Adventures in Peru – Hiking Across the High Plain

A few years ago, I was planning on spending the whole month of July in the neighboring district of Ayacucho, working with other missionaries there, but as often happens here, plans change. One thing I did plan on was to make a stop at a nearby village to see if I could get a bit of a respite, rent a canoe and explore some remote trails. However, a few last minute things fell through and I wound up stuck in a capsized eleven foot rubber raft, which capsizes pretty quickly, but that’s not really the way you want to experience this part of the world. So instead I decided to head South to a little village called Huambo.

6 hours later, I arrived at Huambo, which is a remote little Peru village where I had heard that there was a road to the high plain. For a fee of $2.50 per person that included your boat and equipment, and if I remember right they also had the paddle and life jacket available for $4.00 per person, it sounded like a reasonable route to me.

Deciding to go to the north side of Huambo, I drove out of town about 5km and turned into the primary road, which is a dirt road that winds up and down all the way to the high plain. It was a great drive, not much wider than a regular car but thankfully it was on a weekend with no snow to slow the cars down.

The first half of the walk from the car to the ranch was easy, even though the second half would be 20km later, and by this time I was glad that I had remembered my map and remembered to bring a compass and, worst case scenario, a GPS.

At 11:30 I reached the rim of the canyon, which is the part that the Indian tribes told us was the home of the Tall Mans, contrary to version in the B movies. It was a pretty steep descent, but thankfully the main road was still quite good and I got to see a decent sized crater that helped me work up speed. It was time to go around the crater, I decided that going to the top of the rim would be a good idea.

It would be an easy enough walk, even without the GPS, but I was pretty tired by now so I drove to the top of the rim, which was about 4km, or 1 1/2 miles. There was a small marked trail going to the top, but it didn’t connect up with the main trail, which didn’t look like the right way to go anyway. I went down the trail a ways and stopped for a few short rest breaks, which was almost an hour by my watch, and came up again. I was ready to go again, as were most of the other members of the team. Almost as soon as we began our descent into the crater, the GPS stopped working, it started trying to batt up with a function that it shouldn’t have. It finally worked on the way down, but when it tried to migrate to the top, it lost the ability to guess how much river water would be going into the crater. I got it checked at the local Festigian Camp, and it was grudgingly agreed that it was probably the rain.

We arrived at the bridge in a hurry, only to find the area affected by the rains completely washed out. The bridge was not in our final plan and we decided to dump our gear and finish the hike on the beach at the edge of the crater. The next morning the rain continued and we were lucky to find an uncovered lot and an uncrowded beach that our group could camp next to. The water was high and rough and we decided that while the R/V might be able to handle it, the tent might not. After all the surrounding vegetation could probably be cut down to feed the mangroves, right? Well, that’s exactly what we did, and we are discussing whether or not that was the right decision. There were also a few hidden surprises after we stopped on the beach, such as this guy who chopped off his arm to survive a counted Ent in the recent rainfall.

How Agate City came to be There are still a few people living in Agate City, mostly those that built the city before it was swallowed up by the sea. There’s always a question of whether they will ever be able to rebuilt it to its original form. If you are fortunate enough to tour the city while it is still standing, there are still a few architectural wonders to behold, such as the note paper left in the water tower, which features the skyline of White Beach, along with a detailed explanation of the city’s original charter.

Water sports fans, don’t miss the wreck park behind the San Diego Zoo. It’s a wonderful wildlife spot and a haven for bird watchers.