Captivating Colca Canyon

Trip Start Nov 17, 2006
1
6
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Trip End Jan 24, 2007


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Friday, December 8, 2006

Update 6: Capivating Culca Canyon
Location: Arequipa, Peru
Date: Thurs 7th Dec 06

(Photos have been updated. Please visit www.travelpod.com/members/nath_h to view.)

Over last weekend, we went to the Culca Canyon for 3 days and trekked for 2 of those. The Colca Canyon is the 2nd deepest canyon in the world with the deepest being nearby all over 160 odd metres deeper.

The first day of our trip we travelled to Chivay, the gateway town to the Culca Canyon and we quite annoyed that our guide did not speak any english even thou we were promised an English speaking guide. My spanish is poor at the best of times and is limited mainly to food and basic essentials let alone understanding the guide talking about the history of the area. Some of the people in the van were able to translate somethings for us but yer. it was quite annoying.

That afternoon Lyle and I visited the hot springs of chivay. they were an amazing 35 degrees celcius and it was great to relax in water that was warmer than some of the showers we have been having. in the evening we tried alpaca and guinea pig. alpaca tasted abit like beef and guinea pig a bit like chicken. even thou Cuy (Guinea pig) is supposed to be a specialty, we were not all that fussed about it. it was expensive in relative terms (aud$10) and there really wasnt very much to it. Following our meal, we went to some tourist presentation and steve got roped into doing some folk dance and had a table full of peruvian girls fall in love with him, fighting as to who would get to dance with him. funny stuff.

Treking Colca Canyon was phenomenal. The path was steep and covered in loose rocks and sand and literally dropped off hundreds of metres and there was certainly nothing like safety rails! We trekked down 1100m in 3 hours and then up about 250m before lunch. we were so stuffed. we then had another few hours to go laterally before we reached the oasis where we were to stay for the night in bamboo bungalows. we had to get up at 3am to walk up the hill in the cool of the day and about half way up i started to feel a strain in my medial ligament on my right knee. (it never got worse than discomfort but i had to take it easy for a couple of days and missed out on climbing mt misti - a dormant volcano at 5825m high.) We reached the top in 2 hours 20 mins and yer... we were quite stuffed as the pictures show.

Going back to Chivay we were on local buses that were so full, i think there were more people standing than sitting. on the way we stopped at a condor lookout point and got to see a condor flying around. they have a wingspan of 3m. it was great to see although i wouldnt go out of my way just to see one.

The plan from here is to head up to Cusco and trek to machu picchu and then onto lake titcaca and boliva!

Hope your all doing well, wherever in the world you are!
Nath
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