No need for a crystal ball to predict the future of Huaraz

D uring a short holiday to the north of Peru, I got to see how much repair work the respective local and regional governments had executed after this area was struck hard by floods and landslides. In one word: nothing. It rains almost twice or three times a day in Huaraz which makes people worry that history might repeat itself. The results of the heavy rainfall and mudslides in the first quarter of last year have also affected tourism, as Huaraz became inaccessible for tourists and many climbers, mountaineers and travellers cancelled their reservations. As expected, there´s hope amongst local entrepreneurs that this year everything will turn back to normal and Huaraz will be a prime destination for national and international travellers. However, it´s not completely clear exactly on what this hope is based.

Have tourism services recently significantly improved? Have local authorities and tourism entrepreneurs come up with a plan to put Huaraz firmly on the map? Are all access roads to Huaraz repaired? Has the only airline that goes to Huaraz dropped its fares to a more attractive rate? Will all bus companies this year choose to freeze their prices during public holidays instead of raising them? Will the Regional Directorate of Foreign Trade and Tourism (DIRCETUR) finally become a respected entity showing leadership? Will local agencies and hostels be able to unite and offer a quality product to the benefit of their consumers? Will Laguna Palcacocha finally be given its much needed early warning system? Will the huaracinos in 2018 elect some proper politicians to govern their province instead of demagogues? Will the road to the Llanganuco Lakes be finally paved? Will tourists be wished welcome when they visit a local restaurant instead of being looked at with a sense of ´what are you doing here´? Will the problem of the touts lurking at the bus stations be solved? Will this year´s carnival be a success? Will local foreign owned NGOs become transparent? Many questions, however, I don’t think you´ll need an orbuculum to answer them. On the other hand, I agree that it´s by far easier to criticise instead of coming up with solutions.

One remarkable thing happened when returning from my short trip which answers all of the above. A couple of days after I got back to Huaraz, I took a taxi. Fares in Huaraz are three soles, that´s it. No need to bargain like in Lima or other big cities in South America, it´s the standard set fare, no matter the number of traffic lights, traffic jams or marches that block off the streets. Arriving at my destination, I paid the driver with a banknote of ten soles. To which he asked, ¨Don´t you have three soles and fifty cents¨? I replied that if he is offering taxi services, he should at least leave his house with some change, adding that I wasn’t paying him with a 100 soles banknote, but a 10 soles one. Additionally, I protested to the fare of 3,50 soles. I said that it´s three soles and not a penny more. The driver and I started a discussion. In the end, the taxi driver indicated that he didn’t have any change at all. After searching his whole car from top to bottom, he was able to find six soles and a couple of cents. I refused his money and said he needed to give me seven soles exactly. It´s not about these couple of cents, it’s about the principle. The driver suggested going to a gas station to change my 10 soles banknote, which I refused, because I was already at my destination and gave him the option of himself going to his house to get change, or not charging me. I believe the discussion took at least five minutes and I could have made it a lot longer if I had wanted. In the end, I explained to this young driver that he had lost five valuable minutes in his attempt to overcharge his client but I imagine he will try it again. Some things will never change in Huaraz, is what I thought when I slowly closed the taxi´s door.

Rex Broekman

Editor The Huaraz Telegraph

More columns

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

*

Alianza Lima suffers shock defeat in Huaraz against Sport Rosario

An efficient performance by Huaraz-based club Sport Rosario saw the Auriazules overcome a lacklustre Alianza Lima 3-2 at Rosas Pampa […]

Alisa Clamen after completing Santa Cruz Trek: “It felt like I completed something Jesse couldn’t”

Jesse Galganov´s mother Alisa Clamen looked incredibly tired when the editor of The Huaraz Telegraph met her yesterday morning for […]

Jesse´s father keeps his promise and heads to the Santa Cruz Trek

Though one day delayed, at six o´clock sharp this morning, Todd Galganov left Huaraz by private car heading for the […]

Thirty-five people got killed in traffic accidents in Ancash between January and April

In just four months there were already 235 reported traffic accidents in the Ancash region, killing 35 people and more […]

Hotel San Sebastian and 13 Búhos gain spots in newest edition of Rough Guides

Although most travellers nowadays carry tablets, smart phones and even laptops to gather their tourist information while exploring a foreign […]

Without a budget, the Peruvian Army and Police Force start a massive four-day search for Jesse Galganov next week

There are anxious days ahead for Todd Galganov who is getting everything done to prepare for what appears to be […]

A troubled father who deserves the compassion of a city

A couple of weeks ago, I had the pleasure of meeting Todd Galganov, Jesse´s father for the first time. A […]

Todd Galganov eager to meet either Canadian PM or President Trump in order to find Jesse

Between April 13 and 14, the eighth edition of the Summit of the Americas will be held at Lima, Peru […]

Todd Galganov in tears during dramatic press conference; ¨where is my son¨?

Jesse Galganov, the now 23-year-old backpacker from Montreal, Canada, has been missing for 180 days and sadly, so far there […]

An average of almost two Peruvians per day go missing in Peru; never to be found

On the 8th of February during his television programme Beto a Saber, Peruvian journalist Beto Ortiz shared some  incredibly worrying […]

Trio of female mountaineers to share their experiences in the Cultural Centre

This 17th of February three female mountaineers (Flor Cuenca, Tana Mejía and Malú Espinoza) will share their experiences with amateur […]

Local tourism operator worried about unexpected closure of Hatun Machay

Rosario Pilar Obregón Domínguez´ reign at Hatun Machay keeps worrying local tourism operators. The psychologist from Huaraz was granted by […]

Money or true animal love? ´Rightful owner´ of Wendy claims Steve-O stole his dog

Percy Poma Loli, a 44-year-old businessman from Huaraz caught the attention of the national press claiming that his dog named […]

Lima Airlines becomes seventh national airline operating in Peru; Huaraz not on destination list

Six airlines control the domestic Peruvian air market and now a seventh operator enlists its next entry. Last Saturday, Lima […]

Jesse Galganov´s reward increased up to S/ 100.000 (30.000 U$ approx.)

The return to Peru for Alisa Clamen couldn’t have gotten off to a worse start. She was supposed to arrive […]

Update: Search for Jesse Galganov continued, mother on her way to Huaraz

The Huaraz Telegraph was informed by Gideon Harari from Israel, specialised in intelligence services and investigation, that the search for […]

Unasam inaugurates museum that will exhibit research of its archeology students

With the presence of the main regional and local authorities, the National University Santiago Antúnez de Mayolo (Unasam) inaugurated a […]

Jackass’ Steve-O filming in Huaraz and adopts a street dog called Wendy

Huaraz regularly attracts the attention of thrill-seeking adventure-hunters for its high altitude hikes and daring climbs, but the city is […]