The second half of the drive to Caraz was even more spectacular. The mountains in the lower elevations of the Cordilla Blanco mountain range are a wash of many colors, with little vegetation. The road continued to follow the river, and there were more tunnels – maybe 20 or 30 in all – the longest about 1/2 mile long. Once, we had to back out to let another car go through the other way.
We passed a great little waterfall on the way and stopped to clean up and play. A little oasis right in the middle of otherwise desert landscape, swarming with dragonflies.
In a complete shift in personalities, I actually had to convince Bode to shower in the waterfall with me. Normally I would never strip down (and Bode will ALWAYS run around naked if permitted). I implored, “when are we ever going to get to shower in a waterfall again?”
We hadn’t seen another car in the last hour, but sure enough the minute Bode and I step out after the shower a car passes. Not only passes, but slows and leers at us the whole time he drives by. Nice!
As we drove higher, we began to see some of the over 250 glaciers this mountain range has. Quite a change from leaving the beach yesterday.
Once we reached Caraz, we had a bit of trouble finding the camping we were looking for. The main streets of this town were torn up (and closed) while they repaired some pipes under the street. We stopped in the Plaza de Armas (every town has a town square named Plaza de Armas) and had some lunch.
We finally found the place, which is actually a nice hotel that allows both tent and car camping on their grounds. The weather was getting pretty chilly, so we decided to take their offer of a unfinished room for the same price as camping. Turns out, the room wasn’t completely enclosed, so we would have been warmer in the car. Oh well, at least we had our own bathroom.