August 22, 2007
I was awakened early this morning with a knock on the door from my hotel's owner and a note passed underneath. The succinct note was from Rich. The stomach illness he had recently picked up had taken a turn for the worse overnight, so he wouldn't be able to go to Huayhuash with me. I couldn't get mad at him for being sick, and I certainly couldn't blame him for not wanting to go when he wasn't sure about his health. Huayhuash is so remote that there's no way we'd be able to get rescued in an emergency, and if an injury or illness happened between high passes, our very survival could count on being able to walk up the side of a mountain to get back to civilization. You should only attempt Huayhuash if you're 100%.
Still, that note might as well have been a sledge hammer aimed at my head. Trekking the Huayhuash Circuit was my only reason for coming to Huaraz. I thought people would be jumping at the chance to go with me. After all, I had all the gear necessary to do the trek, maps, and even a day-by-day plan. I just didn't want to go alone. We'd pay far less than any tour company could offer. Yet after a week of leaving notes on the town's main message board, talking to everyone I met to see if anyone was interested in going, and lots of patient waiting, I was back to the drawing board. I had to meet someone in Ecuador in a few weeks, so I no longer had the time or the ambition to continue looking for more people. I wouldn't be able to go to Huayhuash.
I've found the same thing to be true consistently for the last few months. It's nearly impossible to find people who want to do adventurous stuff. I don't get why it's such a big deal for people to do the exact same stuff that every other tourist before them has already done. Sure, there are some touristy things that are necessary to do in Peru, like going to Machu Picchu. But when you get home, you won't be talking about seeing the colonial architecture of blah blah blah town or going to such and such museum. You most definitely would be talking about the Huayhuash Circuit, however. Traveling alone can really suck sometimes. I keep thinking that there must have been something else I could've done to avoid this situation, but I haven't come up with anything yet. I feel like I've wasted the last week of my life.
There's really nothing else for me here. There are plenty of long, interesting treks to do, but of course I can't do them without any friends. There are also a few short treks in the area that I could do alone, but none of them look very interesting to me. I decided I should just cut my loses and get out of here tomorrow.