My first trip up into the mountains here was a hike in Huascaran national park. We started early from Huarez and headed up into the mountains. I got a glimpse of the highest peak in Peru, Huascaran, on the way in to our walk. Peruvian mountains are very beautiful partly due to the flutings - soft snow ridges which pile up along the sides of the peaks. The valley we passed through was gorgeous. There were lots of interesting plants - gnarled paper trees which have soft orange peeling bark, a native kind of bright red honey suckle and a native passion fruit with pink flowers and green fruit as well. All around there were always majestic mountains looming over us.
After a lot of hiking up through the valley we climbed over our last hill. We then saw the beautiful alpine lake nestled at the base of Mt. Chakrarahu that we had come to see. It was incredibly blue with a waterfall tumbling into it. Sadly, this amazing lake has been given a pretty non-descript name, lake 69!
After lunch we headed downhill back through the lovely valley. As it is the rainy season here a few misty clouds gathered overhead but luckily none of them turned into rain. I saw a cute little mountain creature on my way through the valley. It looks like a cross between a rabbit and a squirrel. I think it might have been a mountain Viscacha. But let me know if you have a better identification for this little animal!