Out in the wilds

Trip Start Nov 09, 2011
Trip End Ongoing

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What I did
the canyon

Flag of Peru  , Arequipa,
Sunday, November 20, 2011

so we were up at 2am to start our trip to colca canyon.....picked up 3.15am and off in a full mini bus of people to chivay, a town on the edge of the canyon a three hour drive away. here we had a very nice breakfast in the little mountain town it was very nice...

then we had a very bumpy 2 hour drive to the mirador del condor to try and see condors non showed up...!! but it was our first view of the canyon and the 3 volcanoes that are a part of it..it was amazing..

a short 30 minute drive now to the village of ca    where we set off for the 5 hour trek down into the canyon..firstly walking through the fields of cultivated land, mainly corn and then arriving at the top of the steep mountain path down to the oasis at the bottom of the valley, 4000 feet below us....yes 4000 feet...!! we know this because robin had his gps with him.

the path was stoney and steep and very heavy going, nothing like i had ever experienced before, but we did the 3 mile 4000 ft descent (thought i would mention it again in case you forgot it was 4000ft)  in 3 hours which our guide said was quite reasonable..on the way passing two mule trains on their way up.

the oasis was really great, three small lodgings built up around the river in between these huge mountains.. no electricity and the only water supply was straight from the mountain streams..awesome..

our lodge was about 15 little huts made from the stone and clay from the valley and painted with dye also made from locally sourced plants..windows and the door were bamboo canes laced together and the floor was simply stone..a comfortable hard bed though but nothing else at all in the room.. no wardrobe table or mat..!!..well it was an experience and one i am so glad we did..

the dining room was a hut with a palm leaved roof and tables and benches made with planks across tree trunks..the kitchen was awesome, a sink a calor gas ring or two a wooden table and shelves made of bamboo canes... the whole experience was out of this world rustic in the extreme and of course the best bit... it was a real family, living in a real oasis, letting people stay with them to enjoy the wilds of the colca valley..i have to say that the food they cooked for us was very tasty and presented very well they did not speak any english but we had a guide, carlos, who did so we were ok..!!

we ate with two other couples by candlelight only and as there was no other lighting we all went to bed by 9pm...

up at 4am to start the trek up... robin decided he was fit enough to walk back up with the back pack... i was much braver and chose a mule... it was something i had always wanted to do so a little nervous knowing how close to edge the path went and obviously how high we would be going , 4000ft, i mounted the mule.. just four mules on this train, me, sheil, a fellow brave traveller, the mule owner and another mule carrying calor gas cans to be refilled in the village and a petrol strimmer which needed mending...nothing gets down or up from the oasis except by mule..!! robin and carlos left at 5.15am i left about 6am we caught them up just over half way up an hour later. i decided the best way to deal with scary close to the edge thing, was not to look so most of the way up i just looked at the ground but when it was safe to do so,ie not close to any edge , i looked across the canyon in awe it was magnificent and amazing how we climbed up and the little oasis below got smaller and smaller..

we, the mule and i, arrived at the top at 7.40am to a party of people who had walked up... everyone was so excited to have made it up jumping and chatting it was awesome.. i spoke to olga from london, sheil from the usa and many other from france and spain and holland...robin arrived with carlos at 8.10am which was great less than 3 hours with the heaviest back pack and the oldest, everyone said well done...as most had passed him on their way up..!!

it was yet another amazing experience...
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Martin and Teodora on

Just so great to be getting these regular updates almost feel as if we are on the trip with you !!! The latest pics are fantastic and the place you stayed there sounds just my cup ot tea !!! Lipa will seem like luxury after that !!! Keep the posts coming they are so good to read back here in chilly UK lots of love M and T

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