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Colca Canyon
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3am wake up call followed by 4 hours on a bus was not exactly how we wanted to start our day. We awoke from our snoozing having arrived at ‘Condor Canyon’. There was a ton of people gathered around the cliff edge watching one lone Condor perched on the edge. This was pointed out to us by a very excited tourist. However, just as he had said this 20+ giant Condors took to the skies above our heads and floated effortlessly around for about 30 minutes (this doesn’t usually happen). The tourist almost wet his pants while J was exploding with disappointment that he couldn’t take a single photo. (we have stolen R+A’s)

We made a few more stops along the way before our final destination: the start of the Colca Canyon Trek.

Today’s trek involved walking down 1200m into the heart of the canyon. This was actually quite tiring on the old knees and took us far longer than estimated. Eventually we made it to ‘camp’ which consisted of basic huts, cold showers and most importantly beer. R tried desperately hard to extract information from the locals as to where he might be able to find a TV at 6 o’clock in the morning to watch the Holland game, the reply was laughter.

The night only bought darkness and everyone was forced to retire early due to the lack of electricity and energy.

The next day was a nice early start for the easiest stretch of our trip, a (mostly) flat walk through the valley floor. At the half way point R discovered from another group that Holland had won and that they watched the game on ‘The Worlds Fuzziest TV’. Infact it was so fuzzy they weren’t entirely sure that Holland won and definitely couldn’t say who scored.

The final stretch took us down to ‘The Oasis’ a large patch of green surrounded by nothing. We paced out and soon found our selves floating around a beautifully cold pool with lunch was being prepared in the background.

The afternoon was passed by playing football, volleyball, relaxing and reading. J could taste blood as he ran around at 1,000 meters trying to beat a team of guides who regularly trek the Canyon for shits and giggles.

Again power, energy and this time the added thought of getting up at 4am sent everyone to bed early.

4 o’clock came around really fast. V&J were awoken to the sound of the French (were suspected lesbians, now confirmed) going at it next door. Its 4 in the morning man! I mean woman! No, I do mean man.

Everyone was slightly hesitant about the hike up but all found themselves pleasantly surprised when it was over in just 2:15 mins. Trekking in the sunless cool of dawn really was a massive help. We made it into town at around 9am just in time to have a cold victory beer before boarding our bus. The journey back was long but was broken up by a few stops mainly to view stuff, the canyon terraces, the volcanoes and finally llamas.

Back in Arequipa V&J had just enough time to grab their bags and a taxi to catch their overnight bus to Cusco. Not taking any chances this time (considering last bus we got the driver managed to scrape the top of his bus with the top of another coming towards us at high speed) they booked with Cruz Del Sur. The best bus company in Peru.

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