It is 6:30 am and there is someone outside my spacious 3-man tent (which I have all to myself). “Amigo Paul, here is your hot water and coffee”.
These are just a couple of the special touches you can expect when trekking with Huaraz Treks and Climbs in Peru. And when you’re camped at 4500 m and the temperature is somewhere south of 0 C it is really appreciated. Every day starts the same way.
I unzip the icy-crisp tent fly and there is a large bowl filled with steaming hot water, and an espresso coffee. “Gracias, Rodolfo”
For a sixty-ish seaside-dwelling Sydney-sider these luxuries make all the difference.
This is my second year trekking with Rodolfo and his crew; for one of my fellow trekkers, it is his fourth time.
In 2017, we did a couple of the shorter treks (4-6 days) but this year we are doing two 10 day treks – the Huayhuash circuit and the Alpamayo circuit. My companions will be staying on after I go home to climb some mountains – Rodolfo is a highly qualified and experienced climbing guide as well as trekking guide. And he’s a very good alternative to a travel agent to boot.
7 o’clock is breakfast time, and while we tuck into some really good warming food and more coffee, our tents are packed away and loaded onto the donkeys. Then we collect our snacks for the road and we’re away by 7:30 am.
Most days we’re walking 6-8 hours, leaving plenty of time enjoy a leisurely picnic lunch (which our cooks have carried for us), to explore, take photos, or enjoy the late afternoon sun in camp.
The pace is always measured – when you’re ascending 1,000 m to a 5,000 m pass, you don’t want to be in a hurry. And you really want to be able to enjoy the stunning scenery, not gasping for breath trying to keep up with a speedster. There are no prizes for coming first!
Reaching camp, our tents are already pitched for us and afternoon tea is on in the mess tent. There’s always plenty of food but you can’t afford to eat too much now because a 3 course dinner is in the offing in a couple of hours time.
The dishes that come out of the kitchen tent, conjured up by the chef with a double boiler and a fry pan, are amazing. And always a surprise! After dinner, there may be a game of cards or time to check back on the days photos before retiring.
Huaraz Treks and Climbs is based in Huaraz, and it is in this town that we stay while acclimatising to altitude and between treks. There are plenty of restaurants, a range of hotels and a vibrant and intriguing market place. There always seems to be some sort of celebration going on.
If you want to walk amongst 6,000 m snow covered peaks in relative luxury, watch condors wheeling in the clear blue sky and meet the hardy locals who make the Andes their home, this could be the place to add to your list.