Day 6 - Arequipa to Chivay

Trip Start May 22, 2009
Trip End Jun 14, 2009

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Saturday, May 30, 2009

Alan's blog: Up early for another travel day. We all piled on the mini-bus with Mirsha our local guide and our driver Fernando for the three hour trip to Chivay in the Colca valley. Numerous stops along the way were required - to acquire coca leaves and candies to acclimatize to the altitude, snack (& shopping) breaks, and of course, many photo ops, as we climbed through the high plateau areas. Fantastic scenery; many, many, many llamas, alpacas and vicunas. We reached the highest point in our travels - 4910 metres, over 16,000 feet - before descending 1400 metres into the Colca valley through an stomach wrenching series of switchbacks. We passed through Chivay before arriving at our hotel, Mama Yacchi, in the small village of Coporaque. We had a late lunch at the hotel, a wonderful small rustic place with incredible views overlooking the valley and the mountains.
Later in the afternoon, Alan & Allison, Ron, Leslie & I, headed out for a 2 hour hike in the surrounding hills, with Mirsha leading the way. Going up was a challenge - not difficult terrain, but difficulty breathing at this altitude. Great views along the way. We reached the base of some cliffs and some Pre-Incan tombs before turning back. Alan continued to the summit of a small outcrop with a cross on top. One thing we have to get used to is the length of the day - the sun is up at 6am. and sets at 6pm., no long early summer days like we're used to. Dinner was at the hotel; followed by some lazy time around the fireplace.
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