«What happens when you
get directions for a nice hike while you're wasted!»
Estephan recommended a sunday hike up to Laguna Churup, a hike up to 4450 meters which would be perfect for our well needed acclimatisation. And if you're still fit you can go further up to Laguna Churupito, which all in all is supposed to be a round trip of 6 hours. In my drunkenness I mistook his recommendation to take the right trail up to Laguna Churup,
as to take the right side to continue further up to Laguna Churupito.
So I had it in my mind that if it's not wet we should pass Laguna Churup on the right side, which is basically a scramble up some sketchy terrain to a ridge. And follow that ridge up and down till you find a passage that we'd be able climb down to Laguna Churupito. Totally confident that we are on a lesser known special hike, we managed to find our way up to 4800 meters. It really grinds you down, this up and down, but the effort was well worth it! The view up there was incredible. And the exercise only means a better acclimatisation for us.
On the climb down to Laguna Churupito the concentration started to fade, and we were quite released once we got to a normal trail again. Still we were exhausted, our legs were weak and we were running out of time, since the last collectivo (mini van) to get back to Huaraz is leaving at 6 o'clock. It was 4 o'clock and we were still somewhere 2.5 hours away from the bus stop. Luckily half way down we run into a group of farmers and their driver offered us a ride to Huaraz. Not knowing if we'd make it down to the collective we happily accepted the offer and ended up in a mini van tightly squeezed between good-humoured cholas that had a big laugh about the gringos in their collectivo.
Once we told Estephan where we've been, he looked puzzled and meant «but there is no way on the right side». We'll there was one and it took us about 10 hours to walk the Laguna Churup circle. Ow doh, i wouldn't recommend it if you're not an avid hiker and feel comfortable climbing downwards a bit.