It can be complicated to go after what we truly want so it was impressive to meet someone who has swum against the current for a consistently long period of time to fulfill their vision.
Charlie Good of Llanganuco Mountain Lodge (introduced through the legendary mutual friend Steven Ruhl) gave up his safe career with a solid future in finance and came out to Peru over ten years ago with an ambitious dream. To achieve this, he needed to jump over numerous hurdles with unwavering focus for a long period of time. So much had to happen. It also required courage to invest in a country like Peru. Locals can be mistrusting of outsiders…
For six months he planned and meticulously measured before laying the first brick; camping out under the stars on his newly acquired stretch of wilderness with the backdrop of Peru’s highest peaks watching over him. With only his loyal dog to keep him company he must have experienced a roller coaster of emotions. His dream slowly but steadily unfolded.
At 3500m, the lodge is an ideal base for acclimatisation, conveniently located by the entrance of Huascarán National Park with Llanganuco lakes, Santa Cruz trek, Laguna 69 and Pisco mountain around the corner. Great food, luxury rooms and, of course, world class hikes are literally in its back garden. The business also helps the local community by providing employment and educational opportunities. It was a privilege to stay there and meet the entertaining and charismatic Charlie.
Notes on my route:
I chose dirt for my east-west Cordillera Blanca traverse through the unforgettable Portuachuelo Llanganuco pass. Running out of daylight, I was “forced’ to pitch my tent with Peru’s highest peak towering over me amongst the many switchbacks. Leaving my bike with the porters at Cebollabamba the following morning, I hiked up to Laguna 69 and then directly across to Pisco base camp before descending back to Cebollabamba for nightfall. After passing the lakes, Charlie’s lodge became my base for a couple of weeks where I hiked the Santa Cruz 3 day trek, up to the basecamp of Huascarán and climbed Pisco mountain (5752m).
Now more shots of Huascaran and Llanganuco:
Next: Climbing Pisco Mountain