Arequipa and the Canyon country.

Trip Start Oct 01, 2007
Trip End May 07, 2008

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Sunday, October 7, 2007

We got to Arequipa at 11pm and went with Connie and Paul to the Hostal Regis (which they´d already booked) to see if they had rooms for us. The place was gorgeous and reasonably cheap too. Me and Lou got a double room with an enormous telly at no extra cost. Went for a couple of drinks down the street that night and hit the hay about 2.30am.

We spent the next day organising the Colca Canyon trip and Connie and Paul booked the bus tickets for us all to Cuzco for the following day. We also went to see the old nunnery thingy malarchy down the street from our Hostel. I like old and ancient things and the amount of kitchens in this small town within a city was amazing but the amount of sad looking or dying nuns painted on every wall was a bit depressing. Still though it was interesting to see and the entire city of Arequipa was pretty amazing altogether. Lovely old Spanish colonial buildings all built in the shadow of two enormous volcanic mountains.

Up at two in the morning the next day to get our bus (A team van) to the colca canyon. There was 15 in the bus in total including the driver and guide. The driver kept playing this reggaton music the whole way up and combined with the ice on the windows it was impossible to get any sleep. Well at least impossible for some. Ed was out like a light and Lou, Connie, Pual and pretty much everyone else including the driver at times got some shut eye on the way up. We climbed from 2,300 metres to 4,900 metres in the van and then back down to about 3000 metres to a town called Chivay were we got breakfeast. Two small rolls of bread with butter and Jam (the usual breakfeast over here) and a Lovely warm Milk and Pineapple drink. Ugghhghhg. It was still swallowed though.

The colca canyon is huge. Two big to capture with words or a picture. We saw two huge condors fly overhead about 20 feet from us at one stage. Enormous birds. As big as some of the hammers you´d see in niteclubs around Kildare and Offaly but more elegant in movement and probably with a better personality. Most of the stops have little Peruvian mountain women there to try and sell you their wolly products and in one little town we were treated to a small army of little kids dancing to some screaming voice from an enormous speaker in the corner of the square. We felt it was a little false and contrived but nevertheless gave a little money to the youngsters for their efforts. All in all the trip was great but really tiring and hard on the head with all the different heights we were brought to. It didn´t help that Conor "the sleepless" had a headcold either. Worse was yet to come. We arrived back in Arequipa at half five, savaged some burgers and fled to the bus stop for half six to get our 7pm bus to Cusco. A ten hour bus journey squashed behind an entire peruvian family in two seats in front of us through the andes. Lou, Ed, Connie and Paul all slept fine but of course Conors plan of not sleeping since 2 the morning previous was foiled by the family in front when the father decided to squash my lower limbs with his reclining (broken) chair in front. I hope he has 2 slipped discs in his back now cause my knees were all over him. Not to mention the wet sneezes I flung over his greasy head. Only for the two paracetamol connie supplied that gringo mutha would´ve gone out the window. What a night.

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