Canyon Country

Trip Start Mar 31, 2010
Trip End Apr 25, 2010

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Where I stayed
Mamayachi Hotel

Flag of Peru  , Colca Canyon,
Thursday, April 8, 2010

After a wonderful breakfast in the lovely hotel gardens where we listened to birdsong and sat amongst the beautiful flowers and trees, we set off on a 5 hour bus trip to Chivay.
Chivay has an elevation of 3630m and is a large dusty village which serves as the gateway to Canyon Country. .
We arrived at a fabulous lodge the Mamayachi Hotel, which is just outside Chivay and from where we will explore Colca Canyon. The rooms have stunning views of the surrounding mountains, volcanoes, canyons and Inca terraces and  it  has a very cosy, traditional Andean atmosphere. Later in the afternoon we took a short orientation walk into the surrounding hills. This is when the implications of hiking at altitude dawned on us- it's very hard to breathe. Ups that would have caused us to get a little out of breath back home, now made us feel as if our lungs would explode and required a very slow approach - taking small shuffling steps seemed to be the only solution. Fear of not being able to manage the Inca Trail was uppermost in our minds as we panted for breath and tried to deal with the inevitable flatulence that we all seemed to be suffering from!   We hoped that after spending a couple more days in the mountains we should be more acclimatized.
Later some of us took a bus to the hot springs and relaxed with a  bottle of wine in the warm, mineral rich water while it bucketed down with rain.  It was great!
Unfortunately over the last few days many of us had been suffering with diarrhea, and for some reason mine suddenly got worse and, combined with a splitting headache and nausea, I couldn't even eat dinner and went to bed dosed up on antibiotics and feeling miserable. Yuk!
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