Thursday, May 7, 2009

Huaraz and Not-Lima

Operation Lima was a success. After asking around in Nazca to all the bus companies we could find, we figured out how to get to Huaraz without spending more than a couple of hours in Lima. Now, you might think we are being unfair. But even people who like cities have told us to avoid Lima. And after crawling up the walls in La Paz, we were inclined to believe them.

We did, however have a fascinating conversation with a graduate student doing his field work in PerĂº on peasant militias (originally formed to fight against the sendero luminoso) in the Ayacucho area. According to him and his professor, Lima has a much more favorable opinion of Fujimori, in contrast to Arequipa. However, because of how Fujimori favored certain regions, or even certain populations within certain regions, it's more complicated than just Lima liking Fujimori and Arequipa hating him. In Ayacucho, the city liked Fujimori (because of development aid received) and the campesinos hated him. Or maybe I've got that backwards. But anyway, it's complicated.

Fujimori innocent (often found next to signs to vote for his daughter Keiko in 2011, who has promised to pardon him)

Hauraz seems like a paradise for climbing, trekking and maybe even skiing. On the bus we sat next to a German who had brought AT set up. He had a very sharp Dynafit jacket on, too. I was jealous. Who wants to come to the Cordillera Blanca with me next season? There's big wall and sport climbing as well as fluted, scary-looking summits over 20,000 ft.

View of HuascarĂ¡n (22206 ft!!) from our hostel.

We are going for a hike in the Quebrada de Santa Cruz tomorrow so will be incommunicado for a few days.

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