Trip Start Sep 07, 2011
54Trip End Dec 22, 2011
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A light breakfast of two pancakes and a communal bowl of coca leaves for that morning jolt got us started on day two of pure pleasure deep inside Mother Earth
By 9am we were underway without the benefit of coca for our 4 hour hike along the bottom of the canyon. Some steep climbs and descents reminded all of us that the canyon is boss, and I just thoroughly enjoyed this scenery deep in my new playground. The river and underground water sources actually keep the bottom of Colca relatively green and fertile for subsistence agriculture and the viewing pleasure for those of us who dare take more than a day trip here.
One last steep foot killing descent gave us an eye popping view of Sangalle which is known as the Oasis. Lush green grass, palm trees and even swimming pools dotted the canyon just beyond a couple of waterfalls. Keep in mind Sangalle is electricity free so swimming pools aside, this village is basic at best
The two day hike finishes up here around dinner time with a 5am departure the next morning, so overtired hikers never fully unwind by the springfed pool or laze around in a hammock under a tree whose needles smell like citrusy pine when broken in half. My room may have been in another dirt floor adobe hut but I enjoyed views that would go for hundreds of dollars at some resort like the Westin La Paloma in Tucson. Actually, Colca Canyon is far more impressive, and the free aromatherapy in a hammock while listening to the river priceless.
A lack of electricity means no way to keep to alpaca fresh so mercifully the meals are free of cute fuzzy animal meats. Spaghetti, Knorr soup packages and anything else nonperishable a mule who lost life's lottery can schlep a mile down into the canyon make up the food choices here. Interestingly enough the four hoofed delivery vehicles bring in giant bottles of beer and we enjoyed the jumbo 650ml size as the sun went down and besides our campfire, the entire "resort" turned to pitch black nothing. Of course I had no flashlight and had to rely on a candle about 10 minutes from its expiration to see anything inside my adobe walls.
The fact that people survive down here so far from removed from what we consider the real world just amazes me. Any live contact with the outside besides cell phone comes at the price of a long hike or muleride up to the rim of the canyon. I am actually enjoying the bliss of no internet, no news, no cellphone, no texting, no email, no nothing. Being disconnected is a little scary at first, but trust me, you get the hang of it quickly.