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Arequipa and the Colca Canyon

PERU | Friday, 14 May 2010 | Views [502]

Got to Arequipa at 5:30am on Monday 10th was able checked into Bothy Hostel straight away, even though they didn´t have a bed in the room I wanted for that night they let me sleep in one of the other dorm and then I just had to change in the afternoon so that was good as meant got a few hours of decent sleep in the morning. The hostel wasn´t as big as I thought from the description, but the hostel is good and the beds are comfy, the only shame is that the bathroom are looking worn and their excuse is that it´s a lised building so they can´t change them but all they really need is a new coat of paint to give them new life, but the hostel is clean and the staff are friendly. In the afternoon I wet and booked a trek to the Colca Canyon and I had seen LandAdventure recommended by Rough guides and also it was recommended by the hostel so I went with them and it cost s/.200 which may be more expensive than some others but this company doesn´t group you with any others so what they say is what you get, where as when multiple companies come together you don´t always get exactly what you were originally told.

So we set off on the tuesday morning at 3:30am for the Colca Canyon trek. There was me and two other people called Ruth and Neill,and our guide called JeanCarlos. We arrived at the Condor view point at about 9:00am and got some good views of condors flying in the canyon below. we then carried on to Cabanaconde were we had lunch. then about 12:15 we got treking and it took us about 2 hours to climb down the canyon and you got some good photos on the way. we then trekked for another 45min - 1 hour and got to Ceshflirhua were we stopped for lunch and is the village just past the one most tours stop in. the walk was fairly easy this day with not much exertion. The 2nd day we got up about 7:30am and had pancakes cooked by our guide JeanCarlos. we then walked for about 45min and came to a museum about the local way of life and JeanCarlos also explained how there are 2 families the Canyon and Valley and one used to form their heads so they were short and fat and the other family made theirs long and thin but the spanish put a stop to this and so now the one family wears bright clothes and the other dark clothes to distinguish between the two groups.

we then carried on and came to the oasis in the bottom of the canyon or as far down as you can get at 1200m below the top. we then had lunch here and a rest and unlike some other groups we then started the climb out at 3:00pm that afternoon, the climb up was hard but I managed it in 2 hours and they reckon 2-4 so I was happy. We got back to Cabanaconde and found out that we were staying in a hotel with hot showers and we said if had known would of got out of that canyon quicker.

So becuase we climber out the second day it meant we could lie in till 8:00 am and get up basically when the other groups were just getting to the top of the canyon. We then caught the bus back to Arequipa at 10:00am and stopped on the way at a view point for the Colca Valley and also at 4190m to view the surrounding mountains. we got back to Arequipa at about 7:00pm, on the Thursday night.

Today I got up and went down to the main plaza were the appeared to be a parade gathering. there were lots of children from presumably different schools gathering and it appeared they would parade through Arequipa, but after waiting for an hour until 10:00am they went into the cathedral and then I was told by some one they would be out after about 30min and parade, so waited for an hour and they eventually came out but just paraded down the steps and that was it so not quite as spectcular as was expecting but oh well. Afterwards went to the Convent and looked around there that was interesting. later I went and looked around the Cathedral and that was fairly grand interesting to see.

I´m off to Puno tomorrow so that will be were my next story is from and I plant upload some photos there as apparently once you´ve seen the floating islands on the lake there isn´t that much to see so may have some more free time.


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