Friday, 19 October 2007

Santa Cruz Trek, Peru (early Sept)

The 4 day Santa Cruz trek is one of the most popular treks in the Cordillera Blanca. It is very scenic but sadly the popularity has spread to big groups with donkeys leaving behind huge amounts of manure. The national park is not managed in a way we are accustomed to in Australia with people allowed to run cattle and pit toilets filled to the brim and falling apart, in spite of the 35 dollar park use fee per person!

The trek itself is in spectacular country.


As you trek up the valley there are mountains on both sides, carved by glaciers.


There are bromiliads covering everything. You can see a few on the tree behind Tom.


The lakes are a lovely glacial blue.


Since the days weren't too long we decided on day three to visit the Alpamayo base camp since the sun came out.


We almost saw Alpamayo, once voted the most beautiful mountain in the world.


The one next to it is pretty cool anyway...


Then we crossed the pass at 4750m. We were surprised it wasn't as tiring as expected.


On the other side the views continued to be amazing as we looked down over lakes in the valley.


And then for the drive home, a wild collection of switchbacks. Just gorgeous!


You can check out some more pics in the photo gallery.

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