Shawna rapelling down a waterfall in Huaraz
Our second day in Huaraz was mostly free for tourism. It started off as a promising day, with a bright blue sky and a great temperature. Six of us contracted with a tourist company to do 'canyoning', which I took to be repelling down cliffs. Much to my surprise, it was actually repelling down waterfalls! (They did say to bring an extra pair of clothes, as we 'may get a little wet'- we were actually all completely soaked by the end!). We descended one waterfall, and then made a descent just beside the second part of the same waterfall. It began to rain just after we finished the first descent, and since we were all getting cold at that point, we wanted to avoid more icy mountain water! It was fun though, with some definite adrenal moments, and the area was beautiful.
Emily and Steve pose with alpacas in downtown Huaraz
That afternoon we went to the home of our medical student friend, Jose, to have dinner with his parents, the anthropologist and award-winning author (his father writes in Quechua, the native Peruvian language). We had a lot of stimulating conversation with Jose's family, about literature, medicinal plants, and a pre-Incan culture called Chavin, which has ruins nearby which they say are 2nd only to Machu Picchu. Sadly, we didn't have the time to visit the ruins, but we saw many pictures which looked amazing. The Chavin temple which is nearby has many intricately carved statues with snakes, jaguars and their diety which combines features of the two. The temple is 5 stories tall, and natural tunnels funnel light down onto the main carving of the god, which is in the depths of the temple.
That night we travelled back to Trujillo on the sleeper bus, and arrived back home in time to have breakfast and go right back to the hospital!