On Sunday we visited some hot springs an hour out of Huaraz. What an adventure. After trying unsuccessfully to locate the bus that would take us to the hot springs we got in a taxi. Michael negotiated a great rate upfront so we were happy. The taxi driver was hilarious playing Spanish music (including Marc Anthony) very loud and singing all the way. He even started whistling at one stage which was quite nice - especially compared to the singing. When we reached the hot springs, the taxi driver decided to charge 10 soles (about $3.50US) more than agreed. Michael argued the point and they ended up meeting half way which was fine by us - we don´t want trouble.
Once we got to the hot springs we met a lovely Canadian couple who explained they had been waiting for 2 hours - there were only 7 hot springs, two people go in at a time, supposedly for 15 minutes. For some reason we'd waited half an hour and the locals all told us to go into number 1. We soon knew why. We'd been told by our guide about a natural sauna and this was it - not a hot spring. It was pitch black inside and smelt like 100 of the city's rabid dogs had died in there. I wasn't adventurous enough to go in but let's just say I call Michael Mr Stinky now....
At night we went out to dinner and were treated to a street carnival as we ate which was part of the local festivities.
After the jetlag and altitude sickness (6 days after I arrived at high altitude I am still suffering from tingles in my toes and fingertips!), I woke up on a day we were meant to trek feeling like hell. So I sent Michael on his way with our guide (who after being so nice on the day turned out to be not so nice) off trekking alone. After a few hours I felt fine so went walking to nearby Inka ruins about 2-3 hours out of Huaraz. The day started off very sunny but by the time we got to the ruins (walking through various mining towns and villages) it was pouring rain, so it was fun to catch the collectivo back into town where Seren (fellow traveller from England) and I discovered the best cafe in town so far - Andino Cafe. Cosy, two storey and serving a mix of typical Peruvian food as well as international. A great place to spend an afternoon. It turned out that Michael (aka my macho, wonderful boyfriend - at times) was worried about me being sick and had turned around half way on his trek to join me at the hostel (where I actually returned 4 hours later) but he picked up a sick 4 year old boy and his mother in the taxi on the way back, so it was worth it - he did his good deed for the day although I am not sure if giving the sick child a Snickers bar was the right thing haha! Before they´d even reached the hostel, the guide asked Michael for a tip (we´d tipped him generously on the trek befoe as well as buying him a beer and pizza and giving him chocolate!) which was very rude given Michael ended the trek 4 hours early and he only had to take one person not two. Seren and I had a similar problem with another local guide who was talking to us at Andino cafe and decided to put his chai latte on our bill - I don´t think so!
On the second last day in Huaraz, we went on a trek to Laguna 69 as part of a group which was beautiful. The afternoons rain quite badly at the moment and we were lucky to just make it out before it did. Our last day in Huaraz was spent inside at our favourite cafe Andino with some travel buddies we made out of the rain!