Travels

Huaraz: The Tropical Himalayas

“The mountainous region of the Cordillera Blanca is where superlatives crash and burn in a brave attempt to capture the beauty of the place,” so goes the introduction to this region in my Lonely Planet guidebook.

Ancash Region, Peru

Huaraz was never on my radar before I came to Peru, but boy am I glad I went there. What Lima lacks in weather and beauty, Huaraz and the surrounding Cordilleras Blancas make up for a hundred times over. The highest tropical mountain range in the world, the Cordillera Blanca resembles the Himalayas and somewhat dwarfs even the highest mountains in the Rockies. In places like Colorado, the highest mountains aren’t much above 14,000 feet, which is quite high. However, in the area around Huaraz, there are towns higher than that. From my room in the Morales Guesthouse (highly recommended by the way), I had an unobstructed view of the highest mountain in Peru at well over 22,000 feet!

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Travels

Lima, Peru

Pacific Ocean from Barranco

So much for a travel blog, eh? Anyway, since I posted last, something like a month ago, I’ve traveled quite a bit and I figured I’d post some quick recaps of the cities I’ve visited.

Let’s start with Lima. Well, I didn’t so much travel to Lima as live there. Honestly, Lima was fantastic, especially if you like to eat and don’t like to spend money. My rent was $200 per month. 3-course gourmet lunches for $3.50 were the norm and cheaper wasn’t uncommon. Of course, it’s possible to spend a lot of money anywhere you go, but the food you could get in Lima for a reasonable price was unreal.

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Travels

A Weekend Away

After nearly 2 months in Peru, I finally managed to leave Lima for the first time. This past weekend, I took a quick side trip with my friends David and Andrea 5 hours south to Ica, Huacachina, and the Islas Ballestas. With less than a week left of my practicum in Lima, this trip was a bit of a warm-up for the 5 weeks of travel I have planned starting next weekend.

My practicum, speaking of which, has been an absolutely amazing experience that I’ll have to elaborate on soon. I’ve learned more than I imagined possible in such a short time about TB, epidemiology, and public health; made friends with wonderful researchers from Peru and around the world; and hopefully contributed a bit to the research as well. But more on that another time. This post is about travel…

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Huacachina, Peru

So, after a 5 hour bus ride with the latest Fast and Furious movies as company (seem to be a big thing here), the three of us arrived in Ica, a town described in my guidebook as having a “downtrodden air” with a “richly deserved reputation for theft.” Fortunately this wasn’t our final destination and a 10 minute taxi ride brought us to Huacachina, a desert oasis just outside of the town.

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Travels

Huacachina, Peru

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Miraflores, Lima, Peru

Travels

Miraflores, Lima, Peru

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Travels

86 Days in a Carry-On

Well, a carry-on plus a laptop bag really.

I’m in the Panama City Airport right now, waiting for a couple more hours for my plane to take off to Lima, Peru. I’ll be spending the next 10 weeks or so in Peru followed by 2 in Colombia before returning back to the furnace that is Austin in August.

Here’s everything I’m bringing for the next 3 months. I tried to pack as lightly as possible since I’ll be moving around a bit after the first 8 weeks.

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