Arequipa, Colca Canyon, back to the coast…

greetings once again,

we´re currently holed up at an internet cafe in Camaná waiting for our night bus to arrive and take us to Huacachina, our next stop. since we last wrote, we finished up our time in arequipa with a few relaxing days. our days were spent watching cnn, wandering around the city, and visiting a museum here and there. we went to one that housed juanita the ice maiden. she was an inca girl that was discovered frozen on top of a mountain right outside arequipa a few years ago. it was fairly crazy in that she isn´t a mummy (she has all her internal organs), and she still has hair and skin and everything. she was sacrificied hundreds of years ago as an offering to the inca gods. crazy. anyways, after culturing ourselves at a museum, we went to the market to pick up some stuff to cook for dinner. recently i´ve been feeling the distinct lack of vegetables in peruvian cooking, so we bought plenty of vegetables, along with the makings of chicken parmesan. YUM, we had quite the feast.

friday we left arequipa to head to chivay, a town at the edge of colca canyon. colca canyon is the 2nd deepest canyon in the world (2nd only to another canyon in peru that is much more difficult to access). we hiked up to some hot springs a few km out of town for an evening of relaxation. they were absolutely beautiful…tucked right into the mountains of the canyon and super nice and clean (which isn´t always the case as we have learned). anyways, following a night of hot springs and a light dinner, we headed to bed to wake up early for our journey deeper into the canyon.

we hopped on a bus to Cabanaconde the following morning. the town proved to be incredibly quiet, so we opted to hike down into the canyon rather than spending the night. the hike was beautiful – about 2 hours straight down into the depths. we don´t know for sure the elevation change, but it was quite a bit. the canyon itself is not as impressive visually as the grand canyon because there isn´t that sheer drop of flat land to canyon (rather, it´s mountains surrounding the canyon). when we reached the river basin at the bottom, we were greeted by some lovely pools and some very rustic cabins. after a quick dip, we shared dinner with the rest of the folks that were staying there and headed to bed. we almost made it to 8pm…but not quite. sunday morning the sun greeted us bright and early for a day by the pool. we began our hike out of the canyon at around 2 and made good time up; we were back to our hostel less than 3 hours later. needless to say, that was another tired, early night.

monday we were up early to hop on a bus back to arequipa, where we were to find another bus to the coast. 9 hours of hot, stinky buses later, we had arrived at camaná, a coastal town. interesting thing about camaná is that the town was hit by a tsunami in 2001. according to our guide book, the town still had yet to recover entirely from the tsunami, but there were a number of hotels and restaurants up and running. the guidebook was published in 2006. anyways, we got a cab to the beach where we intended to find a hostel – and did. after dropping our bags, we went off in search of dinner. it turned out to be a bit trickier than anticipated, but we finally managed to find one restaurant open and serving food. expensive food, but food nonetheless. after a 5am wakeup call by the birthday party of children staying at the hotel with us, we read and finally went out in search of breakfast and water. a walk down the beach revealed to us that there was nowhere to eat and nowhere to buy water in this deserted, fairly destroyed little tsunami town. we made our way out to the main road and happily stumbled upon a truckstop-type little shack of a restaurant. thinking it would be cheap and fine, chris saddled up and ordered fried fish. i settled in with a coke (i was not feeling so hot this morning), and he enjoyed his feast. feast it was, as the whole meal cost 34 soles. now, that equates to around $11, BUT keep in mind that we generally pay 30 soles a night for a hostel, and our meals NEVER amount to 34 soles…especially not when it´s just one meal. we were a bit frosted by this, as it was a truck stop…and we didn´t even have enough money to pay! for real. we had to go back to the hotel, dig up some more cash and hike back to pay the woman. crazy. i would love to meet the trucker who´s paying that much for his fried fish…but alas, so it goes. at least chris ate the whole thing (aside from the eyeball).

anyways, we spent the day on the beach today, and i acquired a pretty solid shoulder sunburn. tonight we´re off to Huacachina, a town up the coast from here. there is supposed to be great sandboarding there, so we´ll see. neither of us have tried it, but it comes highly recommended by many gringos we´ve met so far. should be fun!

sorry for the lack of photos again…hopefully next post!

bye for now…

One thought on “Arequipa, Colca Canyon, back to the coast…

  1. Husky Bob

    Hi Christopher and Kara,
    We have been enjoying your writings and pictures of your sojourns. Quite the experience for both of you. Take care and travel safe.
    Love, Uncle Bob & Aunt Sharon

    Reply

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