Posted by: stacylynn12 | March 21, 2012

On the Road Again

And… A Tribute to the Special People in and around Huaraz, Peru.

Llanganuco Lakes


Goodbyes are hard. Especially when you don’t know when you’ll see the people and places you are saying goodbye to again. Our last days in Huaraz were spent not like travelers but like the locals we’d become…. albeit short time locals. We had errands to run – new headphones for long bus rides to buy, photocopying to pick up, borrowed cell phones to repair and return and sadly, doctor visits to make. Yes, after 9 months on the road… the traveler bugs caught up to us. Not the bug that bites that makes you want to travel more, though that had happened too. These were the kind that send you running to the baño and then hoping you might die instead of enduring the next 48 hours.

Joshua was the first to fall victim. After a week of “my belly hurts” with few other symptoms except a moderate fever; we spent a day visiting Huaraz’s finest doctors. It was all too similar to our escapade that landed him in the hospital for 6 days after his appendix nearly burst. At least we knew it wasn’t his appendix. Thanks to the kindness of our friend Jenn, I did not have to spend the day attempting to decode medical Spanish. This is much different than preschool Spanish. Jenn held my proverbial hand while I panicked that something awful was happening to Joshua. In the end, after a pediatrician visit, an ultrasound, a specialist visit and another ultrasound, all was declared fine. Still unsure, we emailed all the ultrasound photos back to Seattle Children’s Hospital and the surgeons there responded that it seemed that Josh had something with a very scary sounding name but alas it was nothing more than a few swollen lymph nodes in his belly, caused by some unknown and wholly benign virus. Crisis averted.

In the midst of all that my sister Jennifer and her husband Geoff arrived for a whirlwind visit. Highlights included a little R and R at the Lazy Dog, an overnight trip to Chavin de Huantar (pre-Incan ruins on the east side of the Cordillera) and a couple of stunning days at Llanganuco Lodge.

A ~ 2,500 year old carving at Chavin de Huantar

Stacy with the massive Huandoy in the background

Upon their departure, the rest of us followed suit with the sickies… first Randy with a runny bum (I stole this term from a British blogger, it’s the funniest way I can find to describe in not too much detail what was going on). Then me… let’s just say I had it times two aka… both ends. This delayed our departure from the Lazy Dog and had me in near hysterics as we’d planned lots of “goodbyes” that now seemed like they would not happen. I could not imagine leaving without saying goodbye to the kids, the women in the community and our friends in Huaraz, yet I could barely walk from the couch to the bathroom.

Our gracious friends Jenn and Ted were hosting a goodbye party for us and when we called to cancel, Ted said “Well, you are in luck! We have party insurance! Let’s just do it tomorrow night!”. Despite having incredibly busy lives, they always made time for us and made us feel incredibly welcomed into their circle. For this we will be eternally grateful.

I did get to the school to say goodbye to the kids. Their enormous, toothless smiles will carry me forward. I did get to see my friends Nancy and Yovanna and to tell them I hoped I’d see them again soon. We did have a rockin send off at Jenn and Ted’s complete with climbing on their cool backyard wall, live music, burgers, a campfire and a bit too much wine, though sadly I refrained from too much climbing or drinking for fear of unpleasant side effects. (I was better but still not quite there).

Jenn pulls some moves
I try to follow… I still look like a climber huh? Sorry, after all these years, I still love climbing pictures!

We left the following morning on a bus to Casma – 2 1/2 hours to the coast. Poor Bodhi was the last to fall subject to the bug… pukies and poopies oh boy. Fingers crossed we are all well now. As I type we are on another bus heading north up the coast to Chiclayo where we will catch an overnight bus to Chachapoyas. From there we’ll head further north into Ecuador for a very short whirlwind tour up to Quito. We’re hoping to catch some of the Semana Santa festivities (Holy Week – one of the largest celebrations in much of Latin America) before we depart to Akumal, Mexico for 8 last days on the beach. On April 11th, we fly to Maine to begin our migration back to Seattle. Time is running short. Of course we knew it would.

Our time in Huaraz was not long… only 2 1/2 months, yet it provided us with the opportunity to slow down and to feel the sense of community. It also helped us achieve almost all of our travel goals.

Fun – so much fun… meeting new friends, hiking, playing with niños, gardening, practicing Spanish, coffee at Cafe Andino, horseback riding, hot springs, Pisco sours, cooking, conversation and more.

Physical Challenge – sometimes living at 12,000 feet seemed like a physical challenge in and of itself! We did as much hiking as we could and our kids were really super stars in that arena.

Language Immersion – well, you can’t get much more immersed than diving into teaching kids in a foreign language. I may not be coming home fluent but I’ve come a long way! Randy and the boys have picked up quite a bit of Spanish as well.

Education – travel is by default education. It was also incredible to have Joshua attend preschool. The kids in the class asked to put his picture up on the wall the day after he left – sweet. I must admit Bodhi’s homeschooling took a hit while at the Lazy Dog Inn but his Spanish is muy bien!

Sustainable travel – I’m not sure how well we’ve done in this department. I think world travel by default is unsustainable… at least from a carbon usage perspective. I am however unwilling to live with the alternative and I hope the educational benefits outweigh the global negatives. One of the things that attracted us to the Lazy Dog Inn however is its commitment to sustainability as a business. They do amazing things with composting toilets, recycling and community projects. I highly recommend checking out the NGO affiliated with the Inn –

Relaxation and Rejuvenation – well, this is one area were we clearly fell short. Our days in Huaraz barely allowed time to sit and take a deep breath. There was always something that needed to be done. Never fear though, Mexico is coming!

And now I’ll say goodbye…


Wayne and Diana, thank you for taking a leap of faith and inviting us into your family. You inspire us to be selfless and to strive to do more than we think we can. We love you!

Diana and the boys – well most of them… Bodhi, Josh, Apu and Mayu

Jenn, Ted, Cole, Noah, Toast, Finn and Kila – we love you! With your example, it’s clear nothing is impossible! Thanks for sharing your garden, your friends, your coffee, your time and your toys. We’ll see you somewhere amigos!

Grill master Ted

Sarah – our time at the Lazy Dog would not have been the same without you. Your creativity is inspiring. See you in Quito friend!

Danielle – if I’m ever in the hospital, I hope you are my nurse! Thanks for being so kind with our kids… This year holds great opportunity for discovery I think… Suerte!

Nancy – Estoy enamorado con tu sonrisa! Es infeccsiosa. Gracias Amiga!

Yovanna – La proxima vez, vamos a tomar Pisco Sours juntos! Te echo de menos ya.

Nancy, Stacy, Yovanna

Carlos, Tito, Donato and Hermogenes – Gracias por enseñarme a Randy el arte de la carpintería!

The kids of Yurak Yacu – Me encanta con ustedes!

Yesenia – Usted tiene un futuro brilliante! Echaré de menos la enseñanza con usted.

Ethel – Gracias por enseñarme español! Me gustaría tener más tiempo.

Bruni – we love your wild hair that seems to match your personality and your incredible rendition of “This little light of mine!” is permanently etched in our minds. Suerte con todos!


Rachel, Stacy, Jenn and Bruni


Mike and Rachel – Thanks for sharing your space with us. You’ve landed amongst amazing people. We hope your time there gives you and the kids gifts yet unseen.

Danan – Thank you for all the care you provided Randy. He thanks you for fixing his foot and elbow. Amazing!

Danan and Randy

Teo – Amigo! Siempre seguro, siempre sonriente … los caminos llenos de baches a la Lazy Dog habría sido mucho menos divertido sin ti!

Randy and Teo at Llanganuco Lakes

Max, Runtu, Mayu and Apu – we love you too but Apu, please chill out. 🙂

And lastly, Jen and Geoff – thanks for making the trip to visit us! We are so glad we got to share this cast of characters with you!

Pisco Sours con mi hermanita!


Hasta La Proxima!


The Earlywines





  1. A-mazing!! What a fantastic experience you guys have had. I can’t believe you’re going to be back in the states on April 11!!! Do you have a projected return date to Seattle? And do you have a projected return path? I’m sad for you that your time on the road is coming to a close, but I’m really looking forward to seeing your faces in person! Love you guys!

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