Peru - Yanque

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March 25th 2017
Published: March 27th 2017
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Suzanne here...

The colectivo from Chivay dropped us off in Yanque's Plaza de Armes at about 10am. It was a bit early to check into our B&B. Yanque is tiny, but luckily we found one cafe, Coca, near the church. It was a nice place so we stayed for a couple of cappuccino's each. By the time we'd finished it was a more reasonable check in time and we got to Miskiwasi B&B at 11.30am.

First impressions were good - a lovely garden and nice resturant area. Our room wasn't quite ready but after a bit of rushing around we were shown inside. We'd been given the family room, which had a massive bed on the ground floor as well as a second level with two more double beds. Not much use to us, but nice to have the space. We spent a short while getting settled, and I had a hot shower, blissful as it's something I'd not had at the last place.

We then made our way to the thermal pools, a couple of miles out of town. It's low season in Peru, so nowhere has been particularly busy. But even so we were suprised to find that we had the place to ourselves. Admittedly it was drizzling slightly, but it was very light and we figured we were going to get wet anyway. The pools were not fancy, but were clean and hot and overlooking the Colca river. We spent about an hour there, very relaxing and good fun. Well worth 15 soles (£3.75) each.

Options for eating out are limited in Yanque. We had planned to go back to the cafe, but found that Mikiwasi did evening meals. We don't usually like to eat at our hotel, but the resturant looked really nice so we decided to try it. What a wise decision it turned out to be. The small, candlelit restaurant was a lovely place by night. As for the food, the previous 'best meal in Peru' was pushed into second place. It was absolutely delicious. We both had chicken, mine in corn sauce and David's in mushroom sauce. Sounds simple, but it was so tasty. If you stay in Yanque, even if it is not at Mikiwasi, do yourself a favour and pop by during the day and make a dinner reservation. I highly doubt you will regret it.

After a comfortable night we had a simple but tasty breakfast (with decent coffee for a change). It was a lovely sunny day and our plan was to hike to a nearby village, Coporaque, then to a couple of pre-Inca sites and back to Yanque. I know that I keep banging on about the stunning scenery. In fact I get quite frustrated that I can't adequately explain how stunning it is. It really is absolutely breathtaking. Everywhere we looked there were Inca terraces, green fields, acres of flowers, rivers, and impressive mountains. It's almost more than your eyes can take in.

We were enjoying our hike very much, when we came to a small river flowing across the road. David jumped over, more or less sucessfully but not without a bit of a splash. There was no way I'd make it, and even waterproof walking shoes object to total immersion in water. My only option was to take my shoes and socks off and wade across. It was cold but fine, and after drying my feet on David's hat (such a kind boy) we were on our way again.

A short while later we reached Coporaque, which made Yanque look positively huge by comparison. We'd hoped to buy a sandwich, but had to make do with a water and Inca cola in the square before moving on. It wasn't long before we reached some very confusing signage. We wanted to visit the pre-Inca burial site, but could not work out which way the arrow was pointing. We picked one... which turned out to be wrong. We didn't realise this for a good twenty minutes or so, when we reached the ruined San Antonio church. We debated walking back, but in the end decided to press on.

The walk continued, still outstandingly beautiful. We both felt very content. This is one of the things we like best, free, healthy, and fun - and yes, ok, it adds credit in the 'bank' towards beer and cake. It was quite a walk to our next stop, the ruined town of Uyo Uyo. Built by the Kollawas, then inhabited and improved by the Inca's, it was destroyed by the Spanish (who else?). They massacred everyone bar one person, legend has it. You can really get a feeling of how the town was in its heyday. Well worth a visit.

Despite the gorgeous weather, we were lucky enough to have the place to ourselves, briefly spotting just one other tourist at the ruins. But we suspected the weather might change when we heard thunder, so decided it was time to head back. We made it to Yanque, without the rain hitting us, about 2pm. The 10km walk had taken about 4.5 hours. But there was lots of going uphill and back down again, and even more stopping along the way to take photos. Plus rushing around at high altitude is not recommended. We'd enjoyed our leisurely loop-walk and would recomended it as a reason to stay in Yanque for a night.

The cafe we'd been to the previous day was shut, annoyingly. So we went back to our B&B for the rest of the day. No point in not taking advantage of the nice space, and you can't rush around every minute of every day on a long-term trip.

There was no way we were going anywhere else for dinner that night, Mikiwassi really was that good. In fact, I was excited about the prospect of eating there again all afternoon. Boringly I had the same meal (too delicious to resist). David had rack of alpaca. He loved it, but was kind enough to let me have some, it was so tasty. Pity the chances of getting it in Nottingham are rather slim.

We were very sad to leave the next day. We had breakfast, paid up, and said our goodbyes. Such a lovely place, kind hosts, and amazing food. I could definitely have stayed longer. We then headed to the square for the alleged 9.30am bus. I'll leave David to write about the (minor) saga. But if you are thinking of travelling to Cabanaconde direct from Yanque then I advise you to read the next post.

Additional photos below
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2nd April 2017
The hot pools

That is an amazing spot for hot pools. I am jealous that I did not know this while I was there!
2nd April 2017
The hot pools

Hi Alexis, it was a strange place with vehicles crossing the bridge quite loudly every few minutes but was strangely relaxing. It was cold and drizzly so the walk from the indoor pool over the river along the rope bridge to the pools was a bit hair raising but once in the pools, it wss lovely. Great to have them to ourselves as well.

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