We arrived in Huaraz at around 6am the following morning. The town has few traces of history, owing to a catastrophic earthquake in the 1970's. The number of dogs equals or exceeds the number of people. It was a sleepy provincial capital until relatively recently, when gold was discovered in its vicinity. This triggered an influx of rural poor, many who work on strip mines that chequer the vicinity.
Huaraz's tourism, like its economy, is defined less by the city than its surroundings. It's nestled between the shrub-peaked Cordillera Negra and the snow-peaked Cordillera Blanca. Over the next three days, we would take day treks into the Cordillera Blanca to acclimatise for our final destination: Vallunaraju.