December 15, 2008
Ben and I had been in Lima a week when we decided to take an eight-hour bus ride to the mountain town of Huaraz. There, we would acclimatize for a few days while we planned a three-day trek in the Cordillera Blanca mountain range. Huaraz was known as the gateway to the Andes, and our new friend Rosa’s family lived there. Before we left Lima, she told us where they lived, gave us a note to give them that said, roughly, “Please give my friends your hospitality for a couple of nights. Your cousin, Rosa.” I had never gone to stay with someone on so little introduction before. But then, we were in Peru, and many things were unfamiliar.