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Nick and Laina's Adventures

Royal Brittania, Arequipa, and the Condors at Colca Canyon

PERU | Tuesday, 17 March 2009 | Views [1520] | Comments [5]

We got into Arequipa, Peru all 7 of us, the 4 british and us 3. We caught two of the super small mini taxis that are everywhere here in Arequipa, and arrived at our new hostel, which apperently, we now own! We were the only people in the whole hostel, which we got for a reasonable price, 15 Soles($5), with a kitchen, that had no sink (they did our dishes.) We were pretty lucky with the location of the hostel, it was right on the main street(a walking street) and within minutes of many good cheap food places. Arequipa is a pretty city, less so the Sucre, but Sucre was beautiful. As you walk down the walking street there is a lot going on. They call Arequipa the most stylish city in Peru, and it seems for a reason (at least in the center). The street is filled with loud music, mall like shops people dressed up fancy, and expensive pharmacies and shops. Also there are tons of fancy glasses stores! Both of us got brand spankin new perscription glasses, very nice, high quiality for 105 Soles, 31 dollars for two sets!! It took 1 day to get them made, and it even included an doctor eye exam, some things are alot easier to do here, then in the US.

            Our British friends are a blast, and we are having a great time, all 7 of us. Hugo is the self proclaimed leader. His teeth are aweful, as you would expect, he is british. However, we all know that Connie was the leader, and mother so to speak, the responisble one. Harry... kept us entertained, with his junoir gaucho antics. Roz was mild mannered, and held interesting conversation. All 7 of us, Team Royal Brittania, and the rebels who won(USA), made interesting company during our time together especially in Arequipa.

Corys new nickname, Big C, is very fitting, or you could use Big Loops, which harry made up on account of his rather large loops he uses to tie his shoelaces. Both names are appropriate.

The next day we headed toward Colca Canyn, a popular destination for tourists in the area. Colca canyn is the seconddeepest canyon in the world, or so they say. We started the trip by getting into this really small town called Yanque, and settled in for the night, the people at our hostel took us on a 20 minute walk out of town, to an indoor hotspring, which costs 2 soles(0.66$). It was great! The water was warm, everyone was hapy and telling stories, we had a nice refeshing night. When we were back, we realized that the next morning, we would have to leave from the hostel at 4:30 in the morning, oh no! In order to get to the condor area in time. We ate our spaggetii dinner with a lack of gusto, and headed to bed. Waking up at 4, we caught our bus to Cruz Del Condor, and most of us slept. I got a window seat, and as soon as the sun came up, I was looking out the window the whole time. The canyon was amazing at sunrise. It is so wide and deep, lush green and brown rock, excatly as you would picture Peru to be. At Cruz Del Condor, I woek everyone up and we headeed out into the morning sun. IT took a few minutes for people to realize the beauty of where we were, and it was amazing. Within the first few minutes, we already saw condors circling way down below, trying to get out of the canyon for their daily hunting/scavenging. Everyone collected, and took pictures, and we headed down the trail. The whole area is so senic, and pretty soon, most of the condors were at the lip of the canyon and within 20 feet. On condor flew right over lainas head! But she wasnt paying attention!. We continued the hike, and saw many condors, and beautiful scenery, there is even a mountain in the distance covered in snow so that if you look at it it will hurt your eyes.

We caught the 9 oclcok bus back to Chivay, got a small lunch, played pool with 11 billard balls, and then headed back to Arequipa. Getting back into town was nice, we all got back to the same hostel as before, but now all the renovations we done! We went out for dinner,  to a restaurant called tacos and tequila, and then to a club called Deja Vu, and the band was really good, the singer could impersonate anyone! From Bono to mick Jagger to the Who and Sting, I was impressed. We made it home after a very long day and passed out. The next day was our last day with our british friends, and made the best of it by seeing town, chatting and playing some cards. When they left, Cory went with them, he is now headed home to Hawaii, and he will head with them to Cuzco, and then to Lima, where he will catch his flight home.

That night laina and I stayed in Arequipa, we went to a couchsurfers house, where we will stay for a few days. He was super busy so we didnt see him that much, and besides we were actually spending most of our time on the internet. Right now we are searching for a good opportunity for a summer job. Originally our sights were set on Boise, but now we have found a few contacts, and we are going to try our luck in the US Virgin Islands, working at a dive shop, brew pub, national park, or any assortment of the latter. Ie anyone out there has any contacts or friends in the islands, we would really appreciate any advice, tips, or information!

My old camp leader from Buldir, Aleutian Islands, Erik was in town the last few days so it was quite a pleasure to hang out with him and his girlfriend, Joanne. They shared lots of stories of her 2 years in Malawi, and Erik´s time traveling randomly around africa and South america. They headed out to the Colca Canyon, and now we are just getting some internet work done here, before headed to Pisco, Peru, where we will start our volunteer work on the Earthquake restoration in Pisco. If you want to see the organization we are volunteering for, go here: www.piscosinfronteras.org .

I am going to try get some good pictures up here on my Peru photo album, so check them out!

You can also access my facebook album for peru at




That's a nice picture of the group. Bought some new low hiking shoes and some hiking pants and socks at REI. Do you think we should bring any shorts or will it be too cold ? Sounds like you are having fun.
Love, Holly

  holly Mar 17, 2009 8:48 AM


im exausted..just finished a month o journals. you two..doing it all...loved the picture on the horses. the altitide sickness sounds awful..hope something turns up in idaho for a summer job so you can cook us one of your great sounding meals. just talked to grandma..she sounded good. hope the boise people are sending her your letters. all is well with us. went on a trip to the oneills, mary and marks and the jim andersons....much; fun at each place. went to 7 feathers for 2 nights. good fun and we didnt lose.. hugs and kisses. love water baloon fights. aunt susan

  susan anderson Mar 17, 2009 9:15 AM


Dear Nick and Laina,
You both have a lot of courage doing what you are doing. Often wish when we were younger we had the opportunity to do the same. You have the advantage of an education, worldly knowledge and adventureous spirit to name a few of the qualities necessary. We have followed your jounals with great interest and enthusiasm for you. Please stay safe, be very careful, take care of each other and lots of love to you both.
Papa and Nana Ruth

  Nana Ruth and Papa Mar 20, 2009 2:22 AM


That was great that Papa and Nana Ruth wrote to you! I want you to check out virtualtourist.com and do a little research of things for when we get there. Keep in mind, we will meet you in Cuzco at the airport, the house is in Urubamba, the train to Machu Picchu leaves from Ollantaytambo and we'll all be going to the market on Easter Sunday in Pisac! I think there's a lot to do in Cuzco on Monday, as it's Holy Monday! So, do some research and let me know. Can't wait!

  Mommy Mar 21, 2009 4:57 AM


Hey You Guys!
What adventures! With the advent of spring and all of the blossoms popping and the wind blowing, it gets the blood stirring! Makes me want to go out and meet some new people, have a drink with them and then...maybe a hike somewhere and settle down with a crossword or book on a blanket.
It looks like Ryan will be in Buenos Aires this summer, maybe the beginning of June for 5 or 6 weeks, working on intellectual property and human rights abuse cases. Any chance you'll still be on the continent then? Probably not? He was also offered a position in Hanoi working on a protectionism case against New Zealand: NZ wants Viet Nam to send their crustaceans deveined and beheaded. Costs too much money for VN, essentially shuts them out of the market. See what a difference a year makes? Last year he was delivering pizzas and leaving flyers on doorknobs!!
I am having a big time tearing up portions of the backyard and redoing my vegetable garden beds. I am so excited! I pulled out the winter plantings and now the refrigerator is stuffed with Swiss chard, lettuce, carrots and a few onions (the carrots are a bit woody- left them in the ground too long). We're rebuilding the boxes and adding a little more height and re-aligning them so they set north-south to get as much sunshine as possible. I dug up our strawberries, broccoli, etc... and plopped them into bags of potting soil and now they are waiting for their final destination.
Michael is on trial in school as John Brown-treason charges for his raid on the armory. Also writing a position paper on the death penalty. It's wonderful to have so much interest and energy in the house, gets me thinking and researching things myself. Children are wonderful things! He finished up his basketball season yesterday by fouling out and making a point or two. Now it is all about golf...and math (still).
Brett has FINALLY gotten his driver's permit. He has been very relaxed about getting it. Eric and I both feel that it is much more "enjoyable" to be a passenger with a beginning driver who is almost 18 than one who has just turned 15 and almost reaches the pedals! He has a new-to-him guitar and is just playing and playing. We just love the sound of music coming through the windows.He is redesigning his long-board and recently received his passport. A lot of doors are opeing up to him. He's taking a few AP courses this year and really loves his writing class. Right now things are heating up as they prepare for their exams. One of his tests will be in
Spanish. He'd like to do some work in water-challenged countries (at this time in life!). He is also loving his ceramics class, spends his free time in there throwing pots and pitchers and vases and off-handed observations. Very creative.
Sean is home from Santa Cruz for a break. He needed a little break, I think. He was a little frayed from his multi-variable- Calc class. He hasn't had a math course since high school and was trying to review old material while moving ahead with the new. Conversely his play for his writing class was well-reviewed: a comedy about a play. Juliet (as in Romeo and Juliet) dies behind scenes on opening night. The stage shows what happens in front of and behind the curtain. Anyway, the audience laughed where he hoped they would. Only a rough draft, but he wants to polish it and submit it for production on campus. Not bad for an economics of business finance (or something like that) major! Considering the economy, it is probably a great time to focus on writing!
Eric is working in a new capacity at Toyota/GM and I think he likes it very, very much. On the other hand, he said last week, that he thinks that he has had all the pleasure a person needs from working for money. Now he'd just like to work on things he loves. Sigh. At the least, Eric does incorporate his passion for flight into his daily life and manages to fly his planes several times a week. He steps out from work and there is a field only minutes away. He gets the most out of every day.
This is very long, I know. Been out of touch too long but I love both of you very very much and am excited for you. Good luck with the job hunt. I have no doubt things will go your way.
As Ever,

  Molly Malone Mar 23, 2009 5:17 AM

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