All about Huaraz.
Buenos Dias Everyone.
It suddenly occurred to me last night, that throughout my blog so far, I have written about everything I have done in Huaraz, but have failed to actually tell you anything about the town. Not on! I thought i´d give you a brief insite as to what it is actually like living in the city.
Huaraz is a faily small city by British standards, with a population of approx 70,000 people. It is situated about 500km North East of the capital and is located in a natural basin at an altitude of 3091m. As such the sun is extremely strong during the day and a fair person such as myself can be burnt in minutes. Suncream and good sunglasses are essential. Huaraz´s high altitude does mean that temperatures can drop significantly as soon as the sun retires for the day. There is no frost, but three blankets are still required in order to get a comfortable and warm nights sleep.
I unfortunately anf quite stupidly have arrived in Huaraz during their wet season, with March being the most unpleasant of all. At present the town is guaranteed at least three hours of torrential rain per day, but luckily it almost always falls at the same time of day, so you can plan around the weather. The rain is unlike anything you would see in Blighty. The rain is the heaviest I have seen and turns the steep roads into raging rivers, carrying all sorts of debris with it. Only yesterday, I saw a large rock going with the flow, before it was stopped by a parked car, with a large bang!
Despite Huaraz´s high altitude ( 6000 feet higher than anything in the British Isle), the town is surrounded on all sides by towering mountains, many capped with snow, despite the fact that we are rather close to the equator. During the morning when the sky is most clear, fine views of Huascaran, South America´s 3rd highest mountain at 6840m can be enjoyed, although it is normally shrouded in cloud by noon. There are many adventurous activities on offer, as one might expect in such a spectacular location, with some challenging treks, rock climbing, mountain biking and even snowboarding on offer. I hope to partake in some of these activities before I leave.
Huaraz´s location in the mountains, does have its problems though, no more evident by the fact that most of the town was completely destroyed by a severe earthquake that rocked the town back in 1970. Nealy 75% of the population were killed as well as most of the buildings being destroyed. As a result, almost all of the town was rebuilt and so most roads look very similar. This I discovered is not great when you are new to town and are trying to find your way around town.
One of Huaraz´s greatest assets are its people, who have certainly made me feel very welcome in their city. The population is mostly Indiginous, with the people having an almost Mongal appearance. Many women wear very bright clothing, complete with traditional Peruvian Hats to sheild them from the sun. Men tend to wear more western clothing and I have begun to notice an alcohol problem with some of them. I have been approached by very friendly chaps in the early afternoon totally p·ssed out of their heads!
Music seems to be very important to the people here, with Salsa and Reggaeton blairing out onto the streets from most shops. This is already starting to test my patience a little, although it doesn´t stray dogs in town. This is a big problem, much like the chavs we are so used to back home. I don´t know what is worse, some burberry dressed yob or a pack of dogs ready to inject anyone with a dosage of Rabies. These dogas can turn on each other too, as i noticed last Friday on the way to the pub. Like most people in England I try not to get involved!
So there we go, a nice intro about where i am living. I wish i could post some pics.
Well better dash