On Saturday morning August 11th I met a large group of grade 8 Markham students at 4:45 am! Not my favourite time of the day! We travelled together to the beautiful mountainous region of Huaraz for an outdoor education adventure (or should I say adventureS). We arrived at a hotel nestled in a valley between the glaciers covered mountains of the Cordillera Blanca and the mountains of Cordillera Negre (the White and Black mountain ranges). The trip there took 8 hours through some striking and diverse scenery. Ranging from lush green sugar cane fields to dry, barren hills, multi-coloured squares of drying chillis, vast open plains with white capped mountains towering in the distance.
The outdoor education trip was a 5 day event and I stayed for two of these (with an overlap of one day). That meant I had the great fortune of doing each activity twice, with two different groups of students. The activities included the following:
- Service work (trip 1: river clean up, trip 2 painting a school & tree planting)
- Abseiling in a canyon, including a descent through a waterfall
- A long trek to about 3800m and an overnight camp
- Rock climbing
- White water rafting down the beautiful River Santa
- Mountain biking
Everywhere the scenery was stunning. Many of the “white” mountains are over 6000m and most days we had a clear view of Huascaran, Peru’s highest peak at 6750m.
Below are pictures of the drive ….. plus our stop to buy fruit, followed by the activities with group 1.