Aug 19, 2008
Dec 20, 2008
. He welcomed us by puking in our room. He ate it back up almost immediately though so all was forgiven. After dinner we all had a few beers before heading to bed by candlelight. The next day we headed along the canyon (nice and flat) and stopped at a local farmers house. Modesto and his wife showed us around. They had a little museum where you could learn about the way they live and dress up in traditional clothes. There were some bulls testicles hanging by the door in which to drop the tips, lovely. Modesto then showed us a ritual to the land involving coca leaves, llama fat and corn. You had to spill a little suspicious alcohol on the ground saying "Tinka Pachamama" (which means something motherland) then down the rest of the drink, judging by the amount of times we did that part of the ritual I could tell Modesto enjoyed a wee drink. We then offered the goods to the land (had some more horrible drink) then started working. This part of the trek was not mentioned to us and was a nasty surprise! Rob and the boys hacked at the soil while me and the girls hucjed over and flattened it with a big stick, I got a blister on my palm at which point I gave up. We then had lunch and headed off to the oasis where we spent the night. We didnīt get there until half three at which point it was a little too cold to swim but we did it anyway. Went to bed in the pitch black and got up at 5 the next morning to begin our ascent. Managed to make it 1000m straight up the canyon in only 2 hours with only a small injury to Rob who was squished by a passing mule. After breakfat we went to a hot springs which was much needed. Rob then tried cuy (guinea pig) for lunch which he wonīt be trying again. We managed to get a few pictures of llamas, alpaca and vicunas on the way home, even with the driver making it as difficult as possible only giving us three seconds at a time to take a photo. Had a Burger King for dinner (yes, i know) then met up with the guys from the tour and went for a few drinks and then to a salsa club. I got quite into the dancing while Rob sat laughing. Rolled home at 2am. Had another day in Arequipa just lounging around and then a night bus to Cusco. Machu Picchu here we come.
Got up and ready for 4am only to sit and wait at the front door for the tour bus which didnīt come til nearly 5! Our tour guide Jessica introduced herself then promptly fell asleep, didnīt hear from her again until we arrived at Cruz del Condor, a viewing point for, yep you guessed it, condors. Big Jess just left us to our own devices while she chatted to her mates (very informative as a guide....) and after 10 minutes or so a massive adult condor flew through the canyon followed by a youngster. Rob got some marvellous pictures. Then we headed off to a town called Cabanaconde which is where we started the trek. There were 8 of us altogether, a Belgian couple and three French tourists along with ourselves and Jessica. The first day was pretty easy, all down hill. By the time we got to the bottom of the canyon I was starving and relented to a woman selling Twixs for a pound a pop, A POUND! still, I bloody well enjoyed it. We carried onto our digs for the night, Gloriaīs camping, where we met Lincoln, a wildy excitable little pup wearing a football top