Our bus to take us to Colca Canyon picked us up at 3.30am!!!!! Needless to say we´d both fallen asleep pretty much as soon as we got on there. The day before in Arequipa was boiling, so much so that for the first time this trip I actually wore a dress (up until this point i´d had trousers on everyday) so when I woke up on the bus I couldn´t believe we were in the mountains surrounded by snow, it looked amazing!
After about 4 hours we stopped for breakfast which was the usual bread and jam, it´s not my favourite thing for breakfast but it doesn´t bother me that much. Casson on the other hand HATES it with a passion so he was really pleased that we were going to be trekking after such a substantial feed!
We stopped at the Condor viewing point and saw 3 condors which were amazing, they are HUGE! The pictures won´t really give you an idea as to how big they actually are. After this 4 of us got back on the bus and were dropped off just down the road to start the trek, the 2 of us a dutch guy and a Canadian girl called Stephanie. Day 1 consisted of us trekking for just over 3 hours down the canyon. It sounds easy but it was all downhill on loose gravel so we were slipping and sliding all over the place and of course there´s always one who falls over and it had to be me!
When we got to camp it was lovely, we had lunch and then just sat around taking the view of the canyon in with a few beers. That evening when tea came we were horrified to find out that it was a vegetarian option (well it wasn´t really an option it was this or nothing). As dedicaed carnivores we were horrified.
Day 2 consisted of a steep climb up for an hour and then downhill the rest of the way. We passed through a vilage and there was a procession in the street as it was the towns birthday, everyone was in national dress and there was a band, we stood back to watch it but somehow got roped into the procession, Casson didn´t need asking twice, he was in there with one of the local women shaking his ass! It was brilliant to be a part of it.
We only hiked for 3 hours on the 2nd day so got to the Oasis at the bottom of the canyon at lunch time, we were all staying in little huts and there was a swimming pool there so we chilled out, had a few beers and played cards. Lunch time came and guess what? It was bloody vegetarian again and to make things worse it was the blandest thing we have ever tasted! Surely to god there would be meat in the evening, well yes there was if you can call a piece of bone and a grey piece of chicken the size of a 5p piece meat! Thank god we got soup with every meal otherwise we would have wasted away! To be fair though the trip was mega cheap and we had been spoiled on previous trips with the food so we shouldn´t complain too much (but clearly to each other we did)
Day 3 came and we started trekking in the dark at 4.40am. This was a long, hard, 3 hour slog up the canyon. I really struggled for the 1st hour, I think it must have shown as both Casson and the guide offered to carry my bag for me (I didn´t let them as I would´t be beaten). After that we just kept plodding on and the views from the top were totally worth the slog!
After that it was a furter 30 minutes walk and we had breakfast, finally something good to eat, scrambled eggs and rolls with a brew :-)
The rest of the day was really the drive back to Arequipa with a few stops along the way.
1) We want a break from hiking for a little bit
2) Injury count = 3 for me 0 for Casson 1- The fall walking down the canyon 2- I walked into a piece of wood sticking out of our hut and cracked my forehead and 3 - in the evening when it was dark I ducked to miss the piece of wood but cracked the top of my head on the metal door frame, it knocked me sick and I may have cried haha
Morag Hey Nikki, just been catching up on your blog, it all sounds brilliant (well, apart from the boneshaker buses and the overcharging...). How I wish I was travelling around South America and not working you know where... Blog again soon! All the best Morag xx