Here Comes The Sun & Other Paganism: Quilcayhuanca – Cojup (again)

The agony of waiting for the morning sun and the ecstasy when it pops over a hill are accentuated in the Cordillera Blanca. The sun is so hot and we’re often so high that the difference between sun and shade is staggering. We plan camp spots based on where will get get warming rays first, then sing ‘Here Comes the Sun’ to goad it out of hiding as we shiver over the camp stove. When it appears we’ve been known to whoop and dance. Then an hour later we’re sweating and cursing that bloody sun. A few years of high altitude journeys has done nothing if not make pagans of us; it’s hard not to dabble in some sun worship these days.

With a good weather forecast and a companionable ray of sunshine in the form of Alex the Austrian we spun our bikes up into the hills. After a night at The Hof we set off bright and early for Quebrada Quilcayhuanca…

In Quebrada Cayesh.

Under blue skies the flowers are beginning to bloom.

In Quebrada Cayesh

Will this make the clouds disappear? These days we try anything…

Gazing at the flanks of Nevado Cayesh

We bow down to Cayesh…….


Quebrada Cayesh

……giver of tasty water…….

A friend in Quilcayhuanca

“Why are gringos such weirdos? Why don’t they give me some decent food? I’m fed up with instant noodles! After all I barked at the cows and kept them away all night!”

Crossing Paso Huapi (5080m)

Pike and Messner, descend from Paso Huapi…

Ranrapalca (6160m)

Bloody-eye Ranrapalca keeps its cloudy bonnet on…

Pucaranra (6160m)

Around here they worship the Apus. Mountain Spirits….

Chinchey (6220m)


Pucaranra (6160m)


Nevado San Juan (5840m)


Palcaraju (6200m)


Palcaraju (6200m)


Lupins and Palcaraju (6200m)

…I think Neil does too…




5 thoughts on “Here Comes The Sun & Other Paganism: Quilcayhuanca – Cojup (again)

  1. anna

    Good to see a sign of life but me thinks you aren’t gallivanting in those mountains currently!

    Lovely and inspiring photos, as always. Hope life is good.

    1. Harriet and Neil

      No gallivanting at present! We are growing bellies and staring at laptops in the UK! The book is on the brink of done…..Then what? Who knows?

  2. Aurora

    So beautiful! I headed up Quebrada Quilcayhuanca when I was in Peru a few years back – but the pampa was so drenched, and the clouds so low – I did not make it over the pass – and instead headed back to Huaraz! Lovely – and a reminder I need to get back there! Keep the posts coming!

    1. Neil and Harriet Post author

      Hi Aurora, It is a wonderful place! Tell all your friends! Also please buy our guide book to the area when you do go back: it is coming out in January (we’ll post details nearer the time). It has detailed maps so you can find your way over the pass in spite of the clouds! Or if you go in dry season there won’t be a boggy pampas or clouds! We have been finishing off the guide which is why the posts have been a bit slow at appearing recently – sorry! Cheers, Harriet

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