Blogs from Colca Canyon, Arequipa, Peru, South America - page 5


South America » Peru » Arequipa » Colca Canyon September 19th 2011

As the more alert of my dear readers will be aware, this blog is a few days overdue. This is not down to forgetfulness or lack of interest by your correspondent – nay, it is down to the fact that my muscles are only starting to work again!!! Oh the pain, the pain. Oh the agony, the agony, oh the….. Oh well, I suppose that I had better start at the beginning. Bloody hell I was in agony. Not just normal pain but really sore, ouch type of pain. Enough…… This tale starts and ends in Arequipa. ‘tis the in between stages that I mean to entertain, educate and inform you with. Very early on a Monday morning (2.30am), we were up and dressed and sat in the hostal lobby awaiting a bus that was to ... read more
getting deeper
is that a canyon I see before me
looks like it !!!

South America » Peru » Arequipa » Colca Canyon September 5th 2011

After my eating experience I headed back to the hostal to pack for the trek, I had a walk back in to town at about 8 and ´the place just has a completely different vibe, all the buildings were lit up and the Plaza was packed, down the cobbled streets were art galleries and antique shops it really was quite cool. Iwas getting picked up for the trek at 3 am so i got an early night, i could have died when my alarm went off at 2 there really is no need to be getting up that early. I got my stuff together and went to the reception because the man said he would be there to but my big bag in storage... but all was dark. I needent have panicked though because he was ... read more

South America » Peru » Arequipa » Colca Canyon August 15th 2011

The 3am start is a bit brutal but necessary if we want to avoid walking in the dark tonight. We try to get some shut-eye on the 3 hour drive. Iv agreed the ground rules with our fellow trekkers the previous day that there would be no early morning chatter but he is startled from a semi-sleep by a nightmare that takes him back to that first trot on a horse. It has been prompted by the crazy shaking of the bus as it tries to navigate the mountain dirt road. We have never been on anything so bumpy. We try protecting our bum cheeks by sitting on layer upon layer of jumpers, fleeces, towels......anything. But it is to no avail. We ponder whether the ´white finger´condition can affect the whole body. How the bus stays ... read more
On the way down
A breather with Ricco
Rufina - she looks so charming but dont mess!

South America » Peru » Arequipa » Colca Canyon August 6th 2011

Geo: -15.6098, -71.8712Vi dro fra Arequipa ved 9-tiden. Vi var en gruppe på 14 som viste seg å bli en hyggelig gjeng sammen. Spesielt fikk vi fin kontakt med Jan og Inge, et ektepar fra Belgia. De skal løpe maraton på Inka-stien 18. august. Han i et strekk, hun i to. Inge er et jentenavn i Belgia. Vi som har gått stien, 42 km. vet litt om hva de har i vente.Førstedagen var en transportetappe med flere stopp til Chivay, en landsby i Colca valley.Arequipa ligger midt i Atacma, verdens tørreste ørken som strekker seg fra Chile til nord i Peru, ved andesfjellene på 2400 moh.Vi kjørte oppover i de tørre områdene som er fulle av mineraler, som gir grunnlag for næring i Arequipa. Jo høyere vi kom forandret sjiktene seg og vi fikk se alt ... read more
Vicunas med Misti i bakgrunnen
Helge og Camilla på høysletten

South America » Peru » Arequipa » Colca Canyon August 4th 2011

Since I had seperated from Julia and Anna, I had planned on actually being on my own for awhile. I had arrived to Arequipa completely on my own, but ended up meeting some pretty incredible people. Because of this I ended up spending a lot more time there than I had originally anticipated. I took the bus (about 7 hours) and it was a peaceful ride. This was the first time I really had a solid amount of time to myself to seriously reflect. However, I found myself distracted quite a few times for the following reason.... In many places in South America, buses are the main form of transit, however, if you pay the right price, you can get a bus thats rather luxurious meaning the seats can go all the way back and you ... read more

South America » Peru » Arequipa » Colca Canyon August 1st 2011

There was never a more pitiful creature than the mule. Forced to be the “work horses” of society--without any of the gratitude or title. Whipped. Prodded. Mistreated. If ever there was an animal that ought to stage an uprising against humans, surely it is the mule. With these thoughts--and perhaps as an atonement for all of humankind--I lean forward and pat my mule on the neck, saying a comforting “muy bueno, mula.” The tenderness of the moment is shattered seconds later as the man behind me whips my mule with a rope and commands, “Vas, Mamacita! Vas, mula!” (“Go, little mama! Go, mule!). Mamacita, the mule, turns her ears backward, gives a slight snort of disapproval, and reluctantly snaps back into action. Lesson learned, I think. This is what you get for not taking better care ... read more
in the canyon
colca canyon

South America » Peru » Arequipa » Colca Canyon July 12th 2011

Our trek of the Colca Canyon started in Arequipa at the ridiculous hour of 3 am. The bus picked us up from our hostel and we were on our way to Chivay, where we made a quick stop for breakfast. Afterwards we continued on our way to Cruz del Condor to catch the flight of the Andean Condors. These are some really huge birds that soared effortlessly through the canyon. Apparently they only do their "flight" bright and early or late in the day. After checking out the birds for a bit, the bus drove off the road and let me and Binnson out on the side of the highway. Here we met up with a group of 13 other people to continue on for our trek in the Canyon. The Colca Canyon is the 2nd ... read more
Us + Colca Canyon
Our group, ready to make our descent into the canyon
Our destination - the blue spot at the bottom, you can see trails along the sides if you look closely

South America » Peru » Arequipa » Colca Canyon June 19th 2011

Colca Canyon, one of the deepest in the world, is set among snow capped volcanoes one side and a mountain range the other. It's semi arid land and is home to about 40 families of condors as well as Quechua and Aymara speaking Indians. On the way out we hit 4910m (I think that could be about the highest we go in South America, I wasn´t expecting it so soon). From Yanque we hiked to the canyon, crossing where it becomes very narrow. In the almost vertical walls, ancient people have built cold storage rooms, colque. After a 2 hour walk in the valley by the canyon many of us were suffering altitude headaches. And that was despite chewing coca leaves on the bus, drinking coca tea at most meals and eating coca lollies...coca is supposed ... read more
Vicuña Zone
Jill in vicuña country
chewing coca leaves

South America » Peru » Arequipa » Colca Canyon June 18th 2011

Day 122 -124 We arrive bleary eyed in Arequipa and check in the hotel. Si and I decide to have a wander round Arequipa and have a nice walk round the town, taking in the mirador and after lunch we head to the convent. Despite it being more money than we thought we decide to go in, and it is lovely, full of beautiful courtyards, even though the seemingly 8 million bedrooms get a bit same, same after a while. We stop in a beautiful garden and share a pecan pie and coffee, before we bump into Marie’Katherine, Jonas and Daphne. Funny moment when Marie’Katherine (who is French Canadian) is explaining the difference between the language they use compared to the language used in France. The conversation in English is overheard by a rather uptight French ... read more
Poseur 1 (at the convent)
Poseur 2 (at the convent)
Convent Courtyard

South America » Peru » Arequipa » Colca Canyon May 29th 2011

Spent a day in Arequipa and started to figure out how I am going to close out my journey in Cusco. I booked an early AM flight from Cusco to Lima on my day to return to the US. That only means I am not spending more than 12 hours in Lima...just enough time to dip into town and have some ceviche. I also tried to hook up a multiple day rafting trip but I am going to need to head to Cusco to do that. So I headed off to the second deepest canyon in the world for three days (second only to another in Peru). It was pretty amazing. The bus came to grab me at 3 AM and then we had a 4 hour bus ride that started by looking at the condors ... read more
View Down the Canyon
First Nights Stay
About halfway down

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