Santa Cruz Trek – Peru’s Cordilleras

I dreamed I was hired as a submarine pilot, assigned to the job not because of skill level but because I was the last crew member left that hadn’t gone crazy witnessing all the darkness and solitude in the depths of the ocean around them. The mission was to extract a pure element out of this darkness and return it back home to sea level. On my journey I witnessed fighting whales, giant squid, battling submarines from opposing countries, warfare, animals I’ve never seen before with colors I would have never imagined possible. A world around me displayed her magnificence which few have been lucky enough to witness, and I was fortunate enough to have maintained my sanity throughout the expedition, extract the element and return to shore. Upon presentation, the element was poured into a glass like silk, it was clearer than water, lighter than air, and stronger than steel. It was purity found in the depths of darkness.
It has been said that high altitude conjures up wicked dreams. I awoke from this journey on my last night in Huaraz, Peru, sweating, and pondering what my subconscious was trying to share with me, and after a bit of analysis, it might be this: Everyday we face our own struggles and know others fighting their own as well, against adversity, for equality, peace, and love. It is in this darkness, in the depths of the ocean, where victory seems so far, that the most beautiful elements and ideas are born.
After four days on the Santa Cruz, a little bit of hail, 4,750 meters (or 15,500 feet), lots of oatmeal and 50 kilometers, Punta Union was tough, but not impossible.

Jocelyn and I arrived in Huaraz on June 2nd, after taking an overnight bus from Lima, immediately after the day bus from Huancayo to Lima, which was immediately after the Tren Macho from Huancavelica to Huancayo.


The Peruvian woman that gave us a brief history on the receding snow caps said “Esto no se trata sobre en qué país están los Andes. No importa que sea Perú. Los Andes no están en Perú, son parte del Mundo. Y es nuestra responsabilidad a protegerla y reducir nuestro impacto negativo al medio ambiente.”

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Otherworldly. I remember when I would look out the window and see touring cyclists and wonder when the day would be that I would tour. I remember day hiking and seeing thru-ers and wonder when I would thru. And I look up at these peaks and dream of the day I would have the opportunity to ice pick my way up. Someone recently told me “las oportunidades no se presentan en un plato, las tenes que buscar.”

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