As one of the “must sees” on our list for our time here, it was with no small amount of excitement that we woke the boys up before dawn to begin this Saturday’s aventura trip. We were met by a friend of a friend by the name of Milton who drove us up to the lake and then hiked with Bo to the peak. The volcano peaks around here are So High that they are almost always covered in clouds, if you get a clear shot it’s likely going to come in the early part of the morning- hence our breakfast and dressing in the dark.
Aside from being a beautiful beautiful beautiful spot that graces many a poster and has called to us to be seen for a while now, there is also an interesting legend surrounding this area. The story goes that ages ago an Incan prince and princess, though madly in love with each other, were denied permission to marry. As the most dedicated legend-lovers do, they decided that they could not live under that verdict and threw themselves into the crater at Mojanda. The death of their love somehow formed the two main lakes of the area: Caricocha (man lake) and Huarmicocha (woman lake). There is also a much smaller lake up in that area known, not as child lake, but as Yanacocha (black lake). It is very unclear to me how that lake fits into the legend…
In any case, it was a visit worth the legend and the wait as I found it to be one of the most serene, beautiful, and quietly powerful places I’ve ever seen. The boys and I enjoyed hiking around the perimeter of the main lake, Caricocha, and hiking up the peak trail and getting lost in its tall grasses, peering for a glimpse of Bo and Milton at the top. Bo and Milton did make it to the top, and in record time! The peak itself is called Fuya Fuya and crests at 4,263 m (13, 986 ft); Milton takes tourists on this hike 2-3 times a week and told us to count on it taking around 3 hours to reach the top. Milton is not accustomed to hiking with Bo Stambaugh of Crested Butte, CO and much to his surprise they made it up and back in less than half that time.
Here’s a gallery of photos from the boys’ and my ramblings, Bo’s hike to the top, and some of our ride back home which I took from the back of the pick-up (how Vaughn, Luke, and I MUCH prefer to travel these days)