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laguna parón

PERÚ: CARAZ — LAGUNA PARÓN — CARAZ

Caraz, after a week in the mountains, feels a bit like a teeming metropolis but it is, actually, just a small, friendly laid-back town where you can, if you choose, eat a lot of ice cream and cakes. I spend up big and opt for a private room with a bathroom and a blissful hot shower in a hotel with wi-fi – it comes to a princely $7 per night.

Sunday in Caraz is apparently devoted to putting small children in uniform.

...

I have friends in Huaraz that I’m keen to catch up with but I’m tired and so a couple of days drift by which I devote mostly to eating. I also want to visit Lake Parón, which is only 33 kilometres from Caraz – a short enough trip – but I manage to ignore the important fact that those 33 kilometres include a 2000 metre gain in altitude. Somehow I imagine I can do it in about 3 or 4 hours and set off after a leisurely morning perusing the market. Fat chance!

It's a long climb to Lake Parón...

... through more or less intact native forest.

Despite my optimism, I don't arrive at the lake until around 5PM...

... just in time to see the sun go down and I opt to stay in the refuge, rather than camping on the lake shore.

In the morning, I go out to explore. The water level is low...

... and the weather a little uncertain.

Cows graze around the lake, despite the area's National Park status. I am intrigued by this beast's colourful ear ribbons.

There are a number of proper walking trails that go up to the glaciers above the lake but I take the lazy option and just wander around...

... admiring the plant life...

...in all...

...its...

...variety...

...before wandering back to my bike and rolling on down the hill to Caraz.

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