sunset

 Today, there is a beautiful memorial site where the city and the Plaza de Armas once stood.

Walking through the memorial

Walking through the memorial

 You can still see a bus, sticking out of the ground – not much more than twisted metal in the dirt.  It was a sobering tour.

Old bus

Old bus

 As the sun was going down, we were amazed by the beauty of this place.

Sunset

Sunset

 Thankfully we made it back to Huaraz without incident through the very dark mountain roads.  It had been a long day.  We were all ready for some rest!

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