After 5 days in Lima, tired by the grey sky and heavy air, I decided it was time to move up to the highlands. It was a long way to go and the road meandered for hours through the valleys and Andean villages, till it reached the city of Huaraz, over 3000m up in the mountains. Although there is winter right now at the cost, the highlands are in the time of ‘Andean summer’. The sky is clear and it is warm over the daytime, but the temperature can drop below 5°C in the night.
Huaraz itself lacks a soul but the stunning surrounding makes up for the plainness of the city. It is a ‘mecca’ of all the mounteneers in Peru, full of adventure travel agencies. For a good reason – Cordillera Blanca with its snow-capped peaks is just within a hand’s reach.
However, surprisingly, it is not the tourism that rules the economy of the city. The 80% of the income comes from the mining industry (gold, copper, silver). The nearby Cordillera Negra has been dug into by the mining companies, sometimes it looks like a heart of the mountain has been torn out… A permanent trace left by us, humans, never to be healed.