Canyon hiking

Trip Start Feb 23, 2008
1
6
43
Trip End Jul 04, 2008


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Thursday, March 6, 2008

We took a side trip from Arequipa to Cabanaconde in the Colca Canyon. It is suppose to be 2 times deeper than the Grand Canyon and the deepest canyon in the world, but it is hard to tell because it looks so different.  It was covered in vegetation and some areas are deeper than others. 

We arrived in Cabanaconde after a scary 6 hour bus along the canyon edge.  We ate a Menu del Dia and asked where the path was to hike down the canyon.  We took our time hiking down, a little over 3 hours.  I left my backpack back in Arequipa and was glad I did, since the hike was steep!  The views were beautiful on the way down.  We got to the bottom and there are a couple hostels set up. We stayed in a VERY basic room.  It was a hut with straw walls, mud floor, and very dirty bed.  The hostel had a natural spring pool that was constantly recirculating water so it was very clean.  We swam in the pool and waited for dinner.  Tomas, the owner, was very slow with making dinner and we were starving by the time our soup and spaghetti arrived.  We both could have eaten more, but there wasnīt an option for more.  So we sipped away our hunger with coca tea.

At night it was freezing and there were no lights.  So we sat in the eating area on tree stumps and played cribbage by candlelight.  Due to advancing technology we play a lot less cribbage on this trip and more Tetris battles on NDS.  Our bed was so nasty we barely wanted to go into it, but it got too cold to sit outside. 

In the morning we ate breakfast and swam some more, but by noon it was already cold!  So we decided after lunch not to stay in the nasty bed again and to hike to the top of the canyon.  Unfortunately, instead of lunch being at 1 it was at 2:30.  Tomas said it would take us 4 hours to the top, which made sense since it took us 3 down.  But after lunch it was past 3pm, so we had to hull ass to try and get to the top before dark.  Due to not being in the best shape and the altitude I was dying after 10 mins.  After 2 hours of hiking straight up, basically doing hundreds of lunges and squats, I was ready to quit.  I wanted to lay down on the middle of the path, and I didnīt even care if a donkey trampled me.  Chris heard voices and ran up ahead.  There was a guide up there yelling "Congrats you made it!".  We were stunned and both wanted to hug him!  We made it to the top in 2 hours!  That was great for our confidence, now we only had to walk 30 mins to the nearest town. 

On the ride home we stopped in another town to break up the 6 hour ride.  There we just made a quick stop at some hot springs.  Which would have been nicer if it wasnīt really sunny outside!  Also on the ride home we saw many heards of alpaca.  I want a baby alpaca, they are so funny looking!
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