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Colca Canyon Trekking - Day 3

PERU | Friday, 3 October 2008 | Views [1813]

Alarm at 4.30 this morning, ready for the fional 1200m ascent back to Cabanaconde. We had decided to leave earlier so as to minimise the amount of climbing we would have to do in the sun.

It was still dark and prety chilly as we set off, our legs grumbling mightily as they remembered the aches from yesterday. No point in moaning though, whetever happened, we hat to get up to the top and there was only one option so we got too it.  We had been warned that the first and last 30 mins would be the worst. The first 30 were ok actually.

It was all about achieving the next step and not rally thinking about anything else. The first person to pass us on their way down was a man with a few mules. A couiple of Peruvian trekkers then overtook us at a crazy pace before something that I would not have believed happened unless I saw it myself.

A guy with a 10 foot long steel girder practically ran past os on his way down.  He was clearly struggling but still had time to say hi and exchange pleasantries with Edison. About  10 minutes later another fella came down with the same cargo. They were going to go straight back up and bring down more afterwards. They were building an electricity something-or-other. Edison then recounted a tale where they used to bring down big  30 foot telephone poles as well. Which were a bit harder to get around the zig zags. It really put things into perspective for us. We got a boost when  Edison spied annoying American dude below us - we were determined to get up before him so our pace quickened.

After about 90 mionutes we caught up with Jacqualine - Christophe had carried on. We all needed to got at our own pace  - I followed Christophe up and Claire and Jacqueline who have a similar pace stayed together. The last 20 minutes were torture, I thought every turn was going to be the last but the bloody canyon refused to stop! I practically ran up the last 50m as it was the only way for me to do it. 2 hours 20 minutes for 1200m. Claire´s time was 2 hours 37 minutes. Edison, who had been  chatting tro someone made the last 200m in 8 Minutes. He didnt bother with the path and just scrambled up the scree! Bastard. He then told us that the record for the ascent was 47 minutes. Who holds it? Edison Falcon of course!

Back to the town for some breakfast and a rest before getting on the bus again. We were to stop in Chivay for Lunch but not before another thermal bath. If Ciaran and Colm are reading you will understand the pure decadence and joy of immersing yourself in scalding hot water to releive the aches and pains after physical exertion. It wasnt quite as posh as the one we had visited in Costa Rica almost a year ago but it did the job!

Buffet lunch before the 4 hour trip back to Arequipa. Befriended a couple from London who were doing a 4 month RTW trip and had just started as well so we had lots in common. We all decided we needed a drink before going and cleaning oursleves up so we hit a bar overlooking one of the beautiful churches. One Pisco Sour turned into a lot more, puntucated by a Corpus Christi prosession (is it that time of year?) with a macabre corpse of Jesus and a lot of schoolkids playing their inmstruments of their serious teachers. What a great place - we had an ideal view. 

We wer joined by a couple from Finland and Switzerland who met in Moskow and only do exotic holidays together and then a few absolutely hammered Kiwis and Aussies who provided some light entertainment by repeatedly falling over.

Claire and I were the last of the bunch remaining - we even got a salsa lesson for our trouble. Time to go - neither of us are renowned for our dancing prowess. No alarm tomorrow!

Tags: arequipa, colca canyon, dancing, pisco sour, thermal baths, trekking


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