A Travellerspoint blog

Huaraz, Peru

The Hills are Alive, with the Sound of Music

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Howdy from Huaraz, Peru.
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Huaraz is a town located in the Cordillera Blanca range of the Andes where I have been staying for the last six nights. This is a view of the roof deck on the hostel I have been staying at, Olazas
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View from the deck of the sun setting against the peaks.
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View from the deck of the sun rising on Huascarán.
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Did several day hikes in Huaraz to some of the high mountain lakes. Most of the hikes involve hiring a car and driver to get you to the trailhead. The driver then waits for you to come back down the mountain. The rides are usually around 2 hours up a dirt road one way.

I shared a ride to Llaguana Llaca with a pair of climbers from South Africa who were spending several days climbing some peaks around the lake. This lake is fed by a glacier coming down the mountain which you can see in the pictures. It gives the water a characteristic grey, milky color. You can hear the glacier cracking and moaning while it´s sliding down the mountain. Could be due to global warning, which we all know that Al Gore invented, right??
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Flat Stanley at Laguana Llaca
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Hiked to Laguana 69 a few days later with a guide, Freddy.
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We accessed this hike through the town on Yungay. In 1970 an earthquake hit this area which trigged an avalanche on Huascarán above Yungay. The avalanche created a mudslide that buried the whole town. The only remaining structure of old Yungay is the facade of the church which stands as a memorial now to the 18,000 people that died. Very solemn.

Views hiking up to Laguana 69.
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Laguana 69 is at 4,680 meters (15,354 ft) and is feed by snowmelt only. The water is a super, vibrant blue because there is no plant or animal life in the water.
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I also visited some ruins 3.5 hours away called Chavín de Huántar. These ruins were built 3,000+ years ago. Pretty amazing structures to have withstood that long. Most of the important places in the ruins are underground. Very cool that you can walk or crawl around just about anywhere that you want to go.
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I´ve created a Peru Gallery on my photo website if you want to see other images feel free to click on the link.
Tim Theis Exposure Manager

Next up Trujillo on the Northern Coast of Peru.

The Road Goes on Forever and the Party Never Ends....

Posted by timtheis 13:01 Comments (0)

Greetings from Lima

Well I made it safe and sound to Lima, Peru earlier this week. Staying in the Miraflores district of Lima which happens to be right along the Pacific Ocean, almost just like living in San Francisco. It is good to be traveling again and seeing new sights.

A couple of reminder of what a small world we live in.
1)I didn´t even make it through customs on arriving at the Lima airport and I bumped into someone I knew from the language school in Quito.
2)The very next day while walking along a park just above the ocean, I bumped into an employee from the South American explorers club in Quito. He helped me with some information on planning my Galapagos trip. He was in town piloting a paraglider.
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Been busy exploring Lima. Went to several musuems already that had some impressive displays of gold and historical items. Visited some ruins about five blocks from my hostel, Huaca Pucilana.
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Until 25 years ago modern people were actually living on these ruins. They had built houses and the place was basically a dumpyard of sorts. They have done fantastic job of cleaning it up.

The ruins were built between 200 - 700AD by the Lima civilization (makes sense since I am in Lima). You can still see the handprints of original builders in the bricks 1300+ year later. Check out in the center brick of this picture.
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Took a night tour of downtown Lima.
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The tour included a stop at a new park that had some amazing waterfountains. Some fountains included a laser light show on the fountain and even showed movie clips on the falling water. These photos don´t really do it justice.
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Journeyed to Barranco which is located adjacent to Miraflores for the day. Barranco is a very laid back community of artists. Here is a photo of a church that is falling apart but still somehow pretty.
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This past Sunday I watched the Euro2008 final in Parque Kennedy with about 2,000 of my new Peruvian friends and fellow travelers. A tent was erected and a jumbotron screen hauled in to show the game for free. Very festive atmosphere. The crowd was biased towards Spain, who eventually won against Germany but a good time was had by everyone and no fights or riots broke out.
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Off to Huaraz in the Cordiella Blanca range of the Andes on Tuesday, July 1st. Planning on doing a 5 to 6 day mountain trek later in the week. Huaraz is an eight hour bus ride away from Lima. Hope I won´t be pushing or pulling this bus out of a creek on a muddy road like in Ecuador.

The Road Goes on Forever.....

Posted by timtheis 14:04 Comments (1)

On The Road Again

Just Can't Wait to Get on the Road Again --- Willie Nelson

Well since the beginning of May I've been resting, healing, eating and drinking. My shoulder has been recovering well. Thanks again for everyones thoughts and prayers. I can manage now to eat and dress myself so everything else is just a bonus. I've been going to the gym on a regular basis doing some exercises for my shoulder and riding the stationary bike to stay in aerobic shape. Luckily I haven't fallen off the stationary bike yet!

Many thanks to all my family and friends for helping me out and letting me stay with them during these last couple of months. I feel blessed to have so many great people in my life.

My Mom & Sister with Flat Stanley
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My Friends Kelly, Aaron & Larry the Dog
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My Friends Carolyn and Scott who graciously let me stay in their inlaw unit in the Bay Area.
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I will be heading to Lima, Peru this Wednesday morning, June 25th to continue my travels. I plan on traveling through Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Brazil and Argentina. Returning back to the states in November just in time for Thanksgiving with my family in Texas. I will be making this return trip to South America with my friend Flat Stanley along for the ride, my niece Maddie wants me to continue traveling with him.

Stay tuned for more updates and adventures. Next up Lima, Peru.

Free and Easy Down the Road I Go --- Dierks Bentley

Posted by timtheis 09:35 Comments (1)

Healing Hands of Time

Beer, Bar-B-Que and Country Music in Texas

Went to a surgeon ealier this week for a second opinion on my shoulder. He said very definitively that I should not have surgery at this time. Yahoo for me! He gave my chances to heal correctly at 95%. Mentioned that I will be in discomfort for quite awhile but that within a year I should be able to golf, bike, swim, whatever just like before my injury. On the off chance that everything doesn't heal correctly, I could have surgery in 9 - 18 months. Thanks for everyone's thoughts and prayers.

As for traveling, he said I could start back whenever I wished with the following caveats. I would probably not be able to carry a pack or manuever a suitcase right away and I will have limited motion in my right arm/shoulder for some time. So my current plan is to travel a little around Texas and visit some family & friends for the next several weeks. Planning to get back to South America in late May or early June, depending on how things go.

I've been getting used to doing things one handed the past week. Progress is measured in baby steps. Almost everything is managable but just takes me a little longer. It was a bit embarrasing though when my brother Mark had to cut my steak dinner for me just like one of his kids last week. Hopefully by next week I'll be able to manage cutting it myself.

I'll update my blog at some point in the next few weeks. Feel free to click the subscribe link on the right hand column of the website. You can sign up to be notified when I update my blog again so you don't have to keep checking back.

Once again thanks for everyones thoughts and prayers.

Tim
415-726-5906 cell
tim.theis@yahoo.com

Posted by timtheis 07:25 Comments (3)

Riobamba, Chimborazo and Intermission

Break Time.....

This may be a longer blog than usual since so much has happened in the past week....

After traveling for awhile you start bumping into some of the same people that you have met in other parts of the country. So it wasn't too surprising for me that I bumped into Marcel and Marianne in Banos. I had spent a week with them on the Nemo in the Galapagos Islands three weeks ago. It was fun catching up over dinner one night. Reminds us of how small a world that we all live in.

This past Monday, I hopped on the bus to Riobamba. I luckily arrived during the annual independence day celebration of Riobamba. The streets were filled with food vendors and beer stands. Its was pretty much an all day party and a great end to a bus ride. I spent the afternoon walking around taking in all the sights. Kids walking around with cotton candy and the usual boardwalk games. Although some of the games had an interesting twist, they had a ring toss game where adults could win bottles of hard liquor. Why hasn't this idea caught on the US? Fueled with some liquid courage I tried to win a bottle of tequila for several minutes without success. Oh well.

I decided to mountain bike the next day with a tour group down the slopes of Chimborazo. Chimborazo is the highest peak/volcano in Ecuador. Here is an interesting factoid: It is reported that you are actually closer to the sun on Chimborazo than on the top of Mt Everest because of the equatorial bump. Could come in handy if any of you manage to get on Jeopardy.

The mountain biking guide, Galo was a great tour guide as well. He explained tons of the local history as we drove up the volcano. We passed many vicuna on the way up. Vicuna are a small relative of the llama and alpaca. Extremely prized for the warmest wool of any animal.
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We reached the climbing hut at 4800m (almost 16,000ft) and took a quick photo of myself with Flat Stanley.
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Biking down was great. The top sections were somewhat snow covered but extremely fun. On the easiest section of the trail we had been on that day, I somehow lost control of my bike and went over the handlebars. My entire body weight came down on my right shoulder. Ouch!! Quickly sat up but couldn't manage to move my right arm at all. Galo quickly assessed me and we decided to go to the hospital in Riobamba.

With Galo providing the interpretation, the emergency room doctor explained that I had broke my shoulder and torn the ligaments in three different places. The docs only english words were "piano key". He liked to say this phrase while pushing a bone down on my shoulder and watching the bone spring back up just like a piano key. After doing this to me twice, my spanish lessons kicked in and I told him to stop doing that. Funny how fast your mind translates when you are in pain. Took an xray and determined that I required a surgical fix. The doctor highly recommended me to not have it done in Ecuador. They secured my arm across my chest with about 100 yards of gauze and tape and sent me on my way with a fistful of painkillers in a plastic baggie.

Here is a photo of my xray for the courious types:
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Spent the late afternoon taking care of logistics, calling family back home and packing my stuff one-handed. Maria at my hostel arranged a taxi to pick me up at midnight and take me fours hours to the airport in Quito in time for my flight the next morning back to Houston. It was really amazing how strangers in Ecuador, family and friends all stepped up to help me get back home. I also had a healthy dose of divine interventation. At some point during the evening I realized that the painkillers from the hospital were just a south america version of Tylenol, no wonder my pain was not going away. I would have been better off drinking a six pack of beer!

I flew home on Wednesday morning and was pleasantly suprised to find that I was upgraded to first class, yeehaw. Managed to get my only sleep in two days on the flight. I assumed that I was upgraded because of my pain, my frequent flyer status or they just knew who I was:) A couple of days later I learned that a special angel helped out and upgraded me. Many, many thanks!!

Stepped of the plane in Houston exactly 24 hours after I fell off the bike in Ecuador. My brother Mark picked me up at the airport and had already scheduled an appointment with a surgeon for me that afternoon. The surgeon diagnosed it as an AC 2nd or 3rd degree seperation. He suggested that we give it four - eight weeks before commiting to any surgery to see if my shoulder would heal by itself correctly. I have a second opinion scheduled for Tuesday, April 29th with a shoulder specialist. I would appreciate everyones thoughts and prayers.

On the positive side, I am back in the states to heal. Have access to email and my cell phone
Feel free to catch up with me either by phone or email:

415-726-5906
tim.theis@yahoo.com

Another positive about my accident is that it allowed me to hand deliver Flat Stanley back to my niece, Maddie, in time for the end of her school year.
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I'll update my blog sometime this next week with the latest information.

Tim
The Road Goes on Forever and The Party Never Ends....It's just back in the States for now!!!

Posted by timtheis 07:24 Comments (1)

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