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.
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.
We were unprepared for the beauty that awaited us at the lake.
The first lake sat below a huge glacier, and was absolutely breathtaking.
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.
It was a fun little excursion.
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.
We were a heavy group, with six of us in the boat!
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.
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.
It was beautiful too! The road was pretty bumpy in places! We were so glad for a 4×4 vehicle on this trip.
After crossing a land bridge, we came upon a herd of cattle that were grazing in the bright green grass.
Cliff was enchanted. He loves cows! We grabbed a snapshot with our Texas A&M flag before loading back up into the car.
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.
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.
It was the deadliest natural disaster in Peru – the entire town was completely wiped out in just 3 minutes.
Today, there is a beautiful memorial site where the city and the Plaza de Armas once stood.
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.
As the sun was going down, we were amazed by the beauty of this place.
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!